What to Expect From an OBGYN Appointment and How to Choose a Doctor

Over the last several years, there’s been a significant decrease in the number of women who see the OBGYN (obstetrician-gynecologist) on a regular basis. Many women have never seen an OBGYN at all. 

If you’re part of this group, what’s stopping you? Are you anxious about what the appointment will be like? 

Many women let fear stop them from seeing the OBGYN for regular check-ups. It’s important to make these appointments a priority, especially for women who are getting a bit older.

If you’re not what sure what to expect from an OBGYN appointment, keep reading. Everything you need to know, along with tips on finding the right doctor, is explained down below.

Why Do Regular Check-Ups Matter?

Is it really important for you to get regular check-ups from an OBGYN? The short answer is yes, it is.

Regular OBGYN appointments ought to be part of your long-term healthcare plan. Here are some of the reasons why:

Maintain Good Overall Health

During an exam, an OBGYN can detect a lot of potential health problems, including issues that might not be directly related to the reproductive system. Seeing an OBGYN can help you prevent health conditions and catch them early. 

Learn About Birth Control Options

If you’ve been curious about your birth control options or want to switch to a different kind of birth control, your OBGYN can give you recommendations. They’ll take your specific needs and lifestyle into account and recommend an option that’s a good fit for you.

Improve Your Sexual Experience

If you experience pain or discomfort during sex, your OBGYN can help you find out why. During their exam, they’ll be able to detect any issues that may be causing these problems.

Get Help with Fertility Issues

OBGYNs can also help with fertility issues. If you’re struggling to get pregnant or are getting ready to start trying for a baby, your OBGYN can provide guidance and recommendations to help you through the process.

What to Expect from an OBGYN Appointment

Okay, you’re convinced that it’s a good idea to see the OBGYN on a regular basis. You still might be nervous about what will happen during your first appointment though.

Everyone’s experience with the OBGYN is a bit different. In general, you can expect your appointment to go something like this:

Address Questions/Concerns

At the beginning of your appointment, the nurse at your OBGYN’s office will ask you if you have any questions or specific health concerns that you want to address. They’ll likely ask about your health history at this time too.

General Health Check

Next, the nurse will move on to a general health check. This includes taking your blood pressure, checking your temperature, and monitoring your heart rate—the same stuff that happens at the beginning of every doctor’s appointment.

Physical Exam

After your health check, the OBGYN will come in and perform the physical exam. They’ll likely ask you the same (or similar) questions as the nurse about your concerns and health history.

During the physical exam, the OBGYN will exam the outside of the vagina to check for abnormalities. Your feet will be in stirrups and your knees will be bent to make the examination easier.

They’ll then move on to check the inside of the vagina and cervix with a speculum. This portion of the exam can be a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.

Pap Test

After the physical exam, your OBGYN will perform a pap test. This involves removing a sample of cells from your cervix with a small brush to test for cervical cancer, HPV (short for human papillomavirus), and any other abnormalities.

Bimanual Exam

Next, they’ll perform a bimanual exam. This involves inserting two fingers into the vagina. At the same time, they’ll place the other hand on top of your abdomen. This allows them to check for abnormalities in the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Breast Exam

During your OBGYN appointment, you’ll likely receive a breast exam, too. During this exam, they’ll check for any lumps or other abnormalities.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Knowing what happens during a typical appointment can help to put you at ease before you arrive. It also helps to do some physical and mental preparation to help you feel calmer and more confident.

The following steps are all helpful to do before an appointment with your OBGYN:

  • Avoid using creams or powders the day of your appointment
  • Avoid sexual intercourse a day or two before the appointment
  • Avoid douching or inserting anything like tampons into your vagina a day or two before the appointment

Dress in comfortable clothes that you can quickly take off and put back on. This will make undressing for the exam easier.

How to Find the Right OBGYN

In order to have a good experience with the OBGYN, you need to do some research and ensure you’re working with the right one.

Keep these tips in mind while looking for an OBGYN so as to find someone who’s a good fit for you:

  • Check with your insurance provider to see which OBGYNs are included in your network
  • Think about your health history and make a note of any family conditions that the doctor ought to know about
  • Research their methods and find out if they use any special technology, such as ultrasound, to yield more accurate results
  • Consider their reviews and see what the general consensus is about their methods and bedside manner

Pay attention to the service you receive when scheduling the appointment. Is the receptionist polite and courteous? Is it easy for you to get an appointment that works with your schedule?

