September 9, 2017
Every parent knows that their child needs to go to the dentist, but this fact doesn’t really help if you feel like you can’t actually afford to take them. Every year, millions of parents feel like they have to choose between their budget and their children’s smiles, and neither choice really feels like the right one. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can help you save hundreds of dollars a year on dental care AND keep your child’s smile safe and healthy at the same time.
Here are 3 easy ways to make your child’s dental care more affordable.
1. It all starts at home…
…with consistent brushing and flossing. Most children only visit the dentist twice a year, so for the other 363 days, it’s their dental care at home that really matters. By far, the best way to save on your child’s dental care is to focus on prevention, and brushing and flossing are the keys to this.
Your child should brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day and floss once in the evening. If you have issues getting your child to brush, try to make a game out of it: play a little song for the two minutes or try to “race” them and see who can clean all of their teeth first.
With this simple daily routine, you can prevent many dental problems from developing in the first place, which brings us to…
2. Checkups and cleanings are essential
Tying into what we just talked about, regularly seeing your child’s dentist is also extremely important for keeping their dental care affordable. How so? Because by bringing them in for basic checkups and cleanings, you’ll give your dentist a chance to stop dental issues from developing in the first place and treat those they might have before they can get serious.
Let’s look at some numbers.
A standard preventive visit, consisting of an exam, cleaning, and x-rays, on average, costs about $150. The cost of fixing a tooth with a filling? About $200. A crown? Easily over $1,000. Preventive appointments are not only much cheaper than simply repairing the teeth, but they can prevent your child from needing expensive services in the first place!
Of course, if you’re concerned about the cost of these preventive services, there is a way you can have them covered as well…
3. How dental insurance can help
With a dental insurance plan, the preventive services we just mentioned are usually completely covered. Dental insurance, unlike traditional medical insurance, is focused on preventing problems rather than fixing them because that is the best way to spend less money on dental care.
A standard dental insurance plan costs about $40 per person per month in premiums, and this typically covers not only preventive services, but part of restorative care as well. Just by getting your child’s two checkups and cleanings per year, the plan will practically pay for itself and save them from needing to get more expensive procedures that will cost more out of pocket.
Whether you get a plan through your employer or directly from a provider, it’s another way to easily save money on your child’s dental care. In fact, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, having dental benefits was one of the biggest factors in a child getting all of their dental needs met each year. That’s because, even with a bare-bones plan, dental insurance consistently helps people significantly save on their dental care, making them much more likely to take their child to the dentist.
With these 3 strategies, you’ll easily save money whenever your child goes to the dentist, and their smile will be healthier year after year as well. Now, you can take your child to the dentist and not only get a beautiful smile, but peace of mind as well.
About the Author
Dr. Ehfad Shah is a family, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Maricopa, AZ. He currently practices at Cobblestone Dental Center, and to learn more about everything you’ve just read, he can be contacted through his website here.
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