Do I Need Dental Insurance For My Baby?
Do I Need Dental Insurance For My Baby? Health insurance is a definite concern for most pregnant women, and it comes naturally in the course of the need for prenatal care and an obstetrician. However, few parents think about when to add a child to dental insurance.
Is it important to have dental insurance for children? After all, babies are not born with teeth and it takes about six months for them to show up. But oral health is an essential part of a child’s overall well-being. And while there’s no precise rule about when they should be added to dental insurance, it’s best to consider the issue before they’re ready for their first visit to the dentist.
The Importance Of Oral Hygiene In Children
Many parents think that because baby teeth (also called baby teeth) eventually fall out, they may put off taking care of their children’s teeth – at least until they have mature teeth. But tooth decay can grow on both baby teeth and permanent teeth and lead to cavities. Cavities can be painful and hinder a child’s ability to chew and speak. And they are much more common in young children than many people realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated tooth decay.
The best time to take a child to their first dental appointment is on their first birthday or within six months of the appearance of their first tooth, whichever comes first. The dentist will do much more than just looking for cavities. They also monitor mouth and jaw growth, check gum health and bite alignment. All of this can affect a child’s development as they learn to talk and chew solid foods.
In addition to regular visits to the dentist, starting with their first teeth, sometimes children may need emergency dental care. When children become mobile and explore the world, accidents can happen. The chipping or breaking of a baby tooth is something that requires immediate attention. A fracture allows bacteria to enter the tooth root and cause a cavity. Losing a tooth before it is about to fall out can affect the growth of permanent teeth. Both can lead to future dental problems if left uncorrected.
Why Do Babies Need Dental Insurance – Do I Need Dental Insurance For My Baby?
From a very young age, dental insurance can help save money on routine costs and emergency dental care. While it is still possible to get pediatric dental care without dental insurance, it will usually come with increased out-of-pocket costs.
This is why it may be a good idea to get dental insurance that covers your baby’s dental care.
Milk teeth can also have cavities
You might think that cavities are just something to worry about for older children or teens. But according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 21% of children ages two to five had untreated cavities¹. According to a 2018 CDC study, tooth decay (the scientific term for cavities) is also the most common chronic disease in young people ages 6 to 19. These cavities can be caused by natural sugars in fruit juices and even milk and of course sugary snacks and candies.
Early childhood caries (ECC) can affect even the youngest child’s baby teeth. Although baby teeth eventually fall out, untreated ECC can lead to infections that spread to other parts of the body. Neighboring teeth can shift in the void, causing adult teeth to join the crowd. Cavities can also be painful and uncomfortable for babies and young children.
The American Dental Association (ADA) considers ECC — also known as baby bottle caries — a major public health problem in selected populations. To help prevent CEC, the ADA asks parents to take their children to the dentist within six months of the appearance of the first tooth. The ADA also recommends that breastfeeding mothers take more initiative with their dental care to lower a child’s risk of developing CPI.
Tooth decay in babies is not only caused by eating unhealthy snacks. Unrestricted nighttime breastfeeding, overuse of sippy cups, and not checking the baby’s teeth periodically are some harmless mistakes that can lead to CPI.
Dental insurance for babies can encourage healthy habits for life
Research has shown that oral health is related to overall health – and that dental insurance plays an important role in maintaining good health. Americans with dental benefits are more likely to visit the dentist, take their children to the dentist, receive restorative care, and have better overall health⁶. Individuals without it are more likely to have extractions and dentures and less likely to receive restorative care or treatment for gum disease. In addition, people without dental benefits are more likely to have other diseases, including heart disease (67% more likely), diabetes (29%), and bone cavities in general (50%).
Good oral hygiene is also linked to healthy habits, and good habits should be started as early as possible. Taking your child to the dentist early not only allows the dentist to check cavities and discuss other conditions or habits, but it also helps establish that good oral hygiene is a priority in your family. In addition to taking your child to the dentist, you should also start brushing your child’s teeth with a children’s toothbrush as soon as the first tooth comes through to develop healthy habits and prevent oral disease.
Dental insurance for a baby can cover unexpected problems
Once babies get teeth, those teeth can also get damaged in accidents. With all the crawling, playing, and exploring that babies do, they can occasionally fall out or break a tooth. Nearly 50% of children will have some form of oral lesion during childhood. Chipped teeth, cracked teeth, and other oral injuries can lead to more serious complications, which can be prevented with early intervention.
