The start of the new year is a great time to form healthy habits, so the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is encouraging parents to make a dental appointment for their children before the school holidays end.
Some families may even be eligible to have payment for their check-up provided by the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
Professor David Manton, chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, said that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the oral health of Australian children is not as good as it should be, with recent studies showing the following:
- Over four out of 10 children aged 5-10 have decay in their baby teeth;
- Over three out of 10 children aged 9-14 have decay in their permanent teeth; and
- Over four out of 10 children overall have moderate or abundant visible plaque on their teeth.
“A new year provides the opportunity for parents to do their bit to reverse this trend by taking the family to the dentist for a check-up”, Professor Manton said.
“The early detection of oral disease such as tooth decay gives the opportunity to reverse the decay process before a filling is required.”
Some families will be able to benefit from the Australian Government’s recent announcement to continue the CDBS which provides $700 every two years towards children’s dental care for eligible families.
“While the amount available under the CDBS has decreased for newly eligible families, some children who were eligible in 2016 may still have access to any unused funds from the previous cap of $1,000 for the remainder of 2017,” explained Professor Manton.
“Families are encouraged to check with Medicare to see if they are eligible. Under the CDBS, patients can receive treatment from either a public or private dental service.”
Professor Manton concluded: “Dental health underpins good overall health. A dental check-up will provide a great start to dental health for the whole family. We urge parents and their children to visit their dentist this summer before school starts.”