You may not have realized it before, but your health insurance plan doesn’t automatically cover dental care. If it does, it may not include coverage for your child. You might be able to add dental coverage for your child to your health insurance or buy separate dental insurance for kids.
Keep reading to learn more about dental insurance and why it is important coverage for your child.
5 Reasons Your Child Needs Dental Insurance
It's challenging enough to find dental insurance for yourself, but don't forget to include your children in your search. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), One in five children between the ages of 5 to 11 has at least one untreated cavity. When it comes to tooth decay, young children are particularly vulnerable, so early detection is critical if you want to protect your child's oral health in the long term.
Here are five reasons why your child needs dental insurance that you may not have previously considered:
#1: If your child needs braces
Orthodontic treatment can be costly. If your child needs braces, you should look for dental insurance that covers braces. Orthodontic evaluations, orthodontic procedures, retainers and post-operative treatments are typical orthodontic procedures covered by a dental plan or insurance. Unfortunately, many dental plans do not cover braces or aligners, so do your research and select the best option for your family's dental care.
#2: Detect dental problems early
Children should start dental care early in life as their risk of cavities starts as soon as they get their first tooth. Early dental care can help prevent cavities and tooth decay before they become a problem for your child. In addition, obtaining dental insurance for your child will help nip problems in the bud before they can cause pain and suffering for your little one.
#3: Evaluate your child for possible speech problems or bite issues
Children's bite and speech problems can be detected early by pediatric dentists to determine their oral health and tooth structure. If a child has difficulty chewing or biting, it can have a serious impact on their ability to get the nutrition they need. Dental health is also linked to speech problems. For example, if children cannot utter specific syllables, they may learn and develop incorrect sounds and pronunciations, resulting in long-term speech issues.
#4: Teaching healthy habits
Dental visits at a young age encourage youngsters to cultivate good dental habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly and eating foods that are beneficial to oral health. Your youngster will learn the value of good oral hygiene from their family dentist. Dental checkups are more bearable for children who have had regular, early visits to the dentist. They also create a relationship of trust with the dentist. As children age, positive previous experiences make it easier for them to deal with dental problems.
#5: Prevent early gum disease
Desserts and sugary treats can be a staple of children's diets. Coupled with irregular brushing and flossing, consumption of sweets means that infections and bacteria are more likely to occur. Early dental examinations help prevent gum disease by removing bacteria from the mouth before it has a chance to spread.
When to Add Children to Your Dental Insurance
You should purchase a dental insurance plan before your child's first birthday or six months after their first tooth erupts.
The dentist will do much more than just check for cavities on your initial visit. Checking on the gums and biting alignment are also part of oral health and jaw growth monitoring. In addition, learning to talk and chew solid food can impact a child's development.
In addition to regular dental checkups, children may require emergency dental treatment. Accidents can occur as children become more mobile and explore the world. A baby tooth that has been chipped or knocked out has to be taken care of as soon as possible.
A cavity can form in the root of a tooth if there is a breach in the tooth's enamel. In addition, cavities impact how the permanent teeth grow if a tooth is lost before it's time to fall out. Therefore, dental coverage should be in place by the time a child turns one to avoid complications down the road.
Can You Buy Special Dental Insurance for Children?
A special type of dental insurance for children is orthodontic insurance. Braces may be necessary for your children's dental health if they are crooked, spaced incorrectly or don't meet properly. Braces can cost as much as $6,000.
If your child exhibits even one of the following symptoms, orthodontic treatment is deemed medically necessary:
- Biting is hampered when teeth are too far apart.
- Biting with overbite results in the lower front teeth rubbing against the roof of the mouth.
- Biting or chewing is hindered by a misalignment of the jaw or teeth.
An orthodontic insurance plan for children can significantly lower the out-of-pocket costs associated with children's medically essential orthodontic treatments.
Does Medicaid Handle Dental Care?
If your child is covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), dental services are provided, including early screening, diagnostic services and certain dental procedures.
Children's dental care must contain treatment and care for:
- Pain and infection relief
- Teeth whitening and repair
- Sustaining good oral health
Medicaid and CHIP-eligible children must have access to dental care, but states can decide whether or not to offer the same coverage to adults. For additional information on how Medicaid/CHIP dental services can help children, see the Medicaid/CHIP Oral Health Services fact sheet.
Compare Children’s Dental Coverage
Here are Benzinga’s top picks for the best children's dental insurance providers. You can compare quotes side-by-side to find the best dental coverage for your entire family.
- securely through UnitedHealthcare Dental's websiteBest For:Large suite of productsRating:
- securely through Spirit Dental & Vision's websiteBest For:Dental + Vision PlansRating:
- securely through Ameritas Dental Insurance's websiteBest For:Adult and child orthodontia benefitsRating:
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child need dental sealants?
Dental sealants can keep cavities away for a long time. Putting dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth stops about 80% of cavities.
Do I need to give my child fluoride supplements?
If your drinking water doesn’t have enough fluoride to keep your child from getting cavities (0.7 milligrams per liter), ask a dentist, pediatrician, nurse or doctor if your child needs oral fluoride supplements, like drops, tablets or lozenges. These supplements can help your child stay healthy.
Dental Insurance Methodology
To determine the best dental insurance providers, we pored through all United States carriers. We winnowed the list by only including companies that have a wide coverage area and product offering. To further break down the list to the true best dental insurance providers, we gave weight to carriers that offer discounts, are available in all states and have multiple payment plan options.
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