Benjamin Franklin famously quipped, “nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.” While there’s no denying the inevitability of either, the fact that this famous founding father lost most of his teeth before he died seems to support adding “dental care” to that list of things we can’t—or, at least, shouldn’t—avoid.
With the necessity of taxes, it’s common to want to seek out all available opportunities to protect your finances. In fact, with the tax filing deadline right around the corner, millions of Americans are re-running the numbers, making sure they’ve caught every deduction and credit available to them. Just as taxes are essential in life, so is maintaining our health. A major aspect of our health resides in our mouth. So, the question we’re asking is: How can getting the best dental care be more affordable?
Making dental care more affordable in 3 simple steps:
While saving money on your taxes can be a very complex undertaking that’s prone to error, saving money on dental care doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, three simple steps you can easily start taking today can make a world of difference when it comes to controlling oral health care costs.
Step 1: Take care of your oral health at home
The single best—and least expensive—way to save on dental care is to take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home.
That means brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day, flossing between your teeth at least once a day, and rinsing at least once each day with an antibacterial mouthwash. Additionally, the types of foods you choose to eat and those you choose to avoid have an impact on how strong and healthy your teeth are.
By taking care of your teeth the best you can at home, you minimize the amount of professional help you’ll need to keep them strong and healthy throughout your life.
Step 2: Prioritize your semi-annual dental cleaning and exam
If you’re handling the first step well, it can be deceptively easy to skip Step Two. After all, you’re not in any pain, your teeth look and feel great. So why waste time and money visiting the dentist every six months?
This is dangerous thinking, however.
The dental hygienist handling your semi-annual cleaning is going to be able to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth that no amount of brushing at home would be able to eliminate. At the same time, the hygienist and the dentist take this opportunity every six months to perform a thorough visual examination of your mouth, including x-rays as needed to inspect the jaw bone and the roots of your teeth.
This examination not only ensures that any oral health problems that may be developing below the surface are diagnosed early for easy treatment, but it provides insight into potentially serious health concerns that may not present with symptoms for months or years as they affect other parts of your body.
"The dental hygienist handling your semi-annual cleaning is going to be able to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth that no amount of brushing at home would be able to eliminate. "
For example, during a routine examination, your dentist can potentially diagnose diabetes, high blood pressure, systemic infections, and even certain kinds of cancer, all of which can be life threatening.
To cap this step off, the sooner your dentist is able to diagnose issues that need to be addressed, the less likely you are to run into a far more costly, not to mention more painful, emergency dental situation down the road that could have been avoided if it were caught earlier.
Step 3: Take advantage of a dental discount program
The final step can easily save you up to 50% off the normal retail cost of routine services, like the cleaning and exam described above, and more advanced dental services like root canal therapy, extractions, bridges, and crowns.
A dental discount program requires a small monthly or annual fee for access to a nationwide network of participating dentists who have agreed to offer significant discounts off their normal fees for various dental procedures. A program like Dental Solutions costs just $9.95 per month for everyone in the household to receive these discounts.
By following these three simple steps, you can make sure that quality dental care—inevitable as it may be—can still be affordable.