According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20% of U.S. children ages 5 to 11 and 13% of U.S. children ages 12 to 19 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.* This is one of the most chronic conditions affecting American children, and can lead to problems eating, speaking, playing and even learning.

While genetics can contribute to the likelihood of getting cavities, there are other contributing factors. What your child eats or drinks, whether or not they wear braces or retainers, and special health care needs can also lead to cavities.

Luckily, tooth decay can be prevented. To help prevent cavities, children 2 years and older should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. And children as young as 1 year should visit a dentist at least annually to prevent tooth decay.

What you can do to promote healthy smiles

During this National Children’s Dental Health Month, and throughout the year, you can educate your employees on the importance of maintaining good oral health, starting at an early age. The American Dental Association (ADA) has posters in English and Spanish with tips to keep teeth clean. They’ve also developed a website just for kids that can be shared with employees and their families: http://www.mouthhealthykids.org/en.

You can also educate employees on their dental benefits. Regular preventive visits can detect or even prevent tooth decay in children, and LifeMap dental plans cover preventive services every six months at little or no cost. LifeMap dental plans also cover fluoride treatments for children up to 19 years under these preventive services.

Celebrate Give Kids a Smile® Day on February 3

The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids a Smile program has reached more than 5.5 million underserved children in the U.S., with free oral health services since 2003. Click here to learn about programs in your area and how you can help.

LifeMap can help keep kids covered

Tooth decay is a serious health concern, and yet, more than 10% of children ages 2 to 18 are not covered by dental insurance.** LifeMap can help get children covered for both individuals and employees.

Dental options for individuals or their family members are listed on our website, and they can even enroll online.

Your group has lots of employer-paid and voluntary options too. Learn about our options for small groups with 2 to 9 employees on LifeMapCo.com, and speak with your LifeMap sales executive to find the right dental plans if your organization has 10 or more employees.

 

Source: *  https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/children_adults/child.htm
** http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/health-policy-institute/dental-statistics/dental-benefits-and-medicaid