If your employer doesn't offer dental insurance, you can still purchase a reasonable plan straight from an insurance company. But if you have young children in your family, you might be wondering if they require dental insurance.
Even infants who are covered by dental insurance may receive assistance with some dental expenses. Even while an infant's teeth are not permanent, they are nevertheless essential for healthy growth and oral development. Cavities can start to form as soon as a newborn gets its first tooth.
Fortunately, adding a newborn to your individual or family dental plan is typically easy and reasonably priced. To help you save money on the price of paediatric dental treatment, find out how to locate a baby dental insurance plan.
Why do infants require dental coverage?
Dental insurance can reduce costs for both normal and emergency dental care starting at a very early age. Without dental insurance, it is still feasible to receive juvenile dental care, but the cost will typically be higher for the patient.
Here are some reasons why purchasing dental insurance to pay for your child's dental treatment can be a smart move.
Even baby teeth can develop cavities
You might believe that teenagers or older children should be the only ones to be concerned about cavities. But 21% of kids between the ages of two and five had untreated cavities, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Additionally, a 2018 CDC study found that among children aged 6 to 19 years old, dental caries, the medical term for cavities, is the most prevalent chronic illness2. Natural sugars, such as those found in milk and fruit juice, as well as sugary snacks and sweets, can be the source of these cavities.
Even the smallest infant can lose their baby teeth due to early childhood caries (ECC). Baby teeth do ultimately fall out, but if ECC is left untreated, it can cause infections that spread to other body regions. Adult teeth may cluster as they erupt as a result of neighbouring teeth shifting into the empty space. For infants and young children, cavities can also be uncomfortable and painful.
ECC, also known as infant bottle tooth decay, is considered by the American Dental Association (ADA) to be a serious public health problem in some cultures. The ADA advises parents to take their kids to the dentist within six months after the first tooth erupting in order to help prevent ECC. To lower the chance that a child would acquire ECC4, the ADA also suggests that nursing women take greater initiative with their own dental care.
Tooth decay in babies is not solely caused by eating harmful snack foods. Some seemingly harmless errors that might result in ECC5 include unrestricted nighttime breastfeeding, excessive use of a sippy cup, and failing to routinely inspect a baby's teeth.
Baby dental insurance helps promote lifelong good behaviours
According to research, oral health and overall health are related, and having dental insurance can help you maintain good health. Americans with dental insurance are more likely to visit the dentist, bring their kids, get restorative care, and have better general health6.
People without it are more likely to undergo extractions and get dentures, while having less access to restorative care and gum disease therapy. Additionally, people without dental insurance are more prone to develop other diseases, such as diabetes (29%), general bone decay (50%) and heart disease (67% more likely).
Healthy habits should start early since proper oral hygiene is linked to healthy habits. Early dental visits allow your dentist to examine your child's teeth for decay and to talk with you about any other health issues or bad habits.
They also allow you to establish that your family values oral cleanliness. To create healthy habits and prevent oral illness, you should start brushing your child's teeth with a children's toothbrush as soon as the first tooth erupts in addition to taking them to the dentist.
Baby dental insurance can help with unforeseen issues
Once babies begin to erupt teeth, those teeth are also susceptible to injury from mishaps. Babies frequently fall or chip teeth due to all the crawling, toddling, and exploring they undertake. In fact, during childhood, almost 50% of children will sustain an oral injury9. Early management can prevent more serious issues from developing from cracked or chipped teeth and other oral injuries.
Correcting these types of damage can be costly, but juvenile dental care is typically less expensive with dental insurance.
When do infants require dental insurance?
After the baby's first tooth erupts and no later than the child turns one, the American Dental Association advises taking your child to the dentist10. Although it may seem early, your infant is susceptible to cavities as soon as its teeth pierce the gums.
When do infants require dental insurance, then? Before taking your baby to the dentist for the first visit, if not before, you might want to think about getting dental insurance for them. Dental insurance can help you save money on the price of preventative care, such as X-rays, cleanings, and checkups for young patients.
In the event that your child gets early childhood caries or sustains a tooth accident, dental insurance might assist in defraying some of the cost of treatment. But bear in mind that maximum benefit levels and waiting periods of 6 to 12 months are frequently associated with coverage for this type of therapy. The sooner you buy dental insurance for your baby, the sooner they'll be covered if they need dental care.
Options for dental insurance for your child
More than just your child's teeth, dental insurance can help protect your finances and lower the cost of maintaining the oral health of your entire family.
Many Americans have access to dental insurance through their regular employer. In most circumstances, you can add your kid to the same group plan that you are enrolled in if you have access to dental care through an employer-sponsored group plan. To find out if that might be a possibility for you, check with your benefits department.
It is still feasible to get dental insurance for your entire family, not just for your infant, if you are self-employed, unemployed, or don't have access to it through your employer. Individual dental insurance is available from an insurance provider directly.
Get in touch with your provider or employer if you currently have dental insurance to ask about including your child in the plan. If you don't already have dental insurance, you should consider getting it now to protect yourself and the rest of your family.