Children's dental care
You should start taking care of your teeth at a young age. You should clean your baby's mouth regularly even before the first teeth are cut. The first visit to the dentist could take place when the child cuts their first tooth or when the child is about one year old. You can get the first advice on oral health from a midwife or family nurse in your child's first year of life.
Home hygiene helps to prevent caries. You can start with constant monitoring already when the baby cuts their first teeth. It is recommended to start regularly visit a dentist, when the child is three years old. On the first visits, the parent could stay with the kid and support him or her. The most important thing is the positive experience you get from the first visits. Children who are already familiar with the dentist and have pleasant experiences will feel comfortable later at the dentist. When a child is afraid of the dentist, it requires patience from everyone.
Studies have shown that if the teeth are strong and healthy by the end of adolescence, treatment will not be needed for several decades. Thus, with the right hygiene habits and preventive controls, it is possible to avoid situations where a significant part of the savings will be spent on dentistry in adulthood.
School nurses also work with dentists to refer children for preventive examinations at the age of 7, 9 and 12. If a child needs dental care, it must be provided with the family's knowledge and approval. However, it should be checked whether the dentist has a contract with EHIF. Only then the service is free for the parent.
EHIF pays for dental care for insured persons under the age of 19. After the child has reached the age of 19, free dental care is provided for one year only, if the need for treatment arose during the last visit before the age of 19. Free service is available at the same dental care provider where the need for treatment was identified.
A parent has the right to choose a dentist for their child. However, always check that the chosen dentist has a contract with EHIF. EHIF's contractual partners are listed on the EHIF's website. If there is no contract, the parent must pay for the service in full and this money cannot be claimed from EHIF. EHIF pays only for the services listed in the EHIF list of health care services.
Family nurses and school nurses have the obligation to recommend (refer) dental disease prevention appointments - this is regulated both in the family physician's work instructions as well as in the regulation of school nurses work. If health care is provided without the presence of a parent - for example, organized by the school - the child must have their parent’s consent with them.
EHIF also finances children's orthodontics (including braces), but only in certain cases. This is done for the following severe diagnoses:
- the upper jaw reaches 9 mm or more over the lower jaw (prognathic bite with sagittal cavity 9 mm or more);
- the lower jaw reaches further than the upper jaw (progeny bite);
- there is no contact of the front teeth and only the posterior molars are in contact (occlusal if only molars are in contact);
- if the front incisor or eye tooth has not been cut in time (delayed incisor or canine teeth);
- if no more than one permanent tooth has formed on one side of the jaw (if an incisor, canine or more than one tooth on each side of the jaw are missing);
- cleft lip and cleft palate and other congenital malformations of the maxillofacial system;
- dental anomaly in severe or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, when adenotonsillectomy and positive air pressure therapy (CPAP) have not been effective;
- a deep traumatic bite in which case the lower incisors are in direct contact with the mucosa;
- lateral cross-bite along three or more teeth on one side of the jaw, in which the symmetry of the face and the development and growth of the jaws are significantly impaired.
In any other cases, EHIF does not compensate for orthodontic services for children.
Please bear in mind that even in the above cases, the provider must have a contract with EHIF. Only then EHIF can pay for the treatment. The same applies to services: if it is listed in the list of health care services, EHIF will pay for it.