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Do Babies Need Dental Insurance? 

A crucial consideration for parents with newborn children is ensuring their baby starts strong regarding their dental health. Having good dental health early on can reduce the chance of issues developing later and help your child learn good oral health habits when they grow and become independent. Dental insurance can reduce the cost of many dental treatments, from routine check-ups to major procedures. This article will explain how dental insurance for babies works and may help you determine the best plan to cover your child’s oral health.

How does dental insurance for newborns work?

Dental insurance for newborns works like adult dental plans but may tailor certain aspects of coverage to a child’s dental needs. These policies generally cover the costs of several types of preventative care, such as cleanings, check-ups, fluoride treatments, and other routine maintenance that helps your baby develop and maintain healthy teeth and gums. It may also cover basic and major services, such as fillings, oral surgery, and other procedures once teeth grow in. Many insurers let you add your children to your dental policy so you can cover your family on one plan, for a more affordable cost.

Why dental insurance is important for babies 

Covering babies with dental insurance is crucial for many reasons:

Routine care is essential 

Poor oral health early in life can create issues that are more difficult to rectify later. So, routine care is crucial for babies. Regular cleanings ensure your child’s teeth and gums remain healthy. Plus, the dentist can offer tips and advice on maintaining your child’s oral hygiene and how to teach them to do it themselves once the time arrives. Regular check-ups and X-rays help the dentist catch early warning signs of potential problems and fix them when easier and less expensive.

Baby teeth can get cavities

Older children and teenagers aren’t the only ones who can get cavities. Babies can also get them as soon as their teeth grow in. Dental insurance typically covers the cost of detecting cavities through preventative care and fixing them with fillings. This can help ensure your child's teeth and mouth remain healthy until their permanent teeth come in.

Establish healthy habits

Getting dental insurance for your child can help you establish a habit of bringing them to the dentist early on. Regular check-ups can be crucial as your children get older, since they may eventually need more specific care to correct orthodontic issues. Furthermore, this can help your children get used to regular dental visits, maintaining healthy habits that may continue into adulthood.

Save on dental care costs

Dental insurance can significantly reduce care costs for babies. Plenty of dental plans pay for most routine preventative care (sometimes after a small copay or coinsurance). Many also cover a percentage of the cost of basic and major procedures. Some, like Aflac’s dental insurance plans, may cover even more once you keep certain plans for a few years. The average cost of dental insurance is $47 per month, making coverage quite affordable for many new parents.1

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When should I get dental insurance for my baby?

Ideally, you should get dental insurance for your baby as early as possible. Although it’s not likely, cavities have the potential to appear almost as quickly as teeth grow in. Having insurance prepares you to cover relevant costs just in case.

Furthermore, if your child is born with natal teeth, and medical professionals determine they need to be removed, you may need dental insurance to cover some of the cost. Regardless, looking for a plan early on gives you more time to determine your coverage needs, shop around, and compare your options.

When should I start taking my baby to the dentist?

A baby can get their first tooth when they’re around five to seven months old.2 Given this timeline, it’s recommended to take your baby to the dentist by the time they’re 12 months old, or within six months of getting their first tooth.3 Visiting a dentist earlier can help you get professional tips on proper oral hygiene for your baby and get in the habit of visiting the dentist for them. After your child’s first visit, you should go back every six months as per the standard recommendation unless your provider says otherwise.

Types of dental insurance for newborns

Here are a few insurance options for helping cover your baby’s dental health:

Individual dental insurance

You can purchase individual dental insurance plans directly from an insurance provider, such as Aflac. These types of plans may offer the most choice, since you can shop with insurers to compare coverage amounts, terms, and rates. However, premiums tend to be higher than other dental insurance plans. Individual dental insurance may work best for families seeking the option to choose their dental provider or who need more specific coverage for their child.

Employer-provided dental insurance 

Many employers offer dental insurance in employee benefits packages through insurance providers. These tend to offer the coverage types and amounts you’d expect from a typical plan but possibly at lower premiums, since the employer often splits the cost of premiums. Plus, employers may take premiums out of your paycheck, simplifying the process of maintaining coverage. However, you may be limited to the options within the employer-sponsored plan. Therefore, employer-sponsored dental insurance may work if you don’t need more unique coverage for your child and want to save on premiums.

Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are government-funded programs designed to help families who meet specific income requirements cover dental care costs for children.4 Medicaid is a broad program that may help eligible families cover medical, dental, and vision insurance. Within the context of dental care for children, Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment service (EPSDT) helps families receive coverage for all levels of coverage — from routine care to major procedures, if determined to be medically necessary.4

Meanwhile, CHIP is available for families who earn more than the Medicaid income requirements but need assistance paying for a child’s health, dental, and vision costs.5 It can help fill gaps in coverage if parents can cover themselves but need help paying for their children’s dental insurance.

Both programs are funded jointly by the federal and state governments, so coverage and eligibility criteria vary by state. Contact your state’s relevant health and human services agency to learn more and see if you qualify.

Get a quote for Aflac dental insurance

Dental insurance can help parents get affordable care for their babies and young children, making it easier to instill healthy habits early and start your child off on the right foot regarding oral health. The earlier you get dental insurance for your child, the better. Speak with an Aflac agent to explore your coverage options and get a quote today.

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