Children’s Health in Pakenham
Dental Health Week
Dental Health Week, which takes place this year from 6 to 12 August, is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion event. Its aim is to educate all Australians and contribute to children’s health about the importance of maintaining good oral health by promoting these key messages:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Clean in between teeth at least once a day with floss or an interdental brush
- Eat a healthy balance diet and limit sugar intake
- Regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and preventive treatment.
This year, these important messages will be reinforced with a little cheeky humour via the tagline “Watch Your Mouth”.
Tempting though it is to think everyone is watching their mouth and practicing good oral health, the reality is that many Australians are not fully heeding these messages
- 65% of Australians haven’t seen a dentist in the last two years.
- 50% of Australians brushing their teeth only once-a-day.
- Nearly 40% never flossing or cleaning-between their teeth.
- 73% of young people (14-18 years) are consuming too much sugar.
For more information on Dental Health Week visit https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Health-Week/Home
You may not be aware that Medicare actively subsidises dental health of children up to the age of 11 through its Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
As a parent, making sure your child is as healthy as possible is understandably one of your highest priorities.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) has been introduced by the federal government to make that task a little easier if you receive benefits such as Family Tax Benefit A payments. The CDBS helps you keep your kids’ teeth in great shape by providing you with up to $1000 that you can use over a two calendar year period on a range of dental services including examinations, routine cleaning, fillings, and root canals.
What the CDBS doesn’t cover, however, are orthodontic (the straightening of crooked teeth), cosmetic dental procedures (the restoration or replacement of damaged or missing teeth), or any work that might need to be done in a hospital. If you aren’t sure what’s covered, just ask your dentist.
Your child’s eligibility
Your child is deemed eligible for the CDBS by Medicare, who administers the program, if:
- they’re within the applicable age range for at least some of that year
- they qualify for Medicare;
- and you receive either Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parenting payment or Double Orphan Pension payments for at least some of that year.
Your child can still access CDBS services throughout a particular calendar year regardless even if your circumstances change. Even so, it’s still worth confirming with Medicare that your child still qualifies for CDBS before phoning your dentist to book an appointment.
Keep in mind that not all dentists perform services under the CDBS; it’s best to check with your dentist if they do prior to booking in for treatment.
Using your $1000 allocation
To ensure that you’re aware of the costs upfront, your dentist will explain all probable expenses and get your consent in writing before treatment begins. If there’s any additional work needed following the initial examination, the costs will again be outlined and your consent obtained. This means you can then decide how quickly or slowly you use your $1000 allocation; you can use it all at once if you need to, or spread the spending out over the two calendar years.
If you’re not sure how much of your allocation you have left to use, your dentist can look that up for you, and let you know if you’ll be up for any out-of-pocket expenses.
Find out more
To discover more about this beneficial program feel free to consult your doctor at Pakenham Family Health by booking a consultation, and whether your child is eligible, call Medicare on 132 011 or visit the Department of Human Services website