Can I Claim Dental Expenses on My Taxes?

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It’s tax season, and that means trying to figure out what you can claim on your taxes. The good news is that yes, you can claim dental expenses on your taxes, just like you can claim medical expenses, but there is some small print.

Adjusted Gross Income

You may deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. According to TurboTax, your adjusted gross income is your income minus any deductions, IRA contributions, student loan interest, etc.

The folks at TurboTax have a great example for finding out how much of a medical and dental deduction you can take.

Say you have a modified adjusted gross income of $45,000 and $5,475 worth of medical expenses. Multiply $45,000 by 0.075 (or 7.5%) to see that only expenses exceeding $3,375 can be deducted. $5,475 minus $3,375 leaves you with a medical expense deduction of $2,100.

Save Your Receipts

In order to deduct expenses, you need to save your receipts as proof. So don’t throw those receipts away! And if you have trouble finding a receipt, you should ask your dental provider for another copy of it as soon as you can. There’s nothing worse than rushing around trying to find receipts in early April.

Items You Can Deduct

Here are some items you can deduct:

  • Dental expenses for you and all your dependents (including your spouse and children)
  • Prescription medications related to your dental expenses
  • Dentures and other dental appliances
  • Travel to and from your dental care (this could be gas bills, a bus ticket, or another form of transportation)

Items You Can’t Deduct:

And here are some items you cannot deduct:

  • Anything that’s already tax-deductible (for instance, anything that has been paid with by your flexible spending account at work)
  • Cosmetic dental procedures (only medically necessary procedures are allowed)
  • Non-prescription medication or treatments (such as toothpaste or mouthwash)

If you have questions about claiming dental expenses on your taxes, give our friendly team a call today and we’ll do our best to help you out. We also suggest you contact a tax professional, or a tax website.

Have dental-related questions?

Dental Benefits of Tea

box with different tea bags

Tea has been a popular drink for thousands of years, and it turns out that this beverage isn’t just delicious but may actually be good for your teeth as well! Here are just a few ways that drinking tea can be beneficial for your dental health.

1. It Freshens Breath

Drinking a strong mint tea can freshen up your breath naturally. Mint tea can also help settle upset stomachs and aids digestion for an added bonus. Enjoy it hot or iced!

2. It Can Prevent Gum Disease

A Japanese study showed that drinking green tea regularly could actually prevent gum disease by promoting healthy, strong, and pain-free gums given its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

3. It Can Prevent Cavities

Green tea controls the acidity levels in your mouth, which makes it harder for plaque and bacteria to grow on your teeth. This means that it’s also harder to develop tooth decay and tooth loss.

4. It Can Help You Cut Back on Soda and Coffee

Replace sugary sodas and lattes that can actually harm your teeth with a delicious tea. There are plenty of varieties of green, herbal, and black teas out there to appeal to your taste buds, and they can provide the aforementioned health benefits.

5. It May Help Prevent Oral Cancer

Green tea is loaded with healthy flavonoids, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties.

Drinking tea provides incredible benefits to both your dental and overall health. While it cannot replace regular brushing, flossing, and dental examinations, it’s excellent to incorporate into your diet and a surefire way to make your daily dental care routine even easier and more effective. If you are in need of a professional cleaning or exam, or have any other issue to address concerning your dental care, Dr. McCord and the staff at Mint Dental Care would love to hear from you.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Why Do We Have Canine Teeth?

woman with mouth wide open

It’s almost time for Halloween and that means a lot of people will soon be dressing up as monsters. Many of these will have elongated teeth—think vampires and werewolves for example. These large, pointy teeth are an important part of many monsters’ frightening mystique. Like monsters, humans actually have a few teeth that are longer and pointier than others in our mouth. These are called canine teeth.

What Are Canine Teeth?

Canine teeth are the largest teeth in a mammal’s mouth. They are longer than non-canine teeth and usually pointed at the tip. Most mammals have four canine teeth each, two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw. These are called the two mandibular canines and the two maxillary canines.

Why Do We Have Them?

Canine teeth are important for holding and biting food, and specifically for tearing up meat. This was very important in early human development when in order to survive, humans needed to consume as many calories as possible. The easiest way to do this was by eating meat, which needed to be chewed thoroughly.

Most of us are lucky enough not to worry about running around scavenging and hunting our food anymore. And since many people now embrace vegetarianism, we don’t necessarily need our canines to survive. But these specialized teeth certainly make it easier for us when we do eat meat.

The Animal Connection

Animals like dogs or gorillas use canines for fighting and competing for a mate, but we don’t need them for that. In fact, our canine teeth have become smaller over millions of years, as civilization has evolved.

If reading about canine teeth has got you wondering about the state of your own teeth, give our office a call at (479) 202-0025 to speak to our friendly team! We’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

Mint Dental Care is there for all your oral health needs!