If you’re like 40 percent of Americans, you’re without dental insurance. As the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) reports, uninsured individuals are at higher risk of extractions and dentures. They’re also 67 percent more likely to have heart disease, 50 percent more likely to have osteoporosis, and 29 percent more likely to have diabetes.
Not sure if you should purchase dental coverage? Let’s consider for a second what’s holding you back. Is it the cost of your policy? It shouldn’t be!
If you’re opting for an employer-provided dental plan, the average cost runs between only $166 and $326 per year for a single employee. A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan will cost you only $20 to $25 per month on average. That’s cheaper than these following 10 items.
A Tank of Gas
Obviously the cost of a tank of gas will vary depending on your tank size and the price of gas for the day. Let’s assume you’re driving a smaller car that holds 12 gallons of gas. With the 2015 average gas price estimated at $2.64, you’d spend $31.68 on a tank of gas. If you’re smart about your travels, you could eliminate the need for that extra tank and spend that money on a dental plan instead.
Dinner for Two
As The Simple Dollar reports, the average American spends $232 per month on meals prepared outside the home. That averages out to $12.75 per person per meal. Give up one date night per month, and you’ll have the $25 right there to make your dental insurance premium payment.
A Movie Night
Movie tickets sell at an average of $8.17 as of 2014.. If you’re visiting the movies alone, that may not seem like much, but double that rate for a date night, add in a bucket of popcorn and a couple of sodas, and you could easily swap out that movie night for dental insurance.
Your Cable Bill
If you’re like the average American, you’re paying $64.41 per month for your cable bill. If you’re tight on cash, you’re better off switching to Netflix and using that extra money to purchase a dental insurance policy and saving the rest for a rainy day.
A Hair Cut
According to U.S. News, a woman will pay an average of $44 for a haircut. Even a men’s haircut averaged at $28 nationwide costs a few dollars more than you’d pay for a PPO dental plan’s monthly premium.
A Gym Membership
Don’t go canceling your gym membership if you use it—it’s great for your health. But if you’re paying the average $40-$50 per month and you only visit the gym three times per year, you’re better off putting that money toward your dental health and getting your exercise in elsewhere.
A Video Game
Today’s top video games debut at an average price of $49.99. Give up just one video game purchase and you’ll be set to pay two months’ worth of dental insurance.
A Pair of Jeans
If you’re a fashion fanatic, you’re shelling out an average of $34 or more for every pair of jeans you buy. Think you can give up a couple of purchases per year in exchange for your health?
A Personalized iPhone Case
If you’re looking to add some personality to your iPhone, you’ll spend around $40 for a personalized case. Buy a factory-made case instead and use the extra to buy dental insurance.
A Set of Legos
Head to the store and you’ll find that a medium box of classic Lego bricks will run you around $30, a purchase that could easily go toward your dental insurance instead.
Considering the average cost of dental insurance, do you feel you could give up any one of these 10 items for the health of your teeth, gums, and body?