Most dentists will recommend that children take their first visit to the dentist office around age 1. This is to ensure that the teeth are coming in correctly, as well as to begin proper dental maintenance on the teeth. Soon after this, dentists recommend regular check-ups for children to ensure that the teeth continue to grow properly. This leads to many questions about getting a dental discount plan for children.
First, what kind of work do children really need on their teeth? Children can get most of the same problems that adults get, and can therefore require the same procedures that adults need. Children often require fillings, crowns, and occasionally extractions. Children’s' teeth are often softer than adult teeth and their habits of hygiene are generally not going to be as strong. Even if the children are made to brush their teeth every night, children often do not have a solid technique to actually clean the teeth. This leads to a perfect storm of children needing lots of dentist work done, even before their permanent teeth ever grow in; which leads to their parents a dental discount plan to help make the costs for feasible.
Another question to ask when considering dental discount plan for children is to what kind of dentist will the child need to go? Before a child gets his or her adult teeth, they will usually go to a children's specialist, also called a pedodontist. Once a child gets their adult teeth in, usually around age 10, they can begin going to a general dentist and use a dental discount plan. This is an important distinction to make because coverages are often very different between general dentists and specialists. On a typical dental discount plan, the coverage will be stronger for work performed by a general dentist instead of a specialist. If the child does need to go to a specialist, most plans will cover around 20%-25% of the bill, but some do not even cover that much. This is an important question to have answered before choosing one dental discount plan over another.
One final aspect to consider when choosing a dental discount plan is whether the child can be on it alone, or if an adult has to be on it as well. Many plans do require a minor (under 18 years of age) to have an adult on the account. This means that a parent would have to pay for two people on the account, even if they only need it for the child. There are other plans, however, where the child can be the only person on the account, as long as an adult sets up the payment for the dental discount plan. The difference with these types of plans is that the parent only has to pay for one person on the account (the minor) instead of two people on the account (minor and parent).
There are a number of different plans available for retail sale. There are both discount plans and true insurance policies, both of which will have specific strengths and weaknesses. A simple search through Google or Yahoo will yield a number of plans. Each person will need to take into account their specific needs as well as the coverages on the different plans, and choose the best plan for them.