We all know how hard it can be to teach children about the need to brush their teeth and look after their mouths.
Looking after baby teeth is an important task as these teeth need to last them through the first few years of life and some of the back teeth are with them until they are around the 9 or 10 year old mark.
Dental health is something that should be taught from a young age and something that should be encouraged each day.
There are times, however, when even though you are helping your children to look after their teeth there’s still the chance that you may run into a dental concern that requires you to take your child to the dentist.
Medicare has come out with a dental benefits scheme that can make going to the dentist a little more affordable and less stressful for you.
What is the Dental Benefits Scheme?
The Dental Benefits Scheme is a dental scheme that has been created by Medicare in order to make going to the dentist for children, more affordable for parents and to take away a bit of the burden.
It covers many different dental treatments for children. The dentist can decide whether they want to participate in the scheme and accept patients through the scheme or not.
The Dental Benefits Scheme provides you with up to $1000 to spend on your child’s dental needs during a two year period.
The services that you can use the funds towards, need to be included in the schedule in order for you to be able to access the scheme.
Who is eligible?
The Dental Benefits Scheme is available to most children in Australia.
In order to be eligible for the scheme, your child needs to be eligible for Medicare and be on your Medicare card.
Your child also needs to be between 1 year and 17 years old, in order to be able to access the Dental Benefits Scheme.
In order to get the Dental Benefits Scheme you or your child must also be receiving an eligible Centrelink payment throughout the year.
What is covered?
There is an approved list of services that are included in the Dental Benefits Scheme and you are able to use any of these services up until you reach the available threshold that you have.
Services that are included in the scheme include:
- general check-ups
- cleaning of the teeth
- fissure seals
- extractions and root canals.
If you are needing more complex dental procedures for your child which may include needing surgery, than these may not be covered by the Dental Benefits Scheme.
Orthodontics including braces is not included in the Dental Benefits Scheme either.
Why should I use the Scheme?
If your child is eligible for the Medicare Dental Benefits Scheme than you should definitely take advantage of it, and get any dental treatment done for your child that you may have been putting off.
It is recommended to get a check-up at least once every 12 months and to have a clean of the teeth done at least every 6 months.
This can become expensive especially if you have more than one child that you need to take to the dentist.
If you are able to access the Medicare Dental Benefits Scheme then it is a good idea to go ahead and book in for an appointment for each of your children so that they can get their teeth checked and a plan put in place if they are needing to have dental treatment done.
Additional things to note
The two year period commences at the start of the calendar year.
If you do not use the full $1000 throughout the 2 year period, it does NOT roll over to the next period, however, you are able to access a new $1000 for the following period.
Dental health is very important and it is something that we need to continue to teach our children about and educate them on the benefits of.
Plus many dentists will give a free toothbrush to the kids on their first visit!
Nicole is a mum of two girls aged 5 and 3, made to order cook, cleaner, crafts organiser and family budget manager. In between cups of coffee, you will usually find her assisting a toddler with the toilet, cleaning food scraps off the floor and basically trying to keep her mini-me’s alive. She knows all too well that if you don’t keep them busy they will find their own busy-ness, by doing something mischievous!
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