If you grind your teeth and have been thinking about getting a night guard to protect them from damage, you may be wondering about ways to ease the cost. Night guards can be expensive, especially when you order a custom mouth guard through your dentist.
Well, one way that you can save yourself some money is by using funds from a Health Savings Account (HSA for short).
What is a Health Savings Account and how do you get one?
An HSA is an account you may be eligible to open if you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible. In 2022, the IRS defined a high deductible plan as one with a deductible above $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. Many plan choices with HSA eligibility will advertise that fact. So, you can look for HSA options when making a choice between health insurance plans. It is important to note, however, that being eligible to open an HSA with your insurance plan doesn’t automatically mean you have an HSA. You will still need to take steps to open the account and deposit funds.
What are the benefits of having an HSA?
An HSA allows you to set aside pre-tax money to spend on health-related expenses. That means you don’t pay income tax on the money you choose to deposit in the account, and you can then spend that money on healthcare expenses. Eligible expenses can include doctor’s office copays, dental visits, oral surgery, prescription copays, home health equipment, eyeglasses and eyecare exams, and health monitoring devices.
What’s more, unlike some other pre-tax spending accounts, an HSA account is owned and run by you (not an employer), and the money in it can roll over from year to year when it is not spent.
Is a night guard HSA-eligible?
In most cases, night guard purchases—whether first-time purchases or replacement purchases—will be eligible for HSA spending. Sometimes, the HSA will want to see proof that your night guard has been prescribed by a medical professional. So, you may need a written prescription from your dentist in order to cover your purchase with money from your account.
This is true for many home healthcare and health monitoring devices. So, it is always good to get approval before you make your purchase.
How do you access your HSA funds?
Many HSA accounts will provide you with a debit card to make purchases. This is a quick and convenient method favored by most account owners. However, you can also submit purchases for reimbursement if you made them using another card, cash, or a check.
Are night guards only prescribed for teeth grinding?
Teeth grinding is only one of many reasons that a dentist or medical professional might recommend you wear a night guard. The other most common reason is teeth clenching. This means that you are putting a lot of pressure on your teeth by clenching your jaw muscles, even if you are not grinding the teeth against each other.
Clenching can contribute to cracks (small and large) in the teeth themselves as well as irritation and inflammation in the gums. Gum inflammation can make you more susceptible to gum disease. Signs of teeth clenching include sensitive teeth, jaw tension or tenderness (especially in the morning), and gum sensitivity.
Night guards are also used as a treatment for TMJ disorders. These are disorders of the temporomandibular joint, including misalignment and muscle inflammation. For TMJ disorders, you may be prescribed a night guard designed to keep your jaw in a specific position while you sleep.
A night guard that promotes a healthy jaw position can also be used as a treatment for sleep apnea (a common cause of snoring) or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)—a common but less frequently diagnosed disorder that can impact sleep quality and may contribute to teeth grinding or clenching.
Are there other ways to save money on a night guard?
Using money from an HSA account is a great way to save money on your taxes because it eliminates the income tax you would otherwise pay on those funds. However, the money in your HSA account is still coming out of your paycheck. So, it’s worth finding ways to minimize health expenses as much as possible.
To save money, you may be tempted to turn to generic night guards available in the local drug store. These devices, however, do not provide great protection or comfort. A custom guard is a significant improvement.
Ordering a custom guard through your dentist can be a big expense, especially because you will need replacements about every six months. So, a lot of people go directly to night guard manufacturers, like TeethNightGuard, to order their own impression kits and receive their night guard in the mail. That way, you can get the same quality at a fraction of the cost.
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STANDARD SOFT FLEXIBLE 3MM CUSTOM TEETH GRINDING NIGHT GUARD - EXCELLENT COMFORT
Item Number SWSNG Manufacturer Sparkling White Smiles Dental Lab Rating Product Description 3mm Dual Layer is the Recommended Standard Thickness for a Professionally made Custom Night Guard Our Custom Teeth Night Guards are BPA, Latex and Phthalate Free Night Guard designed… Read More