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A child’s oral health correlates with their quality of life and overall health. Common dental issues, like cavities, can interfere with developing habits such as speaking and eating.1
As your child grows, their teeth will change frequently. You’ll need to take them to the dentist regularly to:2
Dental insurance can help you access affordable, regular dental care for your children. Oral healthcare is an essential health benefit. Insurance can reduce costs for routine and emergency care.
Choosing a plan for your child can be confusing. We’ve researched the best pediatric dental insurance to help you make the best choice.
We’ve picked our top five pediatric dental plans based on the following criteria:
You and your child’s needs may vary. We’ve selected a few dental plans that stand out for different reasons. Always investigate the details of a plan more closely to see if it’s right for your family.
Humana is a major insurance carrier in the U.S. We recommend it for families because its plans offer dental coverage that expands as children age. They have different needs at different ages, so Humana keeps you covered as your family grows.
Humana Dental offers three plans with different price points and coverage. For a family plan, we recommend the Loyalty Plus tier.
Some key features of Loyalty Plus include:
You can still access adequate dental insurance with a tighter budget. Guardian Dental is our top choice for affordable plans.
They have four plan options at different price points. Their cheapest plan, the Starter, has a monthly premium of $15. However, we believe the best family dental plan comes with the Achiever plan at $29 a month.
On Guardian Dental’s Achiever plan, you get:
Delta Dental is a popular insurance provider that exclusively offers dental plans. We think it’s ideal if you already have health insurance and need to add a separate dental plan.
Another advantage of Delta Dental is its wide variety of plans, including PPO, HMO, managed fee for service, and discount plans.
We suggest the Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier, which offers:
However, the monthly premium for this plan may be higher than the other options.
MetLife sells many types of insurance: life, home and auto, disability, vision, and dental. You can purchase a dental plan directly from them or receive MetLife through your employer.
We like MetLife for veterans and their families because they offer a veteran-specific plan. Their Veteran Dental Plan offers a Standard and High option, depending on your budget.
We recommend the High option for families since it only covers orthodontia. It also offers:
The drawback of the plan is that the waiting period for orthodontia is exceptionally long, at 24 months. However, there are no waiting periods for any other services.
UnitedHealthcare is a major insurance carrier that provides health insurance, dental, and vision. We think it’s the most flexible option because you can bundle plans together or buy dental coverage as a supplement.
Another advantage of UnitedHealthcare is how widely accepted it is. The carrier has a vast network of providers across the country.
For dental insurance, you can choose from four tiers of plans. We recommend one of the Primary Preferred plans because it includes major services, such as oral surgery.
It also features:
The major drawback of a UnitedHealthcare dental plan is that none of them include orthodontic services. If you anticipate your child needing braces, you should shop at a different provider.
The monthly premium for dental insurance ranges from $15 to $70.
It depends on several factors, including:
Your monthly premium isn’t the only out-of-pocket expense. Other costs will be associated with your insurance plan:
|Monthly Premium||Deductible||Copay||Coinsurance||Annual Maximum|
|Humana||$18 to $44+||$50 per individual, $150 per family||N/A||0% for preventative, 20-50% for basic after deductible, 50-80% for major||$1,000 to $1,500 per person|
|Guardian Dental||$15 to $37+||$0 for preventative, $50 for all other dental services||$0 for preventative; other copays may apply||0-20% for preventative, 20-50% for basic, 50% for major||$500 to $1,500 per person|
|Delta Dental||$24.21 to $61||$50 per individual, $150 per family||$0 for most basic services; other copays may apply||0% for preventative and emergency, 20-50% for basic, up to 50% for major and orthodontia||No maximum on most services; $1,000 per person on specialty services|
|MetLife for Veterans||$26 to $180||$0 in network||N/A||0% for preventative and basic, 50-70% for major, 50% for orthodontia||$1,000 to $3,500 per person|
|United Healthcare||$23.50 to $46.11+||$50 per person||N/A||0% for preventative, 35% for basic after 1st year, 50% for major after 1st year||$1,000 per person|
Oral health directly impacts overall health for people of all ages.3 Children may be especially vulnerable since their mouths are still developing.
According to the American Dental Association, children should visit the dentist by age one or when their first baby tooth emerges.4
Without proper dental attention, children may face oral health issues that interfere with their quality of life. Tooth decay, also called dental caries or cavities, is the most common dental disease in early childhood.
Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to:5
Both routine and emergency services can be expensive. Dental insurance can make accessing care for your child more affordable. Studies show that people with insurance are 17% more likely to access dental care than people without it.6
Consider purchasing pediatric dental insurance if it enables you to get your family the care they need.
With so many choices on the market, it’s essential to understand how to evaluate dental insurance plans. You should look at several key features of each plan:
You’ll want a plan that covers everything your child might need. Preventative and diagnostic care and basic services (cavity fillings, tooth extractions) are necessary for children of all ages.