Schedule Your Appointment Today

As you can see, it’s very important to make time for regular check-ups with your OBGYN.

Now that you know more about what to expect from an OBGYN appointment, as well as what you need to do to ensure you’re working with the right doctor, it’s time to start your search and schedule your first appointment.

Keep this information in mind and you’ll have no trouble finding a doctor who meets your needs (and your budget).

Do you want to learn more about improving your health and saving money on healthcare costs? Visit the Health and Fitness section of our site today for some additional information.

8 Easy Tips for How to Be Fashionable on a Budget

Have you been wondering how you can cut costs and still look fabulous?

Being fashionable without breaking the bank can be a challenge. The key to being fashionable on a budget is knowing what to spend money on and what to avoid purchasing.

Here are some tips that will show you how to be fashionable on a budget.

1. Take It Easy With the Trends

While trends will make you look more fashionable and hip for the moment, they have one obvious flaw.

They don’t last.

The fact that they are so fickle means that you have to be conservative about what trends you buy into. Following clothing trends is never a good idea when you are on a budget.

If you have a footwear fetish and tend to buy a lot of shoes, you should train yourself to stick with the classics, such as black pumps with varying heel lengths.

However, not all trends are bad. The best kinds of trends are the ones that involve cheap jewelry, hats, and scarves. Trends of this kind keep you looking very fashionable but won’t be so painful to discard once they are out of season.

2. The Little Black Dress and More

You have probably heard it said time and time again, that every woman should have a little black dress.

Here are some tips for buying this classic, so that you will always look fabulous:

  • Make sure it flatters your figure. This may require some digging and extra cash but it’s well worth it.
  • Stay away from black dresses that have patterns. Patterns often take away from the timelessness of the dress.
  • Avoid black dresses that have a trendy design or cut. These won’t stand up to the test of time.

Remember, you want this dress to be your go-to dress for many occasions, so it should always be simple yet classic.

The next item that you should invest in is a pearl necklace. If you can splurge on real pearls then that’s great because you will have them for years.

If you can’t afford to splurge, then you can just get fake ones, since they often look as good as the real ones.

The next wardrobe must have, is a pair of black shoes. A pair of plain black pumps with a three-inch heel is timeless and classic.

The combination of the little black dress, pearls and black pumps are a must-have when you are learning how to be fashionable on a budget.

3. Pick the Right Colors

There is nothing worse than choosing the wrong colors for your clothing.

Choosing the right colors for your clothing will greatly enhance your look.

Some colors may not work for you and it’s important to accept it, so that you won’t make fashion mistakes.

This means that you should only buy clothing in colors that brings out the beauty of your complexion, the color of your eyes and the shade of your hair.

4. Make the Right Investment

Clothing sales where you can get cheap clothing in bulk may seem like a dream come true.

However, the most important question you should ask is: Are these items good quality?

If you are not sure, then don’t spend your money. It makes no sense to buy cheap clothing that falls apart as soon as you wash them a few times.

It is better to invest in more expensive items that last longer. This doesn’t mean that cheap items are always poor quality, sometimes you will get a good deal.

However, when you purchase these clothing, feel the fabric thoroughly and try to stretch the cloth. Fabric that is thin and feels flimsy should be avoided.

Knowing how to be fashionable on a budget sometimes means you have to spend more.

5. Buy Used Clothing

If the idea of buying thrift store clothing conjures up images of people wearing rags and walking barefooted, you are not alone.

However, you might be surprised that the trendsetter you are admiring from work or school is actually wearing used clothing.

Thrift stores, as well as consignment shops, are great places to buy brand name clothes that are just like new at significantly lower prices.

If you are short on cash and need something exquisite for a special occasion, then don’t rule out thrift stores and consignment shops.

6. The Changing Season Is Your Friend

If you want to truly save, then buy your clothes when a season is ending. Buy the clothing you will wear next summer at the end of the present summer season.

