Disclosure: I am a Florida KidCare ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own.
As a parent (and a person who has a chronic illness), making sure we are properly insured has always been top-of-mind. I think it’s one of the first signs that you are properly adulting.
And it’s not just about health care, it’s about dental care as well. I know, I know. It doesn’t sound fun, right?
I was recently talking to some girlfriends and we all agreed that we had less than ideal experiences with dentists as children.
I think that’s a product of our parents maybe not having as much information as they needed and definitely a sign of the times. For example, did you know that you should take your child to the dentist by age 1? ONE. I have a picture on the day of the Frog Princess’s first birthday party clearly showing me brushing her teeth. Breaking news: there was barely a tooth there.
I didn’t realize it until much later that this was a great time to begin her relationship with a pediatric dentist.
After I lost my job, there was the question of insurance. Thankfully, I was enrolled in Florida KidCare. I didn’t know it at the time but, this meant that not only was my girl covered with health insurance, she also had a great dental health plan.
Although I have harrowing experiences with the dentist in my memory banks, I refused to let that stop me from learning what I needed to learn and getting the Frog Princess the dental care that she needed. I was grateful to Florida KidCare for covering the costs associated with her care.
Because, y’all… my baby had a little baby cavity that had to be taken care of! I may or may not have been a ball of nerves but, she did well during the procedure and I could concentrate on stressing out about whether or not she was okay (because she was) and not wondering how I would pay for the visit to the pediatric dentist.
Why Dental Care is Important
As I read through resources around dental health, I found some astonishing statistics. For example, did you know that kids dealing with poor dental health are 3 times more likely to miss school? It’s hard to go to school when you have a toothache. I imagine even when you do to go school, it would be hard to perform at your peak when you’re in pain. I mean, toothaches rank right up there with labor, in my book.
Another statistic? In a Los Angeles study, dental problems were responsible for about 1/3 of elementary school absences, among children from economically vulnerable families. Kids are suffering in more ways than one by not having proper dental care.
In Florida, we have the possibility of getting the 147,000 kids that are eligible for Florida KidCare, but not yet enrolled, free or low-cost coverage! That means that we can get more kids started on a lifetime habit of good dental care and ease their parents’ minds when it comes to the stress of lacking health care coverage.
I’ll never know if my inaction early on regarding dental health is what caused my baby girl’s cavity.
But I do know that having KidCare made it easier and less costly to get her the care that she needed. For that, I’m very grateful!
Florida KidCare Facts:
- Open enrollment is year-round (yup, you can apply today).
- Children are eligible for Florida KidCare even if one or both parents are working.
- With Florida KidCare, you may be able to keep your pediatrician (I was able to when I was enrolled in the program).
- Most families pay nothing, and many pay as little as $15 or $20 a month.
- Lawfully residing immigrant children are eligible for coverage and immigration status will never be asked.
It’s never too late to get going. If you or a family you know is currently uninsured, it’s a good time to apply for Florida KidCare. Don’t know if you’ll qualify? Head on over and start an application. Your kids (and your pockets) will thank you for it.