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The Importance of Dental Insurance for Children

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We have all come to accept that proper oral health care is an important component of caring for our overall health. Yet, regular dental maintenance falls outside of the provincial and territorial health plans in Canada. As adults, we have the choice to take care of our teeth or not. However, the most vulnerable members of our society, our children, are also among the most susceptible to the dangers of going without regular dental healthcare.

When managing a household budget, there are a lot of items to consider. Leaving the health and dental insurance off the list may be tempting. However, it’s false economy when the need for more extensive dental treatment becomes apparent later. Dental insurance is important for all of us, but it is especially important for children.

Canadian Pediatric Society Findings on Dental Healthcare in Childhood

The Canadian Pediatric Society is tasked with making recommendations regarding all aspects of children’s health. When researching the state of oral health in minors, they learned that in addition to oral and physical health, a lack of good dental health also affected a child’s social development and mental health. When a dental problem has been left to linger to the point of causing pain in children, the effects can be far-reaching and much more expensive than saving a few bucks over the health insurance premium. Dental pain can affect the sleep patterns, growth rate, academic development and behaviour of children.

Given this, the importance of regular dental care for children becomes abundantly clear. What is not so clear, however, is how to pay for that treatment. We do know that the children of parents who carry private health and dental insurance are dramatically more likely to receive regular dental care. Conversely, the children of those in the lowest income bracket who do not have dental insurance are the least likely to take regular trips to the dentist.

When to Start Dental Visits for Children

It is recommended that children see a dentist within six months of getting their first tooth. Even if they do not have any teeth, children should see the dentist in their first year of life to ensure normal growth and development of the primary teeth. Though these initial visits are not time consuming or expensive, if a dental problem is uncovered in childhood, it is easier and ultimately less expensive to treat with early discovery. Given the long-term social development and healthcare implications of unchecked dental problems, it is important to establish good dental health care practices very early in a child’s life.

It is clear that regular dental care is paramount to healthy child development, and the link between dental insurance and access to dental care is well-established. The best thing you can do for a child’s oral health is to get dental insurance and schedule visits based on the dentist’s recommendations. Your dental insurance coverage needs are best met by talking to an insurance broker. A broker is a licensed professional who works on your side to ensure you and your family have the best possible coverage within your budget for your healthcare needs.

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