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Your child’s smile is priceless. But the cost to keep that smile healthy has an impact on the family budget. On average, dental costs make up 20% of a child’s total health expenses. Dental care costs can be daunting — but the cost of not caring for teeth can be even bigger. In South Dakota,

3 Money-Saving Ways to Keep Young Smiles Healthy

Your child’s smile is priceless. But the cost to keep that smile healthy has an impact on the family budget. On average, dental costs make up 20% of a child’s total health expenses.

Dental care costs can be daunting — but the cost of not caring for teeth can be even bigger. In South Dakota, 1 in 5 children have untreated tooth decay, which can lead to future costs and health problems.

Save money on your child’s smile with these 3 tips:

1. TREAT BABY TEETH LIKE GROWNUP TEETH.

Just because we lose our baby teeth doesn’t mean we should neglect them. Tooth decay in baby teeth affects permanent teeth, creating future (and more expensive) dental problems. Kids should see the dentist regularly starting at age one, and establish a tooth care routine.

2. INVEST IN PREVENTATIVE CARE.

You have to spend money to save money! The national average cost for a child’s checkup is $61 without insurance. Meanwhile, the average cavity treatment costs $139.

Parents may also consider sealants for their child, which protect against cavities and can prevent future restorative costs.

Most insurance plans cover preventative services. Check with your employer about your dental benefits plan or learn what personaloption is best for you and your family.

3. USE YOUR INSURANCE.

Dental insurance is designed to save you money. See an in-network dental provider to get the most bang for your buck. You can also set up a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), if it’s offered through your employer.

Investing in your child’s smile is a worthwhile expense.