Does My Child Need Braces and Will Dental Insurance Cover It?
Nowadays, there are different types of dental insurance for kids, and you need to know what each of them covers before you decide to purchase the one that’s best for your child. It’s always wise to do thorough research before you make a final call, especially if your kid needs dental services and treatments that are often deemed special or out of the ordinary (keep in mind that orthodontia-related services often fall within this category).
But how to determine whether your child needs braces and how to be absolutely positive whether the dental insurance will cover them? Let’s find out!
How to Be Sure Whether Your Child Needs Braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get their first check-up at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7. This is an ideal moment for orthodontic examination because a child will have a mix of baby and permanent teeth and an orthodontist will be able to detect the early signs of malocclusion (or a bad bite). If the child has problems with a bad bite including overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite that significantly affect their eating routine and the quality of their everyday life, they will probably get some sort of orthodontic treatment. Other signs that a child might benefit from braces include early, late or irregular loss of teeth, abnormal enamel wear, deep overbite, etc.
That said, there are other reasons to get braces, too. There’s no denying that we’re living in a world that pays a lot of attention to physical appearance. If a child feels insecure about their smile, it can harm their self-esteem and self-image, and cause serious psychological damage. This goes double for teenagers who are even more prone to self-criticism and are super sensitive when it comes to their looks. These aren’t exactly medical reasons for your child to get braces but you should consider them nevertheless.
Now, even if appearance isn’t the problem, there are cases when crowded, crooked or misaligned teeth can pose a long-term threat to your child’s dental health so they will still get a recommendation from an orthodontist to wear braces.
Types of Braces and Dental Hygiene During Treatment
These days, braces look better than ever before and are more discrete thanks to advances in dental materials. You can still get traditional, stainless steel braces that your kid can customize with different colored bands. But there are also ceramic and lingual braces, which are more expensive options. Given that treatment usually lasts anywhere between 1 and 3 years, maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding certain types of food during that time is paramount for preventing cavities and other tooth decay.
There Are Various Types of Dental Insurance
Finding and purchasing dental insurance or a dental plan for your child can be a daunting task. But with proper research, and having your kid’s needs in mind as you browse through all the available options, you will be able to choose the one that is the best fit for them.
Also, don’t forget that dental policies may vary drastically from state to state, offering coverage for different services. For instance, there are insurance packages that offer full coverage for different sorts of preventive care treatments for your kid, but you will have to cover either partially or fully for braces. So, make sure you are up to date with your state’s unique dental policies as well.
What Plans Cover Braces?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, many people have insurance that includes orthodontic benefits that are usually provided by their employer. However, this insurance usually covers the orthodontic fee only partially, or there might be some sort of a lifetime cap to take into consideration. You can check with your HR service or directly with a dental benefits company to find more about the type of coverage and insurance benefits your child can use. Also, some insurance plans will even cover partial costs for teeth aligners, which are more expensive alternatives to classic braces.
You can check your child’s current dental insurance plan to see whether it covers braces or aligners, and if not, you can replace it with a more inclusive type of insurance. Typical orthodontic services covered by a dental plan or insurance should include orthodontic examinations, orthodontic treatment, retainers, as well as post-op treatments. However, most plans won’t include braces and teeth aligners so you should do your research and choose the best option for your family.
Have you already purchased dental insurance or a dental plan that covers braces? How did you find out about it? Did you do your own research or did you discover it via a friend? Tell us all about it in the comments below!