As a parent, you know just how expensive raising kids can be. It may seem like every time you turn around, they need new clothes, shoes, school supplies or something else entirely. While your kids may go without some extras from time to time, their oral hygiene is not an area that you want to overlook. Going to kids dentists is about more than ensuring that they have beautiful pearly whites, although maintaining and improving your kids’ cosmetic appearance is important. Good oral hygiene can also prevent infection, tooth decay and a host of other health issues. While you don’t want to skip taking your kids to the dentist semi-annually as recommended, you also don’t want to make these visits more expensive than necessary. So how can you save money on your kids dentists visits?

Shop for Rates

You may not realize it, but different dentists charge different rates for their services. When picking a great dentist to take your kids to, first get a list of dentists that accept your dental insurance. You can also get a list of common services that are covered by your dental insurance as well as services that are most commonly paid for out-of-pocket. Then contact each of the dentists that are close to home and that take your dental insurance. Ask them to fax you a list of their rates for services. Compare the fees against each other, and pay greater attention to the rates for services that are typically not covered by your dental insurance. This step can help you to find a dentist that may be more affordable for your kids to visit regularly. After determining which dentists may be most affordable, then read consumer reviews, consider the ambiance of the dental office and other factors.

The Need for Certain Services

Some dental offices make a point of only advising patients to purchase additional services that are truly beneficial for them. Others will try to up-sell optional services that you may not really need. You may prefer to work with a dentist that is clear and up-front about required or necessary services as opposed to optional services. If you have to make tough decisions about which procedures to pay for now and which to delay for later, it is best to opt for those pertaining to dental health over those offering cosmetic benefits whenever possible.

Negotiate Rates

Most dentists will not negotiate rates for basic services like teeth cleaning and x-rays. However, if your kids’ dentist comes back to you after an initial exam with a laundry list of services and procedures that are needed, you can consider negotiating rates. Not every dentist will negotiate rates, but some may be willing to offer you a discount if several services are received at the same time. If discounted or negotiated rates are not possible, you can also consider asking if they offer a payment plan. This can help you to spread out the cost of needed services over several months.

Children should visit the dentist twice a year just as adults should. Dental insurance may pay for some of the costs associated with taking your kids to the dentist, but you may have to pay some expenses out-of-pocket. Consider putting some of these tips to use to make taking your kids to the dentist more affordable.