Dubbo children could be eligible for up to $1000 worth of Medicare-funded dental treatment.
Eligible families will be able to access up to $1000 of subsidised treatment, including extractions, fillings and cleaning, over a two-year period.
Children eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme must be between two and 17-years-old and the family must receive Family Tax Benefit Part A or certain other Centrelink eligible payments.
Australian Dental Association NSW president Dr Kathleen Mathews said poor oral health in childhood was the strongest predictor of dental disease in adulthood.
"Eligible children can receive treatment under the CDBS from their local dentist, including participating dentists in private practice and Local Health District facilities," Dr Matthews said.
According to the ADA, hundreds of hospital beds are being taken up across the Dubbo region every year by preventable dental-related conditions and this may be due to parents not taking their children in for dental treatment.
Dr Mathews said this may be due to high fees.
"Most people know it's important to visit their dentist, but cost can be a huge barrier to accessing treatment," she said.
"Almost two million Australians, including hundreds of thousands of children, miss out on treatment every year due to high fees."
ADA figures reveal a total of 7,855 under-19s in NSW needed hospital treatment for dental-related problems in 2017 to 2018. Latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics showed that 305 hospital bed days were taken up in 2017 to 2018 in the Dubbo region due to potentially preventable dental-related conditions, and about two million Australians put off going to the dentist every year due to cost.
According to data by the ADA tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in childhood, with 27 per cent of children aged five to 10 years having untreated tooth decay, and one-quarter of children aged from six to 14-years-old have experienced tooth decay in permanent teeth.
Benefits through the Child Dental Benefits Scheme are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided as an in-patient in a hospital. Notification letters are being sent to parents of eligible children early this year.
"Teeth are so important to overall well-being, while poor oral health can also contribute to debilitating health conditions such as diabetes and obesity. If you want to help safeguard your children's oral health and save money, don't miss out when your notification letter arrives," Dr Matthews said.
You can check eligibility via humanservices.gov.au.