Tax Returns and Your Dental Health

form 1040 personal income tax reporting form

As tax time rolls around, most Americans will be looking for ways to spend their refund checks. While some will choose to splurge on vacations or shopping sprees, countless others will opt to invest in dental treatments that improve their smiles.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 8 out of 10 Americans receive tax refunds, which average about $3,120 apiece. Ideally, this money is best spent paying down debt or investing in retirement. That said, since dental health plays such a huge role in our overall well-being, it can be beneficial to use part of your tax return to pay for dental care.

When it comes to priorities, nothing should outweigh your health. While some people regard their teeth and gums as secondary to their overall health, studies have actually linked oral issues to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease. Other research has shown that most systemic diseases have oral symptoms that allow dentists to make early diagnoses.

Oral health can impact your quality of life as you age, and it makes sense to dedicate a portion of your available income to maintain your teeth and gums – especially if you have been postponing this care. While it may seem costly at the time, proactive dental work can actually be a bargain: When you consider that a $1,000 crown will usually last two decades, the overall cost amounts to only a few cents per day.

Cosmetic Treatments Matter Too

While they may seem like luxury purchases to some people, cosmetic treatments can actually have a profound impact on a person’s life. Research has shown that people associate crooked teeth with low intelligence, less romantic appeal and a lack of success. Other studies have found that society holds similar opinions about people who have yellow or stained teeth.

In a perfect world, people wouldn’t judge others based on the appearance of their teeth. Unfortunately, in the real world, we know that dental issues can impact our self-esteem, while robbing us of opportunities in professional and social arenas.

Investing in Yourself

When deciding how to spend our money in the best possible way, we should always think about our long-term well-being. Since your teeth and gums play such a huge role in your health and day-to-day life, consider setting aside some of your tax return for a dental treatment that can preserve your health or improve your self-confidence. This is an especially good idea if you have an incomplete dental treatment plan, or need a crown to cover a tooth after root canal therapy.