Ensure that providers in your area accept the insurance. If you want to visit a pediatric or family dentist, do specific searches for specialty providers in the network.
Evaluate the monthly premium, copays, coinsurance, and other related expenses.
Some insurance plans have waiting periods that must pass before you can access dental benefits.
Preventative services are usually immediately accessible, with waiting periods for major services or orthodontia. If you need a particular benefit fast, check the related waiting period.
Most plans have an annual maximum benefit or the amount the provider will spend on a person in a year. Double-check the annual maximum if you expect to need significant or expensive services in a year.
If you have teenagers, you may need to consider adding benefits for orthodontia (braces or clear aligners) and oral surgery (wisdom teeth removal). Not every dental plan covers these services, so check the details carefully.
Dental insurance plans aren’t the only way to save money and ensure access to dental care for your children. One alternative is buying a dental savings plan (or a dental discount plan).
With dental insurance, there’s a monthly premium to have part or all of the costs of care covered by your insurance carrier. On a dental savings plan, you pay a monthly or annual fee to get discounts on services from participating providers. There are no copays, coinsurance, or annual maximums.
A dental discount plan can save you money if insurance is out of your budget. It’s also a smart option if you don’t anticipate visiting the dental office frequently in a year.
You can purchase a dental savings plan online at DentalPlans.com or directly from other carriers. Signing yourself or your family up for one is simple. You’ll have an annual or monthly fee, typically $100 to $200 yearly.
Once you join, you can access discounted services at any provider who accepts the plan. A participating provider will charge you a flat rate, usually 10 to 60% off their normal rate. You’ll pay them directly instead of going through an insurance carrier.
Dental savings plans are affordable because they require a low annual fee to get discounts when needed. You may save money on an insurance plan’s monthly premium.
Other positives about dental discount plans include:
Dental discount plans can help you save money. However, evaluating each plan’s details for its features and benefits is crucial.
We’ve rounded up the three best dental savings plans for families with children. We’ve chosen them for the variety of plans, discount percentages, and network of participating providers.
We recommend using DentalPlans.com to find your perfect dental discount plan. It’s a tool that helps match you with a plan with everything you need.
You can search for plans by:
Their website is easy to use. You can compare plans side by side and use their savings calculator to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
DentalPlans.com boasts that their members save an average of 58% on dental work nationwide.
Careington Dental Savings Plans is another provider of discount plans. They have three tiers of plans to choose from.
Their most basic plan, the Care POS, starts at $179 yearly for families and offers 20-50% off dental services. The mid-tier plan, the 500 Series, starts at $209 annually for families, with a 20-60% discount range.
Careington’s most sophisticated plan is the 500 Series Plus. It starts at $229 annually for families with 20-60% off services. Additionally, it includes:
You can use Careington’s search tool to find the plans available in your area. You can also search their provider network if you have a preferred dental health practitioner.
Aetna is a primary insurance provider in the US that also offers dental savings plans. Their dental-exclusive plan is called Aetna Dental Access. It starts at $179 per year for families.
The benefits of Aetna Dental Access include:
A few states don’t qualify for Aetna Dental Access, including CA, MT, SD, VA, and WA.
You can also purchase a dental savings plan from Aetna that bundles vision or prescription medication benefits.
Dental insurance and dental savings plans are excellent options for affordable dental health care for children. They each have their advantages and drawbacks.
Comparing each option can help you better understand your child’s dental needs.
|Dental Insurance for Kids||Dental Savings Plans for Kids|
|Averages $15 to $70 a month||Averages $100 to $200 a year|
|Limits annual maximum insurance will cover||No annual limit on discounts|
|Preventative care typically covered in full||Discounted rate for preventative care|
|Basic or major services covered 20 to 50%||Get 15 to 60% off all services|
|Orthodontia not always covered||Orthodontia qualifies for discounts|
|Waiting periods may apply for some services||No waiting periods for any services|
Dental insurance typically costs between $15 and $70 a month. The monthly premium may be higher for families than individuals.
Other expenses associated with pediatric dental insurance include copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
You should take your child to the dentist around one year old or when their first baby tooth comes in. If you want to use insurance for these visits, add them to your plan before they turn one.
Yes, Medicaid covers dental for children. If your child is on Medicaid, they will receive preventative care, treatment for pain or infection, and restorative tooth care.
If dental insurance will help you access dental care for your family, it’s worth it. You can also explore dental savings plans as an alternative.
Not all plans cover orthodontic treatment like braces. You must specifically select a plan that includes orthodontia. It may cost more than other plans that don’t include it.
Dental insurance can help you access affordable dental care for your family. Children need ongoing attention as their oral health develops and changes.
Many insurance carriers provide dental plans for families. Our five best plans immediately give you access to preventative care for free. They offer other benefits for major services and orthodontia, low monthly premiums, and broad provider networks.
Every dental insurance plan is different. You must research each plan's details and choose which makes the most sense for your family. Dental savings plans can make a good alternative if insurance isn’t appropriate for your needs.
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