Is Dental Insurance Really Necessary for Kids?


“Why? Your daughter should spend the last 15 minutes of the day with her class here at school than go to the dentist, don’t you think?” asked one of the women in the office when I checked out my oldest daughter from 2nd grade 15-minutes before the final bell rang. I had to get her and my 5-year-old daughter to the dentist for their cleaning 20 minutes later, and an early checkout was necessary. I’m not going to lie; this was only a few weeks ago and I am still confused by this. It took me several moments to decide if this strange woman was calling me a bad mother for allowing my daughter to miss the last 15 minutes of her school day (she’s in second grade, and she’s a straight-A student) or because I was allowing them to go to the dentist.

I explained to her that we take our kids to the kids dentistry clinic every 6 months for a cleaning, and she asked how old they are. I told her (7, 5 and the twins are 2) and she told me that I’m crazy and asked why I’d want to spend that kind of money on baby teeth. Again, I explained to her that my kids’ appointments cost us nothing since our dental insurance policy allows for two cleanings and periodontal disease checkups per person every year.

That’s when she asked me why we waste money on dental insurance for kids whose teeth are going to fall out. She then snickered when my daughter walked into the office since she’s missing four teeth at the moment, “She doesn’t even have any teeth to clean,” she said. I was flabbergasted, ignored her and decided that it’s not my problem that some people are just rude, lack proper etiquette and class. Not my problem. I did, however, wonder how many other people feel this way. Do you think that your kids are too young to visit the dentist because they have their baby teeth? Do you forgo dental insurance for them because of that? Give me a second to let you know that this is really not a good idea.

When Should My Child See the Dentist?

Most people don’t bother taking their kids to the dentist until they are 2 or older. I know that it seems awfully young, but it’s actually a bit later than the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry would prefer. Your kids should actually begin their dental visits when they have only one tooth. Most teeth begin to show up around the 6-month age mark, and that’s when it’s recommended you take your child to the dentist for the first time – or at least within 6 months of the first tooth coming in.

Why So Early?

Baby teeth, to put it very simply, are the first teeth your children have. They are also very important to the overall health of your kid’s teeth as they grow up. Sure, they’re going to fall out. However, they still effect the way your bigger teeth come in and the overall health of those. Did you know that your child’s baby teeth can have a negative effect on their speech, on their development and on their nutrition if their teeth are not properly cared for? Your child will develop a far better mouth, cleaning habits and oral health that lasts a lifetime when they do see the dentist regularly.

What about Fear?

Another reason so many people avoid taking their young children to the dentist is fear. I get it; I was worried, too. However, the key is simply to choose a wonderful pediatric dentist that is able to calm the fears your kids have. These offices are typically so well maintained and so well put together for kids and kids alone that they are very child-friendly. There are not adult patients here, so everything is made for kids.

The dentist you choose will likely recommend that you bring your kids in to visit the building before their first appointment. They might allow you to walk around and to see what is going on, to let your kids touch things, play with the toys and meet the people. This helps them to become more comfortable in the situation and in the setting, and they will feel instantly better because of it.

Your children deserve to have great teeth, healthy smiles and the confidence that comes with both of those. Dental insurance is not, as so many people assume, a waste of money for parents to purchase for small kids. In fact, it’s relatively inexpensive and it allows for you to see your children as they grow older become more confident with the oral surgeon/dentist and with their oral health care. It’s a great idea, and we are pleased that we can recommend it for your kids.

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