If you’re pregnant, adding your tot to your dental plan probably isn’t on your pre-baby to-do list. But there are a few tooth tips for you and your growing baby. And once your bundle of joy arrives, here are 3 things to know about getting them started with good dental health:
1. Notify your benefit provider.
How you notify your benefit provider will depend on how you’re covered. If you’re covered through work, contact human resources. If you have an individual or family plan, contact the benefit provider directly.
2. Add your baby soon.
Having a baby is considered a life event, so you can enroll your baby right after birth. Benefit providers typically require newborns be added within 30 days after birth. Otherwise, the next opportunity may not be until the next open enrollment period for the benefit plan.
And remember, adding a new baby may affect the type of benefit plan. For example, adding a child may require changing the plan from covering just you to also covering a dependent or covering you and your spouse to covering the family.
3. Care for your baby’s smile now.
Dental care should begin soon after birth. Dentists recommend wiping your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or soft infant toothbrush after meals. Once the first tooth erupts, start brushing gently with a soft, baby-sized toothbrush twice a day.
On average, kids in South Dakota don’t visit the dentist until they are 3 years old. That’s 2 years too late. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment by age 1.
As your baby gets bigger, teach good care of teeth. Simple preventive care, including brushing and flossing daily and regular dental visits can help small smiles grow up healthy. Learn how to care for kids’ smiles at every age.
If you have questions about adding a new child to your dental benefits, call us toll-free 1-800-627-3961.