Preventing Oral Health Problems in Children: A Growing Concern


A disturbing trend has been identified in Australia: a rising number of children being hospitalized for entirely avoidable oral health conditions. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recently released alarming data that highlights this growing problem. Let’s delve deeper into the underlying reasons and potential solutions to this pressing issue.

The Startling Statistics

According to the ADA’s updated Oral Health Tracker, nearly 11 out of every 1,000 children aged 5 to 9 were admitted to Australian hospitals for preventable dental conditions in the year 2021-2022. This figure marks an increase from 9.5 per 1,000 children in 2018.

The Underlying Causes

The primary among these are the high costs associated with dental care and the lack of awareness about the free dental care schemes available to eligible children. Staggeringly, only 38% of eligible families are currently using the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, indicating that more targeted publicity for this scheme is needed.

The Role of Diet

Another significant contributing factor is the high rates of dental decay among children, with nearly three in four kids aged 9-13 consuming too much sugar. The consumption of sugary drinks is especially problematic, with 37% of children consuming 2-5 fruit juices or soft drinks each week.


In conclusion, the alarming trend of increasing hospitalizations for preventable oral health issues among children is a critical issue that needs immediate attention and the awareness of the Child Dental Benefit Schedule needs to be improved. At Opal Dental, we bulk bill for all children on the child dental benefit schedule, which means your child can receive the amazing dental care that they might need all for free!