Buy the clothes you will wear next winter at the end of the present winter season.

By now you should be getting the idea.

When the season is about to change, stores are in a mad rush to clear the season’s clothing.

This means you will often get a discount and the closer it gets to the end of the season, the higher the discounts often become.

7. Mix and Match Effectively

Pairing a top or a bottom with different items in your wardrobe can make it look like you have a completely new outfit. This is one of the key skills you must master when learning how to be fashionable on a budget.

Try pairing a top you have always worn with a pair of pants, with a skirt instead.

Try wearing a jacket over a dress instead of wearing the dress on its own.

Accessorize these mixed and matched pieces with a scarf or chain to get a different look.

8. Take a Thrifty Friend With You

If you have a tendency to overspend, it is a good idea to take someone with you to hold you accountable and keep you on track.

Next time you go shopping, tell your accountability partner how much you have budgeted to spend.

Take them along with you and have them help you to stick to your budget.

How to Be Fashionable on a Budget: Closing Thoughts

If you would like to save money, then you know that one of the key traits you must master is discipline.

Having the discipline to stick to a budget and consciously choose to hunt for bargains will help you stay fashionable without breaking the bank.

If you would like to learn more about how to save, you’ll absolutely love our frugal living tips.

10 Key Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care

When most people think of going to the chiropractor, they think of the “rack’em and crack’em” types of chiropractors who give the industry a bad name.

Yet, there are many benefits of chiropractic care. More people than ever are experiencing low back pain and other preventable illnesses. Chiropractic care has become a reliable form of treatment for many ailments that aren’t just limited to the spine.

Are you ready to learn about the benefits of chiropractic care? Read on to discover what they are.

1. Undo Some of the Damage from Sitting All Day

They say that sitting is the new smoking. We sit at work, in traffic, watching TV, or just relaxing. All of that sitting is doing us a lot of harm.

Your hips get tight, which pulls everything out of alignment and can lead to low back pain. Chiropractic care can help alleviate some of that low back pain.

2. Improve Immune System

You probably didn’t realize that chiropractic care can improve your immune system, but it can.

Your spine is extremely important to the rest of your body. It’s in your back and it holds up your body. There’s so much more to it than that, which is why chiropractic care is so effective.

Your spine is also home to many different muscles in your back and the central nervous system. The nervous system communicates with the rest of your body to manage pain and manage the basic workings of your body.

When your spine isn’t aligned properly, the systems misfire, leaving your body more vulnerable to illness and ailments.

3. Pain Relief

There are many reasons why you experience pain. Most of the time, muscles are tight, which can pull the skeleton out of alignment. This can impact nerves which is the pain that you feel.

When you visit a chiropractor, you’ll quickly discover the difference between having a body that’s aligned and misaligned.

4. Realign Your Body

The physical structure of your body is really a kinetic chain of events. Your feet serve as the base of your body. Your ankles, knees, hips, and back all play a significant role in how your body moves.

If there’s one thing out of whack, it can cause injury. That’s why you see so many weekend warriors on the bench with injuries. Even those old injuries you had in college can throw your body off if they didn’t heal properly.

Chiropractors look at the alignment of your entire body, and they have the tools to get your body back on track.

5. It’s Natural

How would you like to recover from pain, move better, and sleep better without drugs? You can with chiropractic care.

One of the benefits of chiropractic care is that it is a completely natural treatment. It’s a manipulation of your spine, which impacts your nervous system. The alignment does all of the work without the

6. Improve Range of Motion

When your body is properly aligned, you move better. You’re able to get a full range of motion after an adjustment because your muscles have the skeletal support to move properly.

If the muscles don’t have the support to move well, they simply won’t which can lead to injury.

7. Sleep Better

Chiropractors can help you sleep better. After an adjustment, you experience less discomfort and your blood flow is improved. This is a recipe to sleep much better.

8. Chiropractic Care Can Be Used on Children

Chiropractic care is a very safe way to treat pain and keep our body aligned and nervous system functioning well. It’s so safe, it is often used on children and even infants.

9. Recover from Car Accidents

Car accidents can do a lot of damage to your body. Even a simple fender-bender can cause whiplash or other back issues. Any type of sharp physical trauma can cause your body to be sore.

