Guide to Kids Dental Insurance Programs

child with healthy teeth

Health and dental insurance are vital to maintaining a healthy body. Many people think that insurance is just for “emergencies,” but that’s not necessarily true. Many insurance policies cover annual check-ups and routine procedures as well. The exact coverage does depend on your policy, however. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about your specific policy.

What Is Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for dental care. Oftentimes, dental and vision plans are separate from medical insurance. Your dental insurance may also have different policies and coverage. That’s why it is important to read your policy carefully and find out what your dental insurance does and does not cover.

Depending on your dental insurance, it might provide some coverage for procedures such as bi-annual cleanings and check-ups, cavity fillings, and other necessary procedures. Do reach out to your insurance or dental office to inquire about your coverage, however. Keep in mind that many dental insurance policies have time frames within which you can get certain services. For example, some insurance policies only cover dental cleanings/check-ups if you get them six months apart.

How To Get Dental Insurance

kids dental insurance

One of the most common ways for Americans to get insurance is via their employer. Many companies offer individual and family insurance plans. Ask your employer whether or not your company offers any benefits that you should be aware of.

If you are not employed, or your employer does not offer insurance, don’t worry yet. Here are some other ways to receive dental insurance:

  • Through your spouse or family. Most family insurance plans allow you to put your spouse or children on it.
  • Get Individual Insurance. Many insurance companies offer stand-alone insurance plans that can be bought by individuals (not through an employer). For example, Delta Dental offers some individual plans.
  • Public/government programs. For low-income individuals, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may be options. Else, the website does provide a “marketplace” where you can find and purchase a health plan regardless of income. It is part of the “Affordable Care Act.”

Dental Insurance Cost

The cost of insurance ranges widely, depending on the plan that you have and how you enrolled in it. For example, some employers cover all or part of your monthly premium.

Is Dental Insurance Worth It

Absolutely. Dental insurance is vital to keeping your and your child’s teeth in good shape. It ensures that you’re not left with an astronomical bill in case of a dental condition. If you’re unable to afford or don’t have access to insurance through your employer, try taking a look at government insurance programs online. There are resources for low-income individuals.

Dental Insurance Family Plans

One of the most common ways for children to get dental insurance is through their parents. Many employers offer family insurance plans that allow you to put dependents on them. This means that children are able to receive dental coverage through their parents.

Dental Insurance For Kids

It’s important that children have dental insurance as early on as possible. Remember, even toddlers can get cavities. As long as your child has at least one tooth, that tooth can be affected by bacteria and decay. That’s why it’s important that you begin brushing your child’s teeth and bringing them in for bi-annual cleanings sooner rather than later.

As we mentioned earlier, many children receive dental insurance coverage through their parents. If, however, your family is low-income, read more about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

If you do have dental insurance, don’t forget to take a look at your benefits, coverage, and policies. For example, ask your insurance provider at what age your child can have their first dental visit. Are sealants covered? What about children’s orthodontic care? These are all important questions to ask. Remember, your child may have different dental needs than you.

If you’re currently in the process of searching for an individual plan, don’t be afraid to shop around. Compare plans and look at factors such as premiums, deductibles, and what procedures are covered. Remember to take a look at the marketplace for help with finding insurance coverage.

Supplemental Dental Insurance

As a last note on dental insurance, we do want to mention supplemental dental insurance. Oftentimes, dental insurance simply does not cover all of the bills associated with your child’s dental procedures. In these cases, it may be worthwhile to look into supplementary dental insurance. Supplemental dental insurance might offer coverage (or a discount) for some dental procedures. The best way to search for supplemental dental insurance is to figure out what procedure your current policy is unable to cover and find a supplemental plan that may fill that gap. Remember to ask about premiums and whether or not there’s a waiting period until you can start using the plan benefits.

Important Terms To Know

insurance policy

Insurance plans and policies can certainly be somewhat convoluted to read through. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy dandy guide below. Take the time to read through some of the most common terms that you may encounter in your insurance policy. After, take some time to go through your own policy (or an Explanation Of Benefits). This will help you make the most of all your new dental benefits.


The “cost” of the insurance, so to speak. This is the amount that you pay for your insurance coverage. This might be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually.


This is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance plan can kick in. Note that not all services can count towards a deductible. Ask your insurance company what does and doesn’t count towards your yearly deductible. Also, keep in mind that family plans sometimes have an “individual” deductible as well as a “family” deductible.

Effective Date

This is the date at which your coverage officially kicks in. This is important to ask about because you may not instantly be “covered” just because you enroll in an insurance plan. Some insurance companies require that you wait a period of time before your policy officially begins taking effect.


This is the amount that you are responsible for. Co-pay can vary a lot, so check your policy to find out what portion of the bill you may be responsible for. Also, keep in mind that you might have to pay a co-pay after or even before your visit.

Out-Of-Pocket Cost

This is the amount that you are paying out of your own pocket, so to speak. The insurance company is not responsible for out-of-pocket costs; those are generally the member’s responsibility. If, however, you believe that your bill displays a higher out-of-pocket cost than it should, make sure to double-check with your dentist’s office and/or your insurance company. After all, mistakes can occasionally happen during the billing process. Missing or incorrectly filling out the paperwork can also contribute to insurance errors.

Pediatric Dentist Tennessee

Here at Snodgrass-King Dental, we know that getting high-quality, affordable dental care for children can be difficult. That’s why we strive to offer the best dental care that we possibly can. We also have a handful of awesome new-patient specials. This way, scheduling your child’s first dentist appointment can seem a little less daunting. Check out our home page to see our current discounts.

Great value aside, however, our practice also offers quality service. Snodgrass-King Dental is proud to have some truly amazing staff on our team. Both our adult and pediatric dentists have many years of specialized training and practice under their belt.

Whether you’re looking for a filling, crown, tooth extraction, or even a simple cleaning, we’re the dental office for the task.

To schedule an appointment, simply give your closest Snodgrass-King Dental office a call. In the meantime, feel free to get to know our dentists by visiting one of our “Meet The Doctors” pages. Here, you’ll be able to meet some of the team members that will be overseeing your dental health.