Simple Ways to Reduce Dental Costs
Simple Ways to Reduce Dental Costs–Let. Me start by saying, I do not like the dentist office, not one bit. My teeth aren’t the greatest but they aren’t the worst out their either. My daughter on the other hand has pretty teeth on the outside, but inside they are a mess. She gets that from me, so over the years her mouth has cost us a pretty penny. It is worth it because there isn’t anything better than a pretty smile. But we have had to get creative a few times to pay for it.
For many, visiting the dentist is a necessary but often terrifying event. Just calling to schedule an appointment leaves them feeling sick. Not only are visits often unpleasant, they can also be costly. But I have learned the hard way that a good dentist isn’t miserable to go see. But the one that we take our daughter to is a little more costly. Here are some simple ways to keep dental visits and the resulting costs to a minimum; setting you on the path to a happy wallet and a healthy smile.
1. Eat foods that are good for teeth and gums. These include banana, guava, oranges, and papayas, green beans, soybeans, and vegetables with dark green leaves. Clean water, coconut water, and milk are much better options than sweetened drinks. I quit drinking large amounts of pop and my teeth have really benefited. I know it sounds crazy but it does work!!
2. Wear protective head gear when playing sports and participating in other rough outdoor activities to reduce the risk of dental damage. My daughter and us as parents learned this the hard way. One ball game cost us over $500 in front teeth repairs when a cheap mouth guard would have saved us hundreds!!
3. Preventive dentistry: We are all familiar with the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first uttered the words. Studies suggest that for every dollar spent towards preventive dental treatments like twice a year cleanings, fluoride treatments and exams can, as a result, save as much as $8 to $50 per visit. We also learned this the hard way, so now we make sure our daughter goes twice a year and have already saved!!
Flossing and brushing will dramatically reduce dental visits if performed regularly. Investing in a waterpik is also a good way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. **Thank you Dr. Whitaker for that tidbit of information!! Just a few minutes twice a day can save you a great amount of pain and money.
4. Say no to frequent x-rays. If you have good oral health it is not necessary to have dental x-rays taken at every visit. Having your teeth x-rayed less frequently can save you a substantial amount of money and also keep your exposure to harmful radiation to a minimum. Our dentist does them twice a year at check ups and if he sees something he wants to check out he does them in between visits. But that doesn’t happen very often.
5. Try the barter system. Patients with certain skills and professionals such as carpentry or web design may be able to trade for services. Dental hygienists often work independent of the dentist, even when they are located in the same office. So even if the dentist doesn’t want to barter, the hygienist might. I offered mine free advertising on my website and he took it!! Talk about a deal!!
6. Consider having your dental work done at a dental school. Before students can work on customers, they have to reach a certain amount of training. So the work you receive is good, costs a fraction of what a standard dentist would charge and the students get the much-needed practice.—I wish we had one around here, but if wishes were fishes is what I’ve always heard.
7. Another way to cut the cost of dental treatment is to talk with your dentist or dental surgeon about fees and payment options during your initial visit. Many dental offices have payment plans available, if you ask. If a procedure is going to be expensive, ask about dental financing. Companies such as CareCredit (This has saved my hide a few times) and ClearChoice will finance the dental procedure and allow you to make small monthly payments. Although you have to be careful because the interest rate will kill you, so we always pay double what we have to when we do use it.
Everyone loves a healthy, beautiful smile. With a little forethought and effort, some common sense and an open line of communication with your dental professional, you will find many reasons to flash those pearly whites for many years to come. Keep smiling and happy brushing!
How do you save money and reduce the cost of your dental care?