It’s no secret that dental care is crucial to your health. But because dental care is often not included in your overall healthcare plan, it can be tricky to find affordable options that don’t take a chunk out of your savings when you need them. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can get the dental treatment you need without spending a small fortune. Here are five affordable dental care options for when you need to save money and your teeth.
Be as preventative as possible
The best way to keep the costs of dental treatment down is by taking preventative measures against cavities and other dental problems. It only takes 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. Make sure that you’re brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day. Flossing helps to get of plaque and bacteria where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Don’t try DIY dental care
The average length of time a person needs braces is approximately two years. While orthodontic care can sometimes be expensive, it’s crucial not to try and DIY your own dental care at the risk of your own health and safety. In the last few years, DIY braces have become a dangerous fad with young adults. However, “braces” like these can not only do more harm than good to your teeth but they also put the rest of your health at risk, too, due to circulatory issues. Leave dental care and orthodontic care to the professionals.
Visit dental schools for cleanings
A great way you can save on dental cleanings and fillings is by going to visit a clinic that’s associated with a dental school. Dental school clinics provide students with hands-on experience while also offering patients a reduced price for their cleanings. Depending on the services available at the clinic, you may be able to get a free exam and X-ray or even cleanings at the low cost of $25.
Save yourself a trip to the ER
If you’re in extreme pain because of an infected tooth, you can save yourself several hundred dollars by avoiding the Emergency Room. Even if the pain feels like it warrants an ER visit, only a dentist has the ability to operate on a tooth. Emergency Room doctors won’t be able to help. That said, there are urgent dental care services available to you when situations like this happen. In fact, in 2016 alone, the average U.S. urgent care center reported an average of over 15,000 patient care visits.
Get involved with a nonprofit program
There are many national nonprofits and local community service organizations that can connect low-income residents to dentists and orthodontists who may donate their services. If you’re in need of dental care and you’re within a certain percentage of the federal poverty level, you may be able to qualify for these programs. Reach out to your local community organizations to determine your eligibility.
Dental care is important to your health, but it can be tricky to manage. By following the tips above, you can take better care of your teeth without putting your finances in jeopardy.