These types of injuries can be expensive to repair, but dental insurance can often help you save on the cost of pediatric dental treatment.
At what age do babies need dental insurance?
The American Dental Association recommends taking your baby to the dentist soon after the first tooth comes through and no later than the child’s first birthday. This may seem too early, but once your baby’s teeth break through the gums, they are at risk of cavities.
So When Do Babies Need Dental Insurance? You may want to consider getting dental insurance for your baby just before you take him or her to the dentist for the first time, if not before. With dental insurance, you can save on the costs of preventive care, including dental exams, cleanings, and X-rays of children. On the other hand, if you do not have dental insurance, you will normally be responsible for paying the full cost of any preventive services received.
If your child develops decay in early childhood or sustains a dental injury, dental insurance can also help cover some of the treatment costs for these conditions. However, keep in mind that coverage for this type of treatment is usually subject to 6-12 month waiting periods and maximum benefit amounts – the sooner you get dental insurance for your baby, the sooner it will be covered if you need dental care therapy.
Dental Insurance Versus Direct Costs
Even when parents understand the importance of taking their young child to the dentist, they may still wonder when to add it to dental insurance or whether it is necessary. The answer to both questions is different for everyone. Parents should consider the nature of their dental plan and the cost of insurance premiums compared to what a dentist charges.
Type of dental insurance
Sometimes parents can purchase dental insurance through their employer’s insurance plan. If they are not covered, or if the dental option is not available, they can purchase coverage themselves. There are three basic ways to get dental insurance for children.
- Integrated plans include dental coverage along with all other health benefits at no additional cost.
- Bundled plans offer several types of insurance – dentistry, eye care – sold separately by the same carrier as supplements to the basic insurance policy. People can choose with options to add to their package.
- Standalone plans are purchased separately, separate from any health plan. They may be available through a medical carrier or independent dental insurance.
These three types of plans can differ in premium pricing, deductibles, which services are covered, and even which dentists can be seen.
Compare costs and other factors
For most parents, the premium cost is the deciding factor when adding a child to dental insurance, compared to the potential out-of-pocket cost to the child. Dental insurance premiums are generally reasonable – about between $15 and $50 per month for an individual. Family plans usually don’t cost double that cost, regardless of the number of family members. If there is a family policy, it shouldn’t cost you anything extra to add the new baby.
For young children who still have baby teeth, the out-of-pocket costs may not be very high. For example, a standard checkup costs about $50 or $60. Assuming two dental visits per year, if the premiums are above $100 to $120 per year, it is cheaper to just pay the dentist directly.
This is especially true when the child is still a child. As they get more teeth and then their permanent teeth, their dental costs may start to rise. The costs of examinations, fillings, dental sealants and braces can if necessary, quickly exceed the cost of an insurance premium. (Assuming the policy covers natural kitten or orthodontics.) Ask the dental clinic about the estimated cost of various treatments to see how a typical year of cost compares to an insurance premium. A big difference in dollar amounts will decide whether or not you simply add your child to dental insurance.
Parents should also read the policy details carefully to find out which services are and are not covered. In addition to an expensive insurance premium, it is possible to pay cash costs.
It is important to check whether the dentist you choose accepts your insurance plan. Many parents of young children choose a pediatric dentist who specializes in the treatment of young children. If that dentist isn’t part of your plan, you may need to scrap it.
Choosing a Baby Dentist
If you need to find a dentist for your child, we have an online tool that makes it easy for you. Several factors must be taken into account to make the right choice for your child.
Most importantly, whether you choose a pediatric dentist or a family dentist with experience treating children, your child should feel comfortable. A visit to the dentist can be a positive experience without fear or anxiety.
Ask your dentist about the costs and insurance. This way you know when to add a child to your dental insurance or whether it is cheaper to pay out of your pocket.
Starting kids early with a visit to the dentist is the smartest thing to do. Good oral health is important for a child’s overall well-being and self-esteem. Insurance coverage is one way to make that happen.
Do I Need Dental Insurance For My Baby – Conclusion
The costs of caring for a baby can add up. Dental insurance can help you keep your kids healthy and save some of the associated costs. If you plan to follow the advice of the American Dental Association by taking your baby to the dentist early and regularly, dental insurance can help you save on the cost of preventive care. It can also help you cover some of the costs of unexpected dental problems that may arise.
If you already have dental insurance, contact your carrier or employer to add your baby to your plan. If you don’t already have dental insurance, now might be a good time to get dental insurance that will cover you and the rest of your family.