Why Your Child Needs Dental Insurance
Preventive care is the key to your children’s dental health, and it is important to prioritize regular dental check ups to build healthy habits.
According to the National Association of Dental Plans1, Americans with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, take their kids to the dentist, get preventive care themselves, and experience greater overall health.
Conversely, poor dental health can have serious consequences, including on your child’s overall health even before they have their first visit from the tooth fairy. Take advantage of dental coverage for your children to make sure they develop and keep good dental habits.
Childhood Dental Health Risks
Studies have shown that more than a quarter of all children in the U.S. get at least one cavity by the time they turn four years old.2 Many kids develop cavities as early as two years old.
The cost of dental fillings can become more pricey over time. According to data provided by the Consumer Guide to Dentistry3, out-of-pocket costs are around $110 for a single silver amalgam filling, or between $135 and $325 for a single, tooth-colored composite filling.
A monthly insurance premium that covers small cavity procedures is much cheaper than paying out of pocket to have teeth removed, not to mention the cost of fixing your child’s adult teeth if they grow into the empty spaces crooked.
Dental insurance for your child may mean the difference between paying a relatively small out-of-pocket monthly premium to fix a cavity or paying for an expensive and intensive, out-of-pocket procedure down the line. Plus, with dental insurance, regular preventative check ups can keep cavities from forming in the first place.
Early Childhood Caries
Early childhood caries (ECC)4 are a serious form of cavities that can erode your child’s baby teeth. ECC can occur when baby teeth are exposed to sugars for long periods throughout the day. Fruit juice and milk contain sugars that turn into tooth-eating acid if left on your child’s teeth for extended periods of time.
Although baby teeth will eventually fall out, cavities on your child’s baby teeth can still have lasting negative effects on your child’s overall dental health as they grow. Untreated cavities could become infected, which can spread to other parts of your child’s body and cause more serious health consequences.
Decayed teeth that are not addressed can cause pain and may need to be removed. Nearby teeth may shift to move into the empty spaces of a removed tooth, which can then cause adult teeth to grow in crooked or crowded. Essentially the problem of tooth decay compounds even with baby teeth if preventive measures are not taken.
Your pediatric dentist can better evaluate your child’s teeth during an appointment. Dental insurance makes it possible to save money on check-ups and make visits to the dentist a regular part of your family’s health care routine.
Accidents That Damage Children’s Teeth
Kids love to run, jump, play and explore, and for many, this can lead to bumps, bruises, and cracked or chipped teeth. Left unattended, however, cracked or chipped teeth can lead to further health issues. The tooth could become infected and the infection could spread to the head and neck, causing serious health problems such as an abscess.
Dental insurance can ensure your child’s chipped or cracked tooth is addressed by your dental professional quickly before it has a chance to turn into a more serious problem. Plus, the cost of an emergency tooth repair can be less if you have insurance coverage.
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Dental Insurance and Preventive Care
Regular dental visits for your child will ensure your dentist detects cavities early on before they have the chance to create bigger problems. The American Dental Association recommends bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday5 and seeing the dentist every six months.
Untreated dental disease can cause lots of problems such as:
- Compromise their ability to eat and sleep
- Jeopardize their self esteem and social development6
Although dental check-ups can be daunting at first, showing your child how important it is to take care of their teeth will set them up for success as they get older. Plus, they can learn from you that dentists are here to help and that a visit can be fun, not scary!
Dental Insurance Options for Your Child
Protect more than just your child’s teeth when you provide them with dental insurance coverage. Dental insurance can be covered under a Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plan or a Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) plan. The difference between a DHMO plan and DPPO plan is whether you would like to pay less now for insurance with a smaller network of providers available, or pay more out of pocket with the trade-off being more choices available.
Only you can decide what kind of dental insurance is right for you and your children, but Guardian Direct®️ makes it easy with several dental insurance plans to get you started towards better care and health outcomes for your kids.
1. http://www.nadp.org/Dental_Benefits_Basics/Dental_BB_1.aspx (January 2020)
2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental.htm (January 2020)
3. https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/fillings/ (January 2020)
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514393/ (January 2020)
5. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/first-dental-visit (January 2020)
6. https://www.cda.org/Portals/0/pdfs/untreated_disease.pdf (January 2020)
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