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Pediatric Dentistry

How Does Obamacare Affect Dental Care?

Here are some basic questions and answers about dental and vision coverage. Q. Will I be required to buy pediatric dental care if I purchase insurance on the exchange?

A. Most likely, no. Children’s dental care may be included in some plans offered on the marketplaces as part of the medical coverage you are required to buy. But many insurers may offer it as a stand-alone policy, which you are not required to buy under by federal law but may be required by states. At least two—Nevada and Washington—are requiring this coverage. For children the insurance will help pay for the cost of visits to a dentist for basic or preventive services, like teeth cleaning, X-rays and fillings and medically necessary orthodontics.

Q. Are adults required to get dental coverage?

A. No, but insurers may offer stand-alone dental policies for adults and families. These will not be subsidized, however.

Q. Is it common for health insurers to not offer dental care as part of comprehensive health insurance?

A. Overwhelmingly, dental benefits are contracted and sold separately from medical plans in the current market. The National Association of Dental Plans says 99 percent of dental benefits are sold under a policy that is separate from medical coverage, according to its July 2013 ACA and Dental Coverage report.

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Preparing Your Child for the Dentist

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dental health is just as important for children and their baby teeth as it is for adults. Children should ideally start having regular checkups around their first birthday. It’s normal for kids to feel nervous about their first visit, since this is a new experience for them. Parents can help their children feel less anxious by preparing them ahead of time and explaining what to expect. Prepare Through Play

Using playtime as a way to prepare kids for their introduction to the world of pediatric dentistry can be highly effective. Parents and children can pretend that they’re at the dentist for a checkup and exam, which will help kids understand what will happen at the actual visit. Children can pretend to be the dentist and examine and clean the teeth of their favorite stuffed animals.

Watch Your Words

Parents should be careful about the words they use when talking to their children about visiting the dentist. Words like “pain” or “hurt” should be avoided, and emphasis should be placed on making the visit seem positive. Parents can talk about how Dr. Kristen Ritzau, DDS will check their child’s smile and see how many teeth they have.

Use Books and Shows

There are plenty of children’s books that focus on visits to the dentist and tooth care. Parents can make these books part of their child’s bedtime reading routine before their first visit to Dr. Ritzau's dental office in San Clemente, CA. Some children’s TV shows have also dealt with this topic and made dental check-ups seem much less frightening and much more fun for kids.

Educate Them About Their Teeth

Children should already be used to having their teeth brushed daily by the time they visit a pediatric dentistry office like Dr. Ritzau's for the first time. Parents can use brushing as a way to explain why it’s important for children to take care of their teeth, which includes going for regular checkups.

Visit the Office Beforehand

As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Kristen Ritzau, DDS understands how nervous children can be before their first visit, and encourages parents bring their children into the office beforehand. This gives children a chance to meet the staff and have a look around the place, which will make it seem a bit more familiar when they come in for their first appointment!