Dental hygiene is important to your child’s overall health now and in the future.

To start them on a good path of daily, lifelong dental habits, here’s some information and tips for children’s dental health.

Brushing

Brushing your teeth is a life skill every child needs to learn. The same rules for brushing teeth apply to kids and adults—2 minutes, 2 times a day—but your child may need a little encouragement along the way. Try some of these fun ideas to keep them motivated:

  • Play your child’s favorite song and have a 2-minute dance party
  • Read a 2-minute brushing story
  • Watch silly brushing videos, opens new window
  • Reward them with compliments, high-5s and small gifts like stickers once finished

Dental exams

Regular dental exams are a must for a child’s dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that toddlers and school-age children go every 6 months, but your dentist could recommend less or more frequent visits depending on your child’s needs.1

In addition to a teeth cleaning during each exam, the dentist might:2

  • Take digital dental X-rays
  • Repair cavities or tooth defects
  • Apply sealants—thin, protective plastic coatings—to permanent molars and other back teeth
  • Recommend pre-orthodontic treatment, such as a special mouthpiece, or orthodontic treatment, such as different types of braces, to straighten your child’s teeth or adjust the bite

The best foods for children’s dental health

Cavities are one of the most common dental problems in toddlers and children.3 To keep their teeth and body healthy, avoid sugary foods and drinks that are often disguised as healthy. Instead, offer these low sugar foods to prevent cavities at snacks and meals:

  • Cheese
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red peppers
  • Tomatoes

Fluoride can improve children’s dental health

Known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride prevents cavities by making tooth enamel more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride is also helpful for both baby and adult teeth, so it’s an important part of any kid’s dental care routine. Some ways your child can get fluoride include:4

  • Drink plenty of water—Fluoride is naturally found in nearly all water sources, and almost 75% of public water systems have fluoride added to the water supply.
  • Use toothpaste with added fluoride—Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance to make sure your child’s toothpaste has added fluoride.
  • Take a fluoride supplement—If your child needs additional fluoride, your dentist, pediatrician or family physician could write a prescription for tablets, drops or lozenges.
  • Get a professional fluoride application—To get a single, powerful dose of fluoride, your dentist could apply it directly to your child’s teeth with a gel, foam or rinse.

Humana offers family dental plans

If you’re a current Humana dental plan member, you may be able to add a dependent to your plan at any time. If you’re looking for a family dental plan, Humana offers a broad range of plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

Sources

  1. “Dental exam for children,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed January 11, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-exam-for-children/about/pac-20393745?p=1, opens new window.
  2. “Dental exam for children.”
  3. “What to Do If Your Child Has a Cavity — and How to Prevent More,” Healthline, last accessed January 12, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/childrens-health/cavities-in-kids, opens new window.
  4. “Fluoride,” American Dental Association, last accessed January 11, 2021, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluoride, opens new window.