Regardless of whether you have dental insurance, dental care costs can be high. According to costhelper.com, the average payment for a basic teeth cleaning is currently between $50 and $135. The addition of x-rays and dental exam more than doubles that price. Plus, every cavity you need filled will cost you approximately $100; the worse the cavity, the higher the cost.
How can you reduce your dental care costs without compromising your dental health? There are several ways to accomplish just that with these simple and practical tips.
Most dentists suggest that you pay for dental x-rays annually, although the American Dental Association (ADA) states that the frequency of x-rays should be determined by your current dental health. If you are an adult whose dental health is in good condition, it is unnecessary to have dental x-rays taken every year. Save yourself money and radiation exposure by having x-rays taken less frequently.
Most dental offices offer a fluoride treatment that strengthens your teeth and reduces your risk of tooth decay. This treatment has a higher concentration of fluoride than anything you can buy over the counter, such as toothpaste or mouth rinse. According to WebMD, fluoride treatments are especially critical for developing teeth in children aged 6 months to 16 years. Due to this fact, it is a good idea to opt for the higher concentration fluoride treatments offered in the dentist’s office if you have a child. For adults, however, using ACT mouth rinse daily is just as beneficial in fighting tooth decay and costs significantly less than the dental fluoride treatment offered.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Periodontology discovered that daily flossing reduces the amount of gum disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This means that taking the 30 seconds to floss your teeth each day will significantly improve your gum health, decrease your risk of cavities between the teeth and reduce your risk of needing a tooth pulled out. If you are looking for a way to save money on periodontal disease costs, simply buy a package of dental floss and commit to using it daily.
Dentist Terrence Griffin explained in an interview with WebMD that the average number of brush-strokes received with a manual hand-held toothbrush is about 600 and with an electric or sonic toothbrush it is in the range of thousands. High-tech toothbrushes typically clean your teeth better than you do with a regular hand-held toothbrush. Investing in a high-tech toothbrush is well-worth the upfront cost as the reduction in dental care costs will quickly follow.
It is well-known that sugary foods and drinks cause tooth decay. The more contact your teeth have with sugar, the likelier you are to have tooth decay. Either limit your intake or brush your teeth after consuming a lot of sugar. Removing soda from your diet will increase your overall health along with your dental health. So, reduce your sugar intake and you will reduce your dental costs.
Oral Cancer Screening
As part of a routine check-up, your dentist will inspect your mouth for oral cancer. This is a simple exam that your dentist performs visually and without extra cost. Additional exams that test for oral cancer are rarely covered by insurance and have not been proven to be any more effective at locating oral cancer than the traditional visual exam. Additional oral cancer screening systems include ViziLite, MicroLux, Velscope and Orascoptic. Sticking with the free visual screening rather than the expensive additional screening is a great way to save on dental costs.
There are often great deals, specials and coupons to save on dentistry. Look in your local newspaper and weekly mail advertisements for local dental deals. Websites like groupon sporadically offer dental special in your area. If you know of some dentists that you like, check their website every so often for coupons and deals.
Today, costs for everything are increasing, so save money where you can. It is easy to save on dental care costs without compromising your dental health.
American Dental Association, “X-rays”, ada.org
WebMD, “Dental Health and Flouride Treatment”, webmd.com
American Academy of Periodontology, “Floss Your Teeth–On the Double”, perio.org
WebMD, “Electric Toothbrushes: Are they for you?”, webmd.com
Alan Carr DMD, “Mouth Cancer”, Mayoclinic.com
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