Queensland parents are being urged to take advantage of free dental healthcare ahead of World Oral Health Day, as statistics show 30 per cent of parents are unaware their children can access free public dental treatment.
Queensland’s Chief Dental Officer Dr Mark Brown said all children aged four up to Year 10, and any child with a Centrelink concession card, were eligible.
“We know concerns about the cost of dental care can be a barrier to parents seeking dental treatment and check-ups for their kids, but it is extremely important,” he said.
“Our data shows 55 percent of kids aged 5 to 14 who attended the public oral health service had tooth decay, and 24 percent had decay in four or more teeth.
“This Oral Health Day take action to protect your child’s oral health and book them in for a dental check-up soon.
“We’ve got dental vans, school clinics and community clinics across Queensland that kids can access for their oral health needs.
“We know times are tough for many. Figures show up to 28% of parents can’t afford to take their child to the dentist unless it’s an emergency. That’s why it’s so important for parents to know these services are free, convenient, and in an environment that children are comfortable in.”
Dr Brown said with tooth decay being the most common chronic disease in childhood, parents are encouraged to follow simple steps to keep their child’s smile bright and healthy.
“The most important tip for parents is to ensure children brush their teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, and parents should assist kids with brushing until they’re eight to ensure a thorough clean,” he said.
“Eating healthy foods and drinks, without added sugar, is important for a healthy smile and general health.”
To check timing for your child’s school’s visit, or to find out how to make an appointment, contact the Oral Health Service through your local Hospital and Health Service.