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Just like your adult dental insurance, your baby needs dental insurance, but why should they? Cavities can cause pain, difficulty eating and speaking, and infections that could damage permanent teeth. If the cavity is severe or left untreated, you may need to take your baby to the hospital, and that has financial and emotional effect on you. Having dental insurance for your baby can lessen that weight and make it more affordable for you.
For babies, cavities can be caused by natural sugars in fruit juice and milk and, of course, sugary snacks. They can also be caused by unrestricted nocturnal breastfeeding, excessive use of a sippy cup, and failure to periodically check a baby’s teeth. Remember, even infants can have cavities.
To prevent cavities, try eating healthier foods, but also make sure to have regular visits to your dentist. Good oral hygiene habits start early but last through their lives.
Sometimes cavities aren’t the issue. Dental insurance can also cover unexpected problems. Babies love to crawl and explore, but they can fall and chip a tooth. You have to be prepared for anything.
When does your baby need dental insurance?
The American Dental Association says to take your child to their first dentist appointment when their first tooth grows in or their first birthday. But children’s teeth normally start growing in between three and six months, and, believe it or not, baby’s can still get cavities, so you should try to get dental insurance as soon as their teeth start growing in.
The last possible time to get it would be when your child is six years old. That is when permanent back teeth start coming in, and if there are cavities on those teeth, they need to be sealed right away. When your child is around seven years old, your dentist may recommend an orthodontist if your child may need braces. Having dental insurance for your baby makes whatever the cost may be more affordable.
What to look for when looking for a dental insurance plan:
You have to know what is and what isn’t covered in your plan. Most plans cover exams, cleanings, and other diagnostic or preventive services fully but make sure to double check your specific plan because this isn’t always the case. Make sure your plan has a large network of pediatric dentists and specialists, and make sure they cover fluoride treatments and dental sealants for cavity prevention in children. Make sure to take into account your baby’s age and needs for the next year to choose one that fits their needs the best.
How to get it:
Most times, you or your spouse gets dental insurance from your employer. Extend that plan into a family plan, list your baby as your dependent, and that covers it. There are also services like Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) for low-income families.