Why Your Child Needs Dental Insurance
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance providers must give plan members the option for pediatric dental coverage for their children — but legally, parents aren’t required to purchase it. Because of this loophole, many are opting out of dental insurance for their kids.
Poor dental health can have serious consequences on your child’s overall health, even before they get their first visit from the tooth fairy. Preventive care is the key to your children’s dental health as they get older, and dental insurance can be the key to affording and prioritizing regular dental visits for your child.
Childhood Dental Health Risks
Studies have shown that more than a quarter of all children in the US gets at least one cavity by the time they turn four years old. Many kids get cavities as early as two years old.
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.
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.
Early Childhood Caries
Early childhood caries (ECC) are a serious form of cavities that can erode your child’s baby teeth. ECC can occur when your child’s 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.
Decayed teeth that are not addressed can cause pain, and those teeth 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.
With dental insurance, you can make sure your child sees their dentist regularly, so cavities will be addressed before developing into something more serious.
According to data provided by FAIR Health, out-of-pocket costs are around $100 for a single silver amalgam filling, or between $150 and $170 for a single, tooth-colored composite filling. It can cost you over $1000 for a gold crown on a back tooth!
A monthly insurance premium that covers small cavity procedures is much cheaper than paying out-of-pocket to have teeth removed — not to mention how expensive it will be to fix your child’s adult teeth if they grow into the empty spaces crooked.
Kids love to run, jump, play and explore — and for many, this can lead to bumps, bruises and cracked or chipped teeth. Cracked or chipped teeth that are left unattended can lead to further health issues. The tooth could become infected, and the infection could spread to the head and neck and cause serious health problems.
If you already have a dentist you know and trust and who is covered by your dental plan, you won’t hesitate to bring your child in for an emergency visit to get the attention and care their teeth need. 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.
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 Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday and seeing the dentist every six months.
According to the National Association of Dental Plans, Americans with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, take their kids to the dentist, get preventive care, and experience greater overall health. Untreated dental disease can compromise your child’s ability to eat, sleep, and function well at home and at school. Not to mention that untreated tooth decay can compromise your child’s self-esteem and social development.
Dental Insurance Options for Your Child
Protect more than just your child’s teeth when you provide them with dental insurance coverage.
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