Proper dental care can be expensive, but it's also necessary for protecting your teeth and even for your overall health. Allowing infections in the mouth to go untreated might mean those infections spreading or settling into another area of the body. Broken or chipped teeth that you don't cover with a cap or otherwise treat can scrape the inside of your cheeks and gums and cause pain and swelling. While dental care is needed for you and your children, it can also be seemingly out of reach financially for many people. If you're one of these people, note a few options you might have for affording the dental care you need for yourself or your family.

1. Child Dental Benefits Schedule

In Australia, children may be covered for dental care under what is called the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, or CDBS. This program is for eligible children aged 2 to 17. Services covered under this program include routine examinations and -rays, cleaning, filling, root canals, and even extractions.

There are some requirements for a child to be eligible for this program, and some limits. One limit is that the services are capped at $1000 for every two years. Also, the family must be financially eligible; this would be those who are receiving Medicare or those eligible for what is called the Family Tax Benefit Part A. If you're struggling to provide your child with dental care because of your finances, ask your local welfare agency if you might be eligible for this program so you children can get the dental care they need.

2. Basic insurance

In some cases, certain routine dental care may actually be covered by your health insurance and you don't realize it. You might check your insurance provider to note if cleaning and X-rays are covered, and then ask about the cost of adding in other options for coverage. If you know you might need dental treatment in the future and are preparing yourself financially now, consider the types of insurance that will cover these costs and investigate your options now, before you need the treatment.

3. Payment plans

There are actually finance companies that specialize in offering small loans for healthcare needs, and this may even include cosmetic dentistry work you want to have done. You can then have a payment plan for the work you need rather than trying to pay all at once at your dentist's office. If you're interested in a payment plan, don't try to find these lenders on your own but ask your dentist for assistance. He or she may work with certain lenders in particular and can even process your paperwork for you and help you get the financing you need for your dental work.