A Guide to Children’s Oral Health

In 2016, a dental technician carried out a study of 500 parents with children under 12 to find out how knowledgeable they were about dental health. Approximately half of the parents in the study did not take their children to the dentist regularly. Twenty percent of the parents thought the only time children needed to visit the dentist was when new teeth erupted.

Additionally, only 50 percent of fathers and 63 percent of mothers in the study made brushing their children’s teeth a priority. This is alarming, particularly when almost 30 percent of children in the U.S. have cavities. Here are some important guidelines for children’s dental health and the prevention of tooth decay.

Children should have a dental checkup at least once every six months.

The American Dental Association recommends children visit the dentist within six months of the first tooth’s appearance. However, you should not wait to take your child to the dentist past his or her first birthday. At the first visit, the dentist will examine your child for cavities or oral injuries and identify any areas at risk of developing decay. The dentist will also clean your child’s teeth and show you how to take care of them at home. You can expect the dentist to ask about pacifier use and thumbsucking as well, because these habits have an effect on your child’s oral health. Although most toddlers do not need a treatment plan, you will have the opportunity to make the next appointment before you leave.

Brushing is the best way to protect your child’s teeth from decay.

You should begin cleaning your child’s gums even before the first teeth arrive. Use a soft cloth and water or purchase an infant toothbrush made especially for their tender gums. Once baby teeth begin to erupt, brush them with a tiny drop of fluoride toothpaste. When children reach the age of three, increase the amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush to the size of a pea. Continue brushing your children’s teeth when they are young because they cannot do it on their own effectively. Always make sure they spit out the toothpaste afterwards instead of swallowing.

It’s important to know how to handle common dental emergencies.

It’s normal for children to have accidents. When it comes to their teeth, you should know what to do to so you can prevent the loss of a permanent tooth.

  • Knocked-out tooth: If a permanent tooth is knocked out, you should try to put it back in the socket. In case that’s not possible, put the tooth in milk and see the dentist immediately.
  •  Cracked tooth: For a cracked tooth, rinse your child’s mouth with warm water. Then apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Toothache: Treat a toothache by cleaning the area with warm water. Gently floss the area in case food is stuck and causing discomfort.

Your child’s teeth should be a top priority. Prevent serious problems down the line by scheduling appointments with Dr. Craig Armstrong DDS regularly and handling issues as they occur.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/guide-childrens-oral-health/

What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance for the New Year

A consumer survey by the National Association of Dental Plans found people without insurance are less likely to get basic dental care. Unfortunately, dental insurance can be very confusing. It comes with its own vocabulary, including lists of exclusions. The following post is designed to make it easier to understand the different types of policies that exist.

Types of Coverage

Group Policy: This type of policy is less expensive than an individual policy because it covers a large number of people at the same time. Some examples of group dental policies are employer-sponsored plans, AARP plans, and ACA marketplace plans. If your employer sponsors a plan, check it out carefully to make sure it meets your needs before enrolling.

Individual Policy: This type of policy typically costs more than a group policy. You may have a waiting period for treatments like dental implants, dentures, crowns and gum disease treatment. Even covered services may be limited to 50 percent. There are numerous individual dental policies on the market. Shop around, compare benefits and ask questions before enrolling in a plan.

In-network/Out-of-network: A PPO or HMO dental policy requires members to see a dentist within their network. If you already have a good dentist, find out which plans they accept before making a decision. Some policies will allow you to see out-of-network dentists but will lower the percentage they reimburse.

Indemnity Plans: These fee-for-service plans allow you to see any dentist. Once you meet the deductible, the insurance company will pay a set percentage of the dentist’s fee. Some plans are 80-20 while others are 50-50. You are responsible for the remaining fee.

Annual Limits

Whether you end up with a group policy, individual policy or indemnity plan, it will have an annual limit for coverage. Most dental insurance limits are between $1000 and $1500 a year. In addition, you will have to meet an annual deductible- usually $50 to $100.

Covered Services

Dental policies reimburse 80 percent to 100 percent of basic services, such as exams, x-rays and cleanings when you see an in-network dentist. Treatments such as root canals and crowns may pay out at 50 percent or lower. Procedures such as cosmetic dentistry and orthodontia are generally not covered at all.

Treatment Proposals

Depending on the plan, your dentist may need to submit a treatment proposal before you receive services. A plan administrator will consider the eligibility period, services covered, co-payment and maximum benefits and make a preauthorized decision.

Dental insurance tends to be a good option for preventive care, like check-ups, cleanings and x-rays. If you expect high deductibles and non-covered charges to be an issue, consider opening a health savings account (HSA). You can use the money you save to pay your extra dental costs.

Dental discount plans are another option. However, you should watch for added charges and fees. Members pay a fee, typically under $100 a year, for access to dentists who agree to accept discounted rates.

Still have questions? Give us a call and our staff will be happy to help you find the answers to your questions regarding your coverage. Don’t have coverage? Be sure to ask us about our dental financing options.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/need-know-dental-insurance-new-year/

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