Today marks Universal Children's Day and Australian children are being reminded to care for one of their most important assets – their teeth.
Teeth are the one part of the human body that will not grow back once damaged, and tooth decay and infection of the gums are among the five most common health conditions in Australia.
These oral diseases are easily prevented by a healthy diet, good oral hygiene practices and regular check-ups with an oral health professional.
Adjunct professor Hanny Calache, director of Clinical Leadership, Education and Research at Dental Health Services Victoria explained that children who developed decay in their baby teeth were more likely to also experience decay in their adult teeth.
"If not tackled early, your child’s poor oral health can affect their entire life," Prof Calache said.
Free basic dental check-ups are available for school children – with ages of eligibility varying from state to state – however, private health insurance may be able to assist with additional visits and costs.
Medicare also offers a means-tested Teen Detail Plan, providing benefits of up to $159.85 per eligible teenager, per calendar year.