Oral Health / Oranga Niho

Check out our oral health / oranga niho resources.

Good oral health is more than having good teeth and a nice smile – it is important for good health and wellbeing. Our teeth help us to eat, speak and are important for our self-esteem. Baby teeth also hold the space for adult teeth. Starting good dental health habits early has lifelong benefits. [1]

Having healthy teeth and gums helps protect your smile and supports your overall health.


What WAVE can do:

  • Support settings to develop guidelines to support good oral health behaviours
  • Share oral health teaching resources for education settings to use
  • Promote oral health resources and information available on the WAVE website
  • Provide regular oral health related posts on the WAVE South Canterbury Facebook page

Check out this video on how WAVE helped Rural Scholars Early Learning Centre with their Oral Health programme.

Oral Health support for under fives in South Canterbury

The South Canterbury District Health Board funds the ‘Child Nutrition and Oral Health Promoter’ to work with the South Canterbury community to create environments that promote good oral health from an early age.  This includes:

  • Co-ordinating the roll-out of Te Hā o Aoraki (toothbrushing programme)
  • Working with WAVE to support ECE and other settings to promote good oral health
  • Working alongside other services to promote good oral health, such as Well Child Providers

Watch a video on Caring for Baby Teeth - looking after your child's baby teeth can help ensure their adult teeth come through healthy and strong.  Your child's first teeth (also called baby teeth) will help them to eat and speak well.


FREE Dental Care for Under 18s

The Community Dental Service provides FREE dental care to eligible children living in South Canterbury or Canterbury from birth until School Year 8.  If you are new to the region you need to enrol with the Community Dental Service.  To enrol or to make an appointment contact the Community Dental Service: 0800 TINY TEETH (846 983) or commdental@cdhb.health.nz 

Teenagers can have a FREE dental check-up from a local dentist until their 18th birthday if they are at school, on a course, working or looking for work. Call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) for more information or freedentalcare@cdhb.health.nz.  Find a dentist in South Canterbury


Oral Health Days 

Does your setting celebrate oral health days?

  • World Oral Health Day
    World Oral Health Day is celebrated globally on 20 March.  For more information and resources, visit www.worldoralhealthday.org

  • National Oral Health Day
    The National Oral Health Day is celebrated on the first Friday of November.  New Zealanders are encouraged to ditch the sugary drinks and 'Switch to Water' for the month of November as part of this campaign.  For more information and resources, visit www.nzda.org.nz  
    Switch To Water Challenge


Useful links and downloads

We have various toolkits, programmes and useful links that you can access to help with your investigation into Oral Health.


[1] Community & Public Health https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/oral-health/