Did you know you should take your children to the dentist as soon as they get their first teeth? I consider myself a good parent, but I’m not going to lie and tell you that we did this with any of our four kids; we did not. I don’t take my kids to the dentist as just a few months old for several reasons. For one, I just don’t feel it’s necessary to make yet another appointment with yet another doctor for yet another checkup for a kid that already goes once a month or more to the doctor. I have four kids, and I’m quite busy please and thank you.
Additionally, I want my kids to understand where they are going when we go to the dentist so that we can prepare them for what is to come and what’s happening. I don’t want to instill a fear of the dentist in a tiny child by trying to take him or her that early. They already hate their pediatrician and his vaccinations, why bother making them hate another person?
Now, we do take our older girls to the dentist and have since they were three and fully understanding of what is happening. They both love it. We went for their regularly scheduled cleaning this past Monday evening, and all is well. They both had their teeth cleaned, x-rays on my oldest daughter, and the great news that our oldest has a few more wiggly teeth and impending tooth fairy visits. Both girls have excellent brushing skills and care nicely for their pearly whites, and all is well. In a year, the twins will join them for their every six-month cleaning.
This year, though, my mother came over the visit the twins while I took the girls to the dentist after my husband’s meeting ran longer than expected. When we arrived home, she and my husband were talking and discussing the merits of dental insurance and what we pay. What we pay is pretty much nothing. It’s really inexpensive and I was shocked to hear that my niece and nephew don’t have it. My mom was asking if we have dental insurance because she wants to know how much we pay for the girls’ cleanings when we go. I pay nothing. Their policy allows for two cleanings per year, plus x-rays for every family member so we pay nothing out of pocket.
The further good news for us is that we are a family with really healthy teeth. I’ve never had a cavity in my life or needed any other work done to my mouth except for my bi-annual cleanings. My husband had braces for a few months when he was in middle school, but that is the extent of his dental issues. For us, having dental insurance is absolutely worth it because it means we get two cleanings and x-ray sets per person in our house. That’s 12 per year; I don’t know what those cost without insurance, but I’m willing to be we pay a lot less than we might without insurance.
You might be wondering if paying dental insurance is worth it for you. We have a few considerations that might make you see that it is worth the price you pay, though the price is actually relatively small in comparison to what you might pay otherwise.
First and foremost, free cleanings are a big deal. Many people are unaware just how important it is to have good oral health, and they tend to assume that missing a cleaning here and there or simply not having them done is not that big a deal. It is that big a deal. Cleanings help to prevent plaque and other issues, and they also allow your dentist to get into your mouth and see what is going on so that you know if you have other oral issues that need attention before they’re worse.
Dental insurance is always worth it to people with major dental issues. The cost of a dental emergency can be quite expensive, and insurance will help to lower the cost you have to pay out of pocket. Like any other major medical issue, having insurance for big-deal dental issues will save you thousands of dollars when it comes to paying for services you known are not exactly optional.
The importance of good oral health
Here’s where dental insurance really pays off. Good oral health is not just clean teeth and good brushing habits. It’s so many other things. When you ignore your oral health, you are ignoring your overall health. Poor oral health can lead to other major health issues that might end up costing you thousands more than it would have if your dentist found the issues and fixed them earlier. Your life sometimes depends on the good oral health you boast; get dental insurance.
Setting a good example
If you are a parent, you know that you want to set a good example for your kids and their teeth habits. When they see the dentist twice every year, they learn better oral health habits. They learn to brush well, floss, they see where their issues are and learn to fix them. You’re instilling in them a sense of good habit when you take them to the dentist, when you are far more likely to do if you are paying for dental insurance.
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