Tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood – and, it can be prevented! Tooth decay is caused by bacteria interacting with sugars in the mouth. The bacteria can be passed from mother to baby when, for example, they share spoons or cups. Take children to the dentist by their first birthday and then schedule regular dental check-ups throughout childhood.
Tooth decay can cause children significant pain, loss of school days and can lead to other infections. Dental disease can result in difficulty eating and speaking, and can interfere with physical and social development and school performance. Good oral health practices at home and regular dental check-ups help children to have healthy teeth right from the start.
If your child doesn’t have dental insurance, he or she may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Medicaid and CHIP cover children’s dental services, such as teeth cleanings, check-ups, x-rays, fluoride, dental sealants and fillings. A family of four with income up to $47,700 or more may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP.
Through Florida KidCare, the state of Florida offers health insurance for children from birth through age 18, even if one or both parents are working. To learn more call 1-888-540-5437 or visit http://floridakidcare.org/. For more information about new, affordable health insurance options for the whole family through the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/