It may take a few days for symptoms to show up because your muscles are trying to heal. When you do experience soreness, it can be difficult to function.

Chiropractors can help you recover from these injuries with a thorough treatment plan. View here for more information.

10. More Insurance Companies Cover Chiropractic Care

The reputation of chiropractic care used to be that it was full of hacks. As more studies were done on the benefits of chiropractic care, it was obvious that it’s a sound form of treatment.

Insurance companies started to include chiropractic care as part of their plans. They realized that chiropractors can complement treatment for many different issues.

When to Go to a Chiropractor

You may see the many benefits of chiropractic care, but you’re not sure if it’s what you need right now.  You might think that a massage therapist would be a better option.

Massage and chiropractic care are two different methods of treating pain and other ailments. Massage mainly deals with surface-level muscular issues and soreness. It’s a great way to recover from an athletic event or to relax from a stressful day.

Chiropractic care is more specialized. It can be used to treat pain but a variety of other issues.

If you’re still not sure, you’ll want to visit a chiropractor who can tell you what the best method of treatment will be.

You’ll want to find a good chiropractor in your area. You can start looking for one by asking your network for recommendations and check online reviews for chiropractors in your area.

The Many Benefits of Chiropractic Care

You may be surprised to learn about the benefits of chiropractic care. It does so much more than treating back pain.

It can improve your immune system, align your entire body, and reduce pain. Overall, chiropractic care is a way to make your body work better.

Do you want more great lifestyle tips? Head over to the health and fitness section of the blog for more great articles.

4 Fun and Inexpensive Things to Do with the Whole Family

Let’s face it: going out is expensive, and increasingly so. A night out on your own with your partner can produce a bill that can be headache-inducing. And taking your entire family out for some enjoyment? May your wallet someday recover.

That’s how it feels, of course, but that doesn’t have to be the reality. In truth, taking your family out (or keeping them in!) for a day of fun can actually be inexpensive. You just need to know what kind of activities to look at and how to pull them off at the proper price. 

Looking for some inexpensive things to do with your family? Read on, and we’ll walk you through some of our favorite options. 

Visit a Local Museum

Maybe going to the museum was never really your thing. But if you haven’t taken the time to explore the local museums in your community, your missing one of the most inexpensive and potentially most interesting locations in town. 

Art and historical museums are treasure troves of information and excitement. They can be a great place to expand your children’s understanding of the world and provoke conversation. They can be an amazing learning experience for your kids as well as yourself. 

The added benefit? They are often dirt cheap. Many museums are free to access or offer pay-what-you-want passes. Even museums that are more expensive often have particular hours or days where you can attend for a highly discounted rate. 

There are also many museums that cater specifically to younger children. These children’s museums prioritize interactive and hands-on learning that helps to keep your younger children engaged and excited.

They might be having such a good time that they don’t even realize that they’re learning too. 

Throw Together a Movie Night at Home

Taking your whole family to the theater can be quite expensive these days, with theater prices on the rise everywhere in the country. This is especially true if you want to spring for popcorn or snacks. 

Luckily, with the improvement in home theater systems, you can replicate the theater experience cheaper in your very own home. Instead of watching the latest new release, take a chance on something smaller. If it’s just you and your spouse, take a stab at an independent film that might be more interesting and rewarding than the standard fare. 

If you’re watching with your kids, try picking something out for the whole family. Share with your children a movie you watched and loved when you were their age. While they may initially balk at the idea of watching an ‘old’ movie, you might be surprised how well they end up responding (the power of cinema). 

You might even find that this kind of sharing can help bond you closer over a shared love for a work of art. 

If you really want to make movie night an event, invite over some friends and put a blanket fort together. Throw a projector up and screen it on the wall so the movie is large and loud. It’s one of the best nights in you can imagine, and barely has to cost you a dime. 

Go Bowling Together

One of the best day out activities for a family might be to hit the bowling alley. No matter what age your kids are, they’ll likely get a thrill out of knocking down pins. And if you haven’t bowled in a while, you might be surprised at how much enjoyment you get out of it yourself.

Some bowling alleys are more expensive than others, so you might want to do your due diligence in finding the right spot. Many bowling alleys offer family discounts, so inquiring about those might help save you significant money in putting the day together. 

