AIM: To review the frequency of routine annual dental examinations for children in Finland and to make recommendations for appropriate examination intervals for children and adolescents. METHOD: The National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health in Finland appointed an expert group to prepare a review. RESULTS: According to the literature, examination intervals for individuals with low caries risk can be extended to 1.5-2.0 years without jeopardising their oral health. If implemented, this would lead to a saving of 15% in treatment and examination times for children. Although there is no accurate measure for identifying high-risk individuals, a considerable proportion of low-risk children can be identified fairly accurately. CONCLUSIONS: The expert group recommended prolonging the average examination intervals to 1.5-2.0 years, taking into account the risk of each individual, the local distribution of oral health problems and cost-effective use of resources. Part of the savings could be redirected to children with high levels of dental need and/or at risk of dropping out from the oral health services.