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In last week’s federal budget, the Australian Government announced the allocation of $1 billion funding towards the Children’s Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS). This should ensure the continuation of the CDBS until at least 2022.

The president of the Australian Dental Association, Dr. Carmelo Bonanno, welcomed the federal budget announcement by saying, “We know that a child’s oral health is a good predictor for the future, so it is critical that we embed good oral health habits at an early age. Getting children to visit the dentist regularly through schemes such as the CDBS is critical to halting the level of decay we see in children currently.”

Dr. Bonnano also said that too many Australian children are having their teeth extracted in hospitals because of oral issues that are entirely preventable. One of the leading causes of tooth decay and erosion in Aussie kids is a sugary diet. According to the ABS, approximately 75% of kids aged 9-18 consume sugar in excess of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation.

Dr. Bonnano advises Australian parents to monitor and control their kids’ sugar intake more carefully and to ensure they attend regular dental checkups and cleans.

What is the CDBS?

The CDBS provides financial assistance for a number of basic dental services and treatment for Australian children aged 2-17. Eligible children can receive $1000 worth of dental treatment over a 2 year period.

A child is eligible if their family receives Family Tax Benefit A or any other applicable Centrelink social security payment. Families are usually sent a Medicare letter that informs them of their eligibility. All treatment is bulk-billed via Medicare with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Plus there’s no waiting list – so you can book the next available appointment.

What dental treatments can the CDBS be used for?

The CDBS is available to use for the following dental treatments:

  • Dental checkups and cleans
  • Fillings
  • Fissure sealants tooth extractions
  • Dental X-rays
  • Root canal treatment
  • fissure sealants
  • extractions

Cosmetic or orthodontic dental work is not covered by the CDBS.

Why is the CDBS so important?

The CDBS plays a vital role in maintaining the oral health of vulnerable, disadvantaged Australian children who may otherwise miss out on the benefits of regular dental visits and treatment. This includes children from rural and remote areas who would normally have to travel considerable distances to the nearest public dental clinic.