Specialist Dental Services

Paediatric Dentist

Paediatric dentists are specialists who look after the dental health of children, from infancy through to the teenage years.

It's important to take care of your oral health from any early age to prevent future problems occurring. Paediatric dentists guide children’s dental growth and development and help avoid future dental problems.


Preventive care is extremely important for children. Taking control of a child’s dental health before issues escalate is crucial. Visiting a paediatric specialist as early as 6 months of age can be beneficial to a child’s future oral health.

Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify bad habits, and treat issues as easily as possible. Paediatric dentists aim to make a child’s first visit to the dentist enjoyable. They enjoy working with children, and bring their expertise in childhood development and behaviour to each patient they see.

Paediatric dentists continue their education with an additional two to three years or more of training, including anaesthesia, pharmacology and child physiology, which allows them to provide the most up-to-date and thorough treatment, for a wide variety of children's dental problems.

Need to know


  • Regular appointments at least once each year
  • Appointments may be needed more frequently depending on the treatment needed for each child

How long it takes

  • Annual appointments will usually take around 30 minutes to 60 minutes
  • For appointments involving treatment, the appointment time may be slightly longer

You may be asked about

  • Your dental history and medical history
  • Your oral health care routine at home

Before your appointment

  • No special preparation needed

After your appointment

  • You will be able to carry on as normal unless undergoing complex treatment and your paediatric dentist advises otherwise

Quick tip

It's so important to take care of your oral health from a young age. We recommend visiting a paediatric dentist as young as 6 months old, or as soon as the first teeth appear.

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Have questions?

In New Zealand, children who meet the eligibility criteria for publicly funded health are entitled to free basic oral health services from birth until their 18th birthday. Some treatments will also be funded. This doesn't include orthodontic treatment such as braces. If you are unsure if a specific treatment is covered for your child, talk to your dentist.

Learn more about free teen dental. 

Paediatric dentists are specifically trained in working with children and taking care of their oral health. It's important to take your child to a paediatric dentist early. It's beneficial for a child’s future oral health and can help detect and prevent future issues from occurring.

It is beneficial for a child to see a paediatric dentist as early as possible. This can be as early as six months old. It's important to take care of a child’s oral health early for future prevention and good ongoing oral health.

Children who visit a paediatric dentist often switch to a regular dentist at the age of 18. This is the age publicly funded healthcare stops in New Zealand. However, some people will change to a different dentist earlier however.