Australians are spending more than ever on maintaining their dental health, with dental treatment now accounting for more than half of all ancillary benefits paid by nib health funds.
According to the latest claims data from the health insurer, customers received more than $160 million in dental benefits in 2014, representing more than 50% of total ancillary benefits.
nib Chief Executive Officer, Mark Fitzgibbon, said the rise in dental claims highlights that Australians are taking more responsibility for their dental health.
"As we all know prevention is better than cure, so it's great to see more of our customers visiting their local dentist to get a check-up, scale and clean to make sure their oral health is on the right track," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
The figures which come ahead of World Oral Health Day this week demonstrate a growing trend towards maintaining better oral health.
Since 2011, the dental benefits paid to nib customers have increased almost 50%, with more than 440,000 customers making claims in 2014 alone.
"Our range of covers allow customers to avoid the hip pocket pain often associated with dental care by helping them to afford regular preventative treatment and if required major dental treatment such as wisdom teeth," he added.
Dentists are also the most popular provider searched by customers on nib's search and comparison website, Whitecoat.com.au, representing 40% of total searches in 2014.
"We currently have almost 25,000 dentists listed on the site helping customers to make more informed choices when selecting a dentist in their local area," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
This Friday 20 March 2015 is World Oral Health Day which promotes the importance of looking after oral hygiene worldwide.