This study determined the oral health status of a group of 3-8-year-old South African black children, comprising a total of 214 children from the townships of Garankuwa, Shosanguwe, Mabopane, Hebron and Erasmus who attended a school in Akasia, Greater Pretoria Metropolitan Substructure. The decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft), oral hygiene status, dental IQ and malocclusion status were determined. The study found that the children's oral health status and occlusal status were unacceptable. The level of their dental IQ scores was low, their oral hygiene poor, and they were in urgent need of primary and secondary dental care. In addition they were in need of both preventive and interceptive orthodontic care. A national strategy to address primary dental health care is recommended.