The Importance of Early Dental Care for Children

18/12/2023

Oral health is an integral part of our overall health and wellbeing, but this is particularly true when it comes to children. 

Developing healthy dental habits early on not only ensures optimal oral health in the present, but it also lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. In the following article, we’re going to take a look at why early dental care is vital for children, the best practices for dental care, and how private health insurance can support these practices. Let’s take a look!

Why Early Dental Care is Vital for Children

So, why is early dental care crucial for children? It comes down to a number of key reasons:

Early years development

Firstly, primary or "baby" teeth play an essential role in children's development: not only do they help with proper chewing and nutrition, speech development, but they also hold space in the jaws for the permanent teeth that follow. Ensuring healthy baby teeth means ensuring proper early years development. 

Building good habits

Secondly, early dental care helps instil good oral hygiene habits when your children are young, maximising their chances of keeping up with these habits when they’re older. Don’t forget to lead by example - brushing your teeth together can help develop a routine for your child to follow as they age up.

Preventative care

Moreover, regular dental check-ups can help identify potential oral health issues early, such as cavities or orthodontic concerns, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. Dentists can also provide advice on diet and nutrition for optimal oral health, guidance on habits like thumb sucking, and recommendations for accident prevention as children become more active.

Early Dental Care for Children: Best Practices

The cornerstone of dental care for children involves instilling good oral hygiene habits from a young age. These include:

  • Regular brushing and flossing: As soon as your little one is able to, teach them to brush their teeth at least twice a day, using a toothpaste with fluoride, and to floss once a day. This will help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Healthy eating habits: A balanced diet - ideally low in sugar - helps to protect children's teeth by preventing decay, while also providing them with the nutrients they need for strong teeth and gums.
  • Regular dentist visits: Children should ideally visit the dentist every six months for check-ups and cleanings: while it can be tempting to cancel a dental check-up if you’ve got other things going on, regular visits will help to catch potential dental issues early and provide opportunities for preventive treatments.

How Private Health Insurance Can Help

While the NHS offers dental care for children, private health care for children can offer more comprehensive coverage and faster access to services. While a family healthcare plan won’t offer dental care as part of your general PMI, dental cover can be included as a monetary add-on, ensuring your children’s dental needs are met in the highest-quality surgeries in the UK.

With a PMI plan that includes dental coverage as an add-on, children can have access to routine treatments, with some providers also offering coverage for dental injuries and emergencies, ensuring your child's dental health is well-protected.

However, it's important to note that the extent of coverage can vary from one policy to another. Therefore, it's crucial to understand what's included in your chosen plan to ensure it fits your child's needs - that’s where we at Usay Compare can help.

What Health Insurance Plan is Best for Children?

When considering health insurance for your children, a family plan is often the most suitable choice. Family plans are designed to cover all members of the family under one policy, often offering more comprehensive coverage and cost savings compared to individual plans. With this type of plan, you can ensure that your child's dental care, along with their broader health needs, is covered. 

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