These days, many bowling alleys also double as arcades. That means even if your kids aren’t huge on the idea of bowling, they might be more into ice hockey, driving games, or other fun and exciting games. You can visit here to see more about what I mean. 

Bowling is a great place to bring some friendly competitiveness into the family dynamic. Who knows, you might even end up with a professional bowler on your hands someday. 

Break Out the Chalk

Remember the simpler pleasures of your own youth? This was a time before cell phones and video games seemed to rule the public attention. If you were handed a ball or piece of chalk, you could entertain yourself hours. 

Instead of decrying the current generation for their media addiction, give your kids a chance to experience the same. If your kids are fairly young, giving them a big collection of chalk and the length of your driveway can be an exciting prospect.

That’s a large canvas within to work, after all. This can be a great family activity, or simply something to keep them occupied while you relax in a lawn chair and watch them work. The key thing is that it’s incredibly inexpensive, and there’s no real clean up involved either. 

Simply allow their chalk masterpiece to exist until the rain comes along to wash everything clean. 

Inexpensive Things to Do with Your Family

It can be hard to afford a real day out with your entire family. With that many heads to feed and entertain, the costs can be astronomical. Luckily, the above inexpensive things to do can keep everyone happy and fulfilled just as easily.

Need more advice about how to run your family on a budget? Check out my blog for more. 

Vacation with Less Stress: How to Reduce Travel Anxiety

Most Americans get around 15 to 20 paid vacation days, and 52 percent of them don’t even use them all up. With so little paid time off, you may feel the pressure to make it the perfect trip, which may give you a lot of unneeded stress.

Vacation should be a fun time, so you need to eliminate the anxiety surrounding it. In this article, we’ll give you some anti-stress tips so your future vacations can be as dreamy as you envision them to be.

Exercise More

You may feel like you already have enough on your plate, so you might be skipping out on your regular gym routine to conserve energy. But the truth is, exercising can take some of that stress away by letting you blow off some steam.

Also, by burning that extra anxious energy off, you’ll be able to sleep better at night. If you’re tossing and turning after you turn off the lights, adding some physical activity can aid in wearing you out and providing for better sleep quality. That way, you’ll feel refreshed in the morning and ready to tackle the day.

Cut Out Caffeine

We know; coffee is an important part of your daily life, and if you could get an IV drip of it, you’d do it. But caffeine is a stimulant after all, which can make your heart race, give you the jitters, and even make you break out in cold sweat. All these symptoms aren’t very fun to deal with when you’ve got an important break coming up.

If you can’t cut out caffeine completely, at least consider switching to something with less of it. For instance, swap out coffee or energy drinks for tea or soda.

Start a List Early

Worried about forgetting something important for the trip? Then start a list early. You can jot it down on a Post-It, start a document in Google Docs, or put it down on a whiteboard.

As things slowly come to you, put them down on the list until it becomes a big comprehensive one. That way, by the time to pack comes, you’ll have a good list to work from.

Start Packing Early

If you’re especially anxious about your upcoming trip, not only should you start a list early, but you should pack in advance if possible. When you jot something down on your list, see if you can throw it into the suitcase already. For instance, if the thing you’re writing down is your bikini, then put that in there if you aren’t going swimming anytime soon.

Not only can this cut down on vacation stress, but it can also save you time as the departure date gets nearer. You won’t have to dedicate an entire day to packing!

Take Care of the Not-So-Fun Things

Yes, it’s a break from real life, but unfortunately, there are a few things you need to take care of before you can totally kick back and relax. The sooner you get these things done, the less stressful it’s going to be.

Not only do you have to ask for time off of work, but you may also have to arrange for things like a new passport or apply for a travel visa. If you have pets or are leaving your children at home, you’ll also have to find people to look after them.

For any travelers who are on medications, make sure you have enough to last you for the whole trip. It may also be prudent to ask your doctor for some extras in case they get lost.

Consider Using a Travel Agent

To really take the stress away from your vacation, consider using a travel agent. While it’ll be more expensive, it may be worth it to reduce your anxiety.

