Due to the high cost of paying out-of-pocket for dental for care, many Americans have concluded that affordable dental care is simply not available these days. While most children have access to basic dental coverage, adults on a tight budget tend to ignore their oral health in favor of saving money and only end up obtaining dental care when an emergency necessitates it.
Does that describe you or another member of your family? If so, what can you do to save money while still caring effectively for your oral health?
Battling the budget
Budgeting for dental care can be challenging, but there are options to save.
While more Americans than ever before have access to some level of major medical insurance, fewer of them have dental coverage, as most health insurance plans don't provide coverage for routine or advanced dental services.
However, there are alternative non-insurance options available for controlling the cost of dental care, and it's even possible for simple changes in behavior to help you and your family save money on needed dental care. Here are 4 ways to save on dental care:
Maintain proper oral hygiene
Don't wait until a dental issue occurs. Be preventative to keep a healthy mouth.
One of the best things you can do to save money on dental care is to take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home by carrying out those same daily habits we've been hearing about since we were toddlers:
- Brushing at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Using an antimicrobial mouthwash when necessary
- Scheduling routine cleanings and examinations at the dentist every six months
These aren't difficult habits to establish and they don't cost much, but they will offer tremendous benefits:
- Prevent teeth staining and lead to a whiter smile
- Fresher breath
- Reduced chances of tooth decay
- Reduced threat of gum disease
- Lower incidence of other more serious conditions your dentist can help diagnose and treat
"Failing to establish and maintain proper dental hygiene greatly increases your chance of suffering from pain... "
Failing to establish and maintain proper dental hygiene through these habits greatly increases your chance of suffering from pain or worse, and will almost surely end up costing you far more to resolve these issues than it would have to prevent them.
Partner with your dentist
Treat your dentist as your ally for tips to remain healthy and afford care.
When it comes to your dentist, any service they professionally recommend is an investment in your health, not just an expense. When you're at your six-month check-up, don't rush through your chance to discuss any concerns or questions you have and be sure to listen carefully to the dentist's recommendations.
Investing a small amount in prevention now can save huge expenses down the road when a minor tooth problem becomes a major issue. Knowing the state of dental coverage today, many dental offices offer creative financing options like discount dental care for uninsured patients or the option to make monthly payments.
Always be prepared
It's easy to downgrade the importance of proactive oral health when your mouth isn't giving you any trouble.
A smart budget should help you cover the cost of maintaining healthy habits and keep you prepared for potential unexpected costs as well. By budgeting for at least one additional dental expense per year, you could help yourself afford a cavity, loose filling, or cracked tooth that comes up without warning.
Look into a discount dental card
For a monthly membership fee under $10, you and your family can join a dental discount plan. These programs offer 20%-50% savings off the full price of routine and advanced dental care, even including cosmetic repair and orthodontics.
If you're still concerned that you may not be able to afford quality dental care, click here to explore the features available through Dental Solutions.