It’s no secret that dental care is expensive. In fact, many adults will often go three years between their dental appointments. While routine cleanings are often free with dental insurance, fillings and more can take a chunk out of your budget. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, out-of-pocket spending for dental services increased 1.8% five years ago and has been on the rise since. Those expenses aren’t cheap for our kids, either, even though we want what’s best for our kids and their health.
The good news is that there are a few ways you can make sure that your kids get the dental care they need even while juggling your expenses. Here are a few tips you can use to make dental care for your child just a little bit more affordable.
Avoid acidic and sugary drinks
One of the best ways you can help to make your child’s dental care more affordable is by helping them avoid cavities in the first place. This goes beyond cutting back on sugary snacks. Energy drinks today are incredibly popular with kids and teens, but these drinks result in twice as much enamel loss as exposure to sports drinks. Avoid letting your kids drink energy drinks and other sugary and acidic beverages like sodas and sparkling water. Opt instead for water and juice beverages low in sugar content.
Promote foods that are good for your teeth
It’s not just that some foods, like those high in carbohydrates and sugar, are bad for your child’s teeth. Some foods are actually better for your child’s teeth than others. For instance, if your child loves mac n’ cheese, that’s not a bad thing. While pasta noodles are carbohydrates themselves, the cheese in the mac gives your child’s teeth the calcium they need to stay strong and healthy. Apples and strawberries are also great for your child’s teeth because they help keep the tooth’s surface squeaky clean.
Visit a Dental School
Dentists need to start somewhere before they can transition in or out of a dental practice. Some dental schools offer free cleanings to adults and kids as a way to teach students how to interact with patients and how to clean their teeth.
Check out Give Kids a Smile
In collaboration with the Minnesota Dental Association, dentists and generous sponsors volunteer every year across the state to participate in Give Kids a Smile. This program offers free dental care to kids in need and takes place annually on the first Friday and Saturday of February. Make sure to book your appointment if you’re interested in the event. Last year, the Minnesota Dental Association collaborated with over 1,200 dental professionals at 100 clinics across the state.
It can be tricky to keep your kids’ teeth healthy and happy throughout the year while sticking to your budget. However, by promote healthy food and drink options and reaching out to your local community, you can make affordable dental care a possibility.