What is the Child Dental Benefit Scheme in Australia?

Child dental benefits scheme

Dental care is a lifelong activity for everyone in the family to ensure the teeth remain healthy. However, children can be the weakest link in this activity as they are prone to eating sugary food and not mature enough to understand the need for taking proper dental care. Due to their unhealthy food choices, children often suffer from dental issues like cavities and gum diseases.

Since children are in their formative years any such dental issues can impact their health adversely. To ensure the dental health of children is well taken care of the Government of Australia has instituted a program of providing financial assistance to the tune of $1000 covering basic dental services. Known as the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), this government-funded program is run by Medicare, Australia’s universal health insurance scheme. Let us understand what the CDBS is all about.

Dental benefits for kids

For parents, it is critical to look after their kids’ dental health as soon as the teeth appear. They must visit the dentist regularly and ensure the teeth of their kids are healthy and free from any ailments. And to help children get proper dental care the Government of Australia runs a benefits program called the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). According to this program, financial assistance of up to $1000 is offered to meet the cost of basic dental care services for children in the age bracket of 2 – 17 years. The assistance is given over two consecutive calendar years for the below-mentioned dental care services:

  • X-rays
  • Check-ups
  • Fissure sealing
  • Teeth replacement using dentures
  • Dental cleaning
  • Root canals
  • Extractions

The dental care services NOT covered under the CDBS program are in-hospital dental services, orthodontic procedures (straightening crooked teeth using braces,) and the use of implant or crown etc. Even though this program has been around since 2014 not many parents are aware of its existence and they continue to miss out on valuable financial assistance.

Eligibility criteria

To receive the financial assistance of up to $1000 over a two calendar year period under the government-funded and Medicare run child dental benefits scheme, the children between 2 to 17 years and their families should also receive any one of the below-mentioned benefits:

  • Family tax benefit Part A
  • Disability support pension
  • Youth allowance
  • Carer payment
  • Special benefit
  • Allowance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) should the child be between 16 to 17 years
  • Allowance under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme should the child be between 16 to 17 years

Also, families may check the eligibility of their child for the CDBS program by connecting with the Department of Human Services at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule-health-professionals/about/about-schedule.

How to access the CDBS?

The eligible children can access the CDBS through public dental clinics or private dental providers like Northcote Family Dental. So, the next time, when your child visits a dental clinic providing CDBS, fill in the requisite form. The two year period for the child dental benefits scheme begins at the start of the calendar year when the eligible child undergoes his or her first dental care service. The total amount of $1000 can be used in the first year itself and any balance can be carried forward to be used in the next year provided the child remains eligible. In case the total amount is not used within the first two years, the balance amount cannot be used and one needs to wait for the beginning of a new 2 year period.


Taking care of your child’s teeth is important to prevent any dental issues later. The Australian government instituted program the Child Dental Benefits Schedule allows eligible children to cover the cost of basic dental treatment. To get the benefits of the child dental benefits scheme, visit a dental clinic like Northcote Family Dental at https://www.northcotefamilydental.com.au/ or call (03) 9481 5747.