The state minister says vigilance is needed after a report found that 40 percent of Kiwi five-year-olds who visited the dentist last year had tooth decay.
Ardern said it was "not just about picking up the pieces". Instead, she explained that preventive care and education are essential.
"We must be constantly vigilant. It is part of our dental system where access to dental care is available and available."
She said it was important that dental education was available to children.
"There are a number of issues at stake," she added. "An individual's diet also plays out in his oral health."