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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Many people are still weighing their health insurance options for 2018, and that includes figuring out how you pay to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

While some opt for dental insurance, others may choose to go the self-pay route.

A study from the Commonwealth Fund found 30 percent of adults skipped the dentist in the past year because of the price.

Today’s Lauren’s List has some tips to help keep costs down, according to the Consumer Health Alliance.

  1. Prevention is key– Avoiding your regular checkups could lead to more issues down the road, which will cost way more than just a cleaning and an exam.  Studies continue to show the correlation between oral health and overall health, so keep those pearly whites in proper working order. Brush twice daily, floss, and keep your twice-a-year cleaning appointment.
  2. Go to school– The College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University offers services for a fraction of what you would pay at a typical dental practice. The University of Florida has a similar clinic in Hialeah. Students do the work under the guidance of instructors. The tools and equipment are very up-to-date. But, the work will take more time and there might be a waiting list to get in.
  3. Become a member– If you don’t have insurance, there are membership programs that offer anywhere from 10 to 60 percent savings at participating dentists. Check for more information.
  4. Ask for discounts– Some dentists offer referral discounts, or a price break if you’re paying with cash up front. Some will even work with you to set up a payment plan. It never hurts to ask!

Are you up-to-date with your dental care? Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future Lauren’s List, send it to


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