Minister for Health Sussan Ley today encouraged younger Australians to … remember their teeth.

Millions of children across the country will have spent today going to school, playing with friends and hopefully participating in a sport or physical activity – they will also eat and drink and probably spend some time on a smart phone or in front of the TV.

Ms Ley said this Dental Health Week can I also suggest you and your child spend a moment checking out their smile?

“Early results from a National Child Oral Health Survey by the University of Adelaide indicate one third of children aged 9-14 years had decay in their permanent teeth, and one in seven in this age group had not previously been treated for this condition.

“All up, around one in nine Australian children have never even visited the dentist!

“Poor oral health can be very uncomfortable and painful, with tooth decay one of the most prevalent chronic conditions suffered by Australians, and one of the leading causes of acute avoidable hospital admissions.”

“This week is also a reminder for parents to talk to their children about the importance of good dental hygiene and that daily brushing is still the best way to ward off tooth decay”, Ms Ley said.

To mark 2016 Dental Health Week, the Australian Government is renewing its commitment to improving the dental health of all Australians through a better public dental service.

The Turnbull Coalition intends to invest $2.1 billion over the next 5 years through the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme (CaPDS), the biggest ever Commonwealth investment in public dental services and a doubling of current funding for public dental.

“Unlike Labor’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme which focused on services provided by dentists, CaPDS will use a variety of tools to deliver better preventative dental care for hard to reach children, including public dental buses, school dentists, fluoride application and use of oral therapists.”

“Our plan will help children, as well as concessional adults, get better access to dental care, leading to better health outcomes overall”, Ms Ley said.

Subject to the passage of required legislation, the Government’s intention is to ensure CaPDS is up and running by the start of next year, 01 January 2017.