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Could your child be eligible for $1,000 of free dental?

3 minute read
school aged child holding up a dental x-ray covered by the child dental benefits schedule

Your child’s life is full of firsts – from their first steps and first day at school to their first kiss and first driving lesson. But did you know that from the moment your bundle of joy grows their first baby tooth, they should be visiting the dentist regularly?

To help parents make sure their kids are given the best chance of a 1,000-watt smile, the government offers the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), giving access to $1,000 worth of dental services1 over two years to each eligible child.

This means that your child’s dental appointments could cost you nothing.

And, it’s not just standard check-ups that the CDBS will cover; it can be used on a range of different services including x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.

Am I eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

Because this benefit is means tested, to receive the CDBS you must meet a number of criteria.

  • You’re the parent, guardian or care organisation for the child
  • You receive a relevant payment from the Australian Government like Family Tax Benefit Part A or Parenting Payment (for the full list of eligible payments, visit the government’s CDBS page)
  • Your child qualifies for Medicare
  • Your child is aged between two and 17

Not sure whether you meet the criteria? There’s a number of ways you can confirm:

  • Log into your myGov online account (in the Medicare section it will advise whether your children are eligible)
  • Call Medicare on 132 011
  • Call your local nib Dental Care centre and we can enquire on your behalf

If your children are eligible, they could be given up to $1,0001 to spend on their pearly whites over two calendar years - all the more reason to familiarise your kids with the dentist’s chair!

Will I have to pay anything at the dentist’s surgery?

Once you’ve confirmed that your child is eligible, it’s time to find a local dentist. Visit Whitecoat to search for a local dentist who bulk-bills – that way you won’t need to pay a cent for the check-up.

To help get you started, nib Dental Care centres have 11 locations across NSW, ACT, VIC and QLD and all of them will bulk-bill. Call 1300 345 300 or visit nibdental.com.au to book an appointment.

If your dentist doesn’t offer bulk-billing, you’ll have to pay for the services and then claim the benefit back through Medicare or your myGov account.

Keen to read more about looking after your teeth? Check out our article on 6 things you’re probably doing that are ruining your teeth.

1Free when services covered by the Commonwealth Government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule are bulk billed by participating Practitioners for treatments provided to eligible patients.

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