Health minister Mark Butler has announced that the federal government will extend the national Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
Eligible children aged 0 to 17 can access up to $1,026 in benefits each year over two years for basic dental services, delivered by both public and private sector dentists.
Children in low‑income families are twice as likely to have untreated dental decay as those in high-income households.
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 was established 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. Public dental services are delivered by state and territory governments through community-based clinics and school programs.
“The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is an important program that ensures vulnerable children get dental care when their families can’t afford it," said Mr Butler.
“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.”