As the 2019 school year kicks into action and school checklists are being finalised, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has recommended parents prioritise a visit with the kids to the dentist. It may be one of the most important ‘to do’ items on the list, with dental pain one of the most common reasons for school absenteeism and consequent work leave for parents.
Children may even be eligible for the Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) where $1000 of specified services are available for two to 18-year-olds over a two-year period.
“Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in both Australian adults and children,” Chair of ADA’s Oral Health Committee Professor David Manton said.
“No young child should have to experience tooth decay, especially before being old enough to start school, yet statistics show that 34.3 per cent of Australian children aged five to six years have experienced primary tooth decay.”
Further statistics show that of children aged six to 14 years, 23.5 per cent have experienced tooth decay in their adult teeth with 10.9 per cent of this age group having untreated dental decay.
In response to these alarming statistics, the ADA in conjunction with the Australian Health Policy Collaboration has established an expert committee to set targets to reverse the increasing trends of oral disease in the community.
And with the new school year coinciding with the start of the sporting season, the ADA is also recommending dentists supply custom-fabricated mouthguards for sports involving collisions or contact. These mouthguards provide greater protection against traumatic dental injuries than do pharmacy or store-bought so-called ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards.
“We all know how busy the year becomes, so do not delay, book your dental appointment today,” Professor Manton said.
Based on information sourced from an ADA press release.