Travel agents can also help you plan an itinerary or get you on a group tour so you don’t have to plan your days yourself. When someone else has control over these factors, it can really take a load off your shoulders.

Try Using CBD Oil

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, which means it’s related to THC. However, it won’t get you high, which means you can reap the benefits without any impairment to your judgment.

CBD may be beneficial in treating anxiety, so it may be worth a try to add it to your regimen to help calm your nerves. When your thoughts aren’t going a million miles an hour, it can help you plan better and appreciate your time off more. Products such as Kula CBD can help alleviate any anxiety you have and let you fully enjoy your trip.

Don’t Expect It to Be Perfect

There’s bound to be little kinks in your plans, so it’s not worth your energy to stress out about them. The higher your expectations are for the trip, the more anxiety you’ll have when things don’t work out.

Just remember that you’re away from home and the worries of everyday life. You’ll fully appreciate your trip when you can take things in good stride and find the positive side in every situation.

Use These Anti-Stress Tips to Have a Great Time

It’s normal to feel a little stressed out about an upcoming trip, but if it’s dominating your emotions, then it may detract from your enjoyment. This may defeat the whole purpose of going on vacation in the first place.

Going on vacation should be a happy time, so use these anti-stress tips to get rid of the negative feelings surrounding it. You’ll definitely feel a world of difference and the weight lift off your shoulders. And not only can you use these tips for your fun trips, but for everyday life too!

If you want more interesting reading material, check out our blog section.

Baby on a Budget: How to Prepare for a Baby Financially

Your family’s growing, and you couldn’t be happier. But having a child is a huge financial commitment, just as it is an emotional one. Knowing how to prepare for a baby financially before you enter parenthood is key to enjoying your new blessing without so much stressing.

Research shows that the average family in the United States will spend about $12,000 on baby-related expenses during their infant’s first year.

Translation: As much as we love babies, they certainly aren’t cheap. We’ve compiled a guide on how to prepare for a baby financially and manage your new family budget.

Let’s get started!

How to Prepare for a Baby Financially: Understand Health Insurance

One of the most important moves you can make to prepare financially for baby is to ensure that you have a good grasp of your medical insurance coverage and anticipate your costs accordingly.

After all, giving birth to a child is costly even if you’ve got insurance.

The earlier you forecast your anticipated costs, the more prepared you’ll be for the medical bills that will ensue.

Also, start looking ahead of time for a pediatrician who is within your medical insurance network. Your new baby will need to see this doctor within the first week after he or she is born.

And don’t just trust the clinic to tell you that it is within your network. Call the insurance company yourself to double-check. You don’t want to get hit with unexpected charges for going outside of your network.

Budget, Baby!

Surrogate mothers enjoy the benefit of being paid to get pregnant for other couples. For instance, they can earn $43,000 or more — easily an annually salary — based on their individual circumstances.

But if you’re having a baby for yourself, you may experience the opposite effect: You may lose your yearly salary if you decide to stay home.

This is why it’s so critical that you create a post-baby budget before the baby comes. This will give you an idea of how his or her arrival will impact your finances.

If you decide to stay home, can your household truly absorb the loss of your income? If not, would a day care service in your area be affordable, or could a relative watch your bundle of joy at no cost?

Figure out these answers right away by doing the math. Then, act like these charges are in effect today so you’ll have an easier transition to life with a baby tomorrow.

Save

You may have spent the past few years trying to pay off debt. That’s great, but with baby on the way now, it’s time to step on the brakes.

In other words, stay on top of your minimum debt payments, but quit putting extra money toward your debt. Instead, put it in your savings account for emergencies that might crop up during your pregnancy or after the baby is born.

Then, once you’ve confirmed that both mom and baby are healthy, you can keep moving forward with your debt-payoff plan.

How I Can Help

I offer a wide range of tips and advice about how you can save money. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

Contact me to learn more about how I can help you to enjoy a fuller bank account and thus a fuller life long term.

Economical Orthodontics: 7 Frugal Tips on Paying for Braces

Approximately four million Americans — the majority of them children — currently wear braces. Have you recently found out that your child needs to join their ranks?

Braces are a right of passage for a lot of kids. They can also be quite a strain on parents’ wallets. In fact, the average cost of braces ranges from $5,000 to $6,000!

