Friday, May 10, 2013

Saving Money at the Dentist's Office

Things I've learned about Dental Care...
I just walked into our school room from the kitchen and realized that my mouth was closed.  Yay!  This is a good thing.  Even an important thing!

At my last visit to my dentist, I had a small cavity that was beginning to form in between my two front teeth.  Oh, no!  My dentist explained that this is the worst spot to have a cavity because it has to be replaced more often than other places in your mouth.  He asked if I had had a cold recently.  


He then explained that more plaque forms on your front teeth when your mouth is open.  He asked me if I kept my mouth open all the time.

Yes.  I do.


I realized that when I'm not talking, my mouth naturally is rests with my front teeth on my bottom lip since I have an overbite.  

I went home and resolved to change this habit.  I do not want a cavity on my front teeth!  

Now when I wake up at night and realize my mouth is open, I shut it.  When I'm standing anywhere and realize my mouth is open, I shut it.  After several weeks, I realized that there's been a lot less plaque on my front teeth.

Yay!  It's working.  

I told one of the high schoolers about this a few weeks ago at church.  (Yes, I know I come up with strange topics of conversation.)  The girl replied with a biological explanation for this!  She already knew!  My husband and I happen to play and sing to accompany music at our church.  So, earlier that morning I had glanced around the room.  Almost everyone closes their mouths!  It was very funny to me to realize that I am such an oddball.  

I'm glad to know now why I've had so much plaque on my teeth all these years.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to save us some money by closing my mouth!  He he he.

There is one other note that I wanted to share about my dentist.  He's big on not filling cavities unless he has to, because once they've been filled, the filling gets bigger each time it has to be replaced.  He recommended to me that I rinse with a fluoride rinse each night.  I've been able to keep a lot of small cavities from growing by using it over the past eight years.  Thankfully, Walmart and Target both sell generic fluoride rinses now and ACT isn't the only option.  

Dental insurance is expensive.  And often it isn't worth it.  I've calculated what we contribute every month to my husband's dental plan and so far it has been worth it for our family... but not by much.  If you don't have any dental insurance, there is one option so that you can have access to a reduced dental fee schedule.  Insurance companies negotiate with dental providers (and medical providers) a fee schedule--which lists what they will pay the dentist or medical provider for each service they provide.  This fee schedule is reduced from what you would normally pay out of pocket if you just walked in off the street.    Vital Savings by Aetna is such a plan.  My mom and mother in law both have this plan and it has saved them a lot of money.  

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