Eligible children aged 0 to 17 years can now access to up to $1,026 in benefits a year over two years for basic dental services, delivered by both public and private sector dentists.
Poor oral health in childhood means further oral disease in adult life. Children in low‑income families are twice as likely to have untreated dental decay as children in high income households. Dental disease affects overall health and wellbeing and contributes to a range of significant health problems.
Most dental disease is largely preventable. Prevention strategies include parental counselling about diet, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and regular oral health check-ups.
Since the program began in 2014, Commonwealth funding of nearly $440 million has supported states and territories to deliver around 7.6 million dental services to approximately 900,000 children. The funding of this program will be extended for a further four years.
Public dental services are delivered by state and territory governments through community-based clinics and school programs. This collaboration between the Commonwealth and state and territories is particularly important for rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters
“The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is an important program that ensures vulnerable children get dental care when their families can’t afford it.
“By improving access to dental services for children, the program helps address declining oral health and sets children on a path to better health throughout their lives.
“We know locals are doing it tough with the cost of living, this extension means basic dental care will not be neglected due to family finances.”