If your child needs braces and you’re worried about how you’re going to afford them, keep reading.

Listed below are some tips that will help to make the process of paying for braces more affordable and less stressful.

Start Treatment Early

As soon as you learn that your child may benefit from braces, it’s a good idea to jump on it and start seeking treatment right away. Don’t wait around and hope that the problem goes away on its own. It’s highly unlikely that this will be the case.

Remember, too, that the longer you without addressing your child’s crooked teeth or alignment issues, the more time these problems have to get worse.

If you take care of them as soon as you learn of them, the orthodontist will likely have to do less work. The treatment may also take less time. Both of these things can result in more savings for you. 

Look Into Assistance Programs

Many people don’t realize that there are assistance programs designed for people who can’t afford braces or other orthodontic treatments.

Depending on the area in which you live and your income, you may qualify for one of these programs. Talk to your child’s dentist or orthodontist to see if they know of any such programs.

You can also search online to see what kinds of programs are available in your area. You might be surprised at what you find, and you may be able to qualify for free or discounted braces for your child.

Check with Your Insurance Provider

Reach out to your insurance provider and find out what percentage of your child’s treatment they cover.

In most cases, they will cover a least a portion of the cost and make it more affordable for you.

Sometimes, they’ll even pay as much as half of the cost of treatment. This isn’t common, but they may do it, especially if the braces are correcting a serious issue that could impact your child’s oral and overall health in the future. 

Look for Dental Schools

Sometimes, dental schools will have orthodontists-in-training who can provide your child with the treatment they need at a reduced cost.

If you decide to go this route, your child’s treatment will be supervised by a licensed orthodontist, so you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that they’re being taken good care of.

Ask About a Payment Plan

In many cases, orthodontists do not demand that patients (or the parents of patients) pay for the cost of treatment upfront. They know that braces are expensive and likely have some kind of payment plan option for those who cannot afford the whole treatment at once.

Ask if your orthodontist has such a plan in place or if they’re willing to put one together for you.

Ask for a Cash Discount

You may also be able to save money on the treatment if you can pay for it all at once. Talk to the orthodontist and see if they will give you a discount if you pay for the treatment in cash upfront.

Many orthodontists are willing to deduct a percentage of the treatment cost (often between 5 and 15 percent) in exchange for paying in full that same day.

Compare Orthodontists

Be sure to compare rates from different orthodontists before you make a decision.

Don’t assume that you’re getting the best price or that the quote you get from their current orthodontist is your only option. There’s a lot of variances when it comes to the price of braces, and you may be able to save money by taking your child to a different orthodontist. 

When you’re comparing orthodontists, be sure to look beyond the price they give you. Dig a little deeper and find out what’s included in that treatment and whether there are any optional treatments that you can remove to lower the price.

Use for Flexible Savings Account

If your employer offers a flexible savings account (or FSA) or a health savings account (or HSA), use the funds from that account to help offset the costs of your child’s braces.

When you take this approach, you’re able to pay for your child’s braces before you pay income taxes.

Keep in mind that FSAs and HSA payments don’t take any money off the cost of your child’s treatment. However, they can help to cover a big chunk of the payments.

Consider Alternatives to Braces

When you first find out how much braces cost, you might find yourself asking questions like “are braces worth it?”

In some cases, braces are the only option to straighten your child’s teeth or correct their jaw alignment. Other times, though, you can get away with other, less expensive and less invasive measures.

If you can’t find a way to pay for your child’s braces, consider an alternative like veneers or Invisalign instead.

These treatments can be more affordable and work very well for a lot of issues, especially problems like minor tooth overlap. They won’t be a viable option for everyone, but they might be a better option for you and your child.

Get Help Paying for Braces Today

Finding out your child needs braces can send any parent into a panic spiral. If you’ve been stressed out about the idea of paying for braces, hopefully, you now know that there are options out there for you.

Whether you choose one of these methods to lower the cost of braces or you decide to forgo them altogether and go with a more cost-effective approach, there are lots of ways you can help your child get straight, even teeth without breaking the bank.

Do you want to learn more about saving money on health and dental care treatments? If so, visit the Health and Fitness section of our site today for more advice.