As parents, you spend much of your time worrying about your children and looking out for their health and wellbeing as best you can.
It goes without saying that ensuring your children have enough fruit and vegetables in their diet and plenty of healthy exercise can contribute substantially to promoting better health. However, have you thought about how you can protect the health of your child's teeth and gums as well?
Chances are, your child will need to undergo some sort of dental procedure at least once throughout their life - whether it's a simple filling or something more complicated such as a root canal.
In addition to this, regular dental check-ups every six months are a crucial part of maintaining good oral health.
From January 1, families can get access to benefits for the basic dental services their children need through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), an initiative from the Australian government.
The CDBS replaces the current Medicare Teen Dental Plan (MTDP), which will officially cease operation on December 31, 2013.
Under the new schedule, children aged between 2 and 17 will be able to receive a capped benefit entitlement to go towards the cost of basic dental services in Australia.
Families must meet a means test to qualify for the benefit, which will involve having received a Family Tax Benefit Part A or other relevant Australian government payment.
The CDBS will cover a range of services such as examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, root canals and extractions so this can be just the assistance that parents need to feel confident their children can grow up smiling proudly.
It is important to note, however, that the benefit will not cover any hospital services, orthodontic or cosmetic dentistry treatment so if you are wondering whether you would be eligible it's a good idea to visit the Department of Health website to find out more.
The government will be notifying eligible families early next year, so you can also wait until you receive your notice to confirm whether or not you can access the benefit.
Medicare will handle the distribution of the benefits to families, so if you are looking to take advantage of it, it's a good idea to ensure your contact details are all up to date.
More information is available on the Department of Health website http://www.health.gov.au/dental Information regarding how to claim the benefits and other operational responsibilities in accordance with the scheme will become available in December through the ADA. We will keep you updated if any changes are made to the CDBS. If you have any questions regarding the details of the scheme please call Medicare on 132 011.
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