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Oral Health and Dental Care in Australia – 4 Things You Need to Know

While most of us keep our health in mind, we very rarely extend the proper care to our teeth. Things get only worse if you move from one country to another and aren’t aware of the laws and practices in place that could help us keep our oral health in check. So, what do we do when we’re new somewhere and have a dental issue that keeps popping up? In Australia, getting the care you need might be a bit tricky, so if you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed, there are a few things that you need to know.

Medicare rarely covers dental procedures

Unless you have an issue that is threatening your general health, Medicare will not cover it. Basic issues such as cavities and toothaches are unpleasant, but you probably won’t be able to do much about them though government funded health care. When it comes to braces and Invisalign you can be absolutely certain that health care won’t cover it, and there isn’t much point in trying. If, however, you have a serious problem such as dental gangrene, you will be able to get proper care quickly and all expenses should be covered by Medicare.

Private dentists are some of the best experts in the world

Even Australian-born residents have to rely on private clinics to deal with their dental issues, so it’s not an immigrant-specific problem. The prices can be steep, but you’ll be in good hands because Australian dentists are some of the best experts in the world. You can easily find an excellent orthodontist in Sydney, so make sure to ask around. Having a family dentist is a good idea, because that way they can have a good insight into your oral health and will know how to treat any issues. Ask about the prices and make sure you know the cost of everything in advance so that you can be sure that your budget can cover it.

The costs are lower for children

Since most of our oral health issues come from childhood, the prices of dental procedures for children tend to be significantly lower. Not only that, but children can benefit from Medicare a lot more than adults. Any person under eighteen who fits into the right category of family tax benefits should be eligible for care, so you can at least save up some money when it comes to your kids. Since more than 50% of children develop caries in their baby (deciduous) teeth, it’s really important that you take them to the dentist regularly to keep everything in check.

The same basic rules about hygiene apply everywhere

Regardless of where you are, you do need to pay attention to hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day. Make sure to stay hydrated because a dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and avoid eating candy and other sugar-filled snacks. When you brush your teeth, you need to clean your gums as well. Do it with gentle strokes because you don’t want to make them bleed, and remember to clean your tongue as well. You don’t really need fancy toothbrushes, but you do need to change them regularly. Some dentists believe that changing them every two weeks is optimal, but you’ll probably be fine if you simply change them every month. Keeping your teeth healthy is important for your overall health, because some studies link gum disease with heart disease, and bad teeth are just plain uncomfortable to deal with. So, keep your dentist checkups regular and be consistent with your hygiene.

For asylum seekers and refugees, bear in mind that you can seek out early dental care which can be provided for free. If you’ve decided to take permanent residence in Australia, remember that each state has slightly different laws, so make sure to check out public information about dental health so you’d be aware of your options.


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