Give Your Children’s Teeth a Check-Up for a Healthy Start to 2018

The start of the New Year is a great time to start healthy habits, so parents are encouraged to make a dental appointment for their children before the school holidays end. Many families may even be eligible to have their children’s check-up provided for free under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).

Australian Dental Association SA Branch spokesman Dr Angelo Papageorgiou says there’s plenty of evidence to show the oral health of Australian children is not as good as it should be.

He says a recent study showed:

  • Over 4 out of 10 children aged 5-10 had decay in their baby teeth;
  • Over 3 out of 10 children aged 9-14 had decay in their permanent teeth; and
  • Over 4 out of 10 children overall had moderate or abundant visible plaque on their teeth.

“You can’t be healthy without having a healthy mouth; which is why it’s concerning to see so many children with easily preventable dental conditions,” Dr Papageorgiou says.

“But a New Year provides a great opportunity for fresh start to instill good oral health habits; and an opportunity for parents to ensure their children don’t become part of these worrying statistics. After all, the early detection of oral disease will help stop problems before they develop.”

Many families will be able to have their children’s treatment provided for free under the CDBS, Dr Papageorgiou says.

“The CDBS is available for children aged between 2 and 17 from families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A and some other government payments.

“If you are unsure if your family qualifies, ask your dentist. Otherwise, contact Medicare.”

Parents can further look after their children’s teeth by packing a healthy lunch box, providing a refillable water bottle and including a new mouthguard on their list of uniform items, Dr Papageorgiou says.