Show Your Dentist Some Love

I brush my teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and get a cleaning at the dentist twice a year. Why am I sharing my dental hygiene habits with you? Because my husband – the son of a dental assistant – is a bit less diligent. He brushes his teeth twice a day, only flosses on the rare occasion that something is really stuck in his teeth,  and had not been to the dentist in at least SEVEN years. (I say, “at least”, because he doesn’t actually remember the last time he went.) After much nagging encouragement, he finally went to the dentist yesterday. I expected him to have a few cavities, but I was still surprised when he arrived home with the news that he has 10 cavities and a broken tooth, for which he needs a root canal. He needs three appointments to fill all the cavities, plus a trip to an endodontist for the root canal.

Why am I sharing my husband’s dirty dental secrets with you? Because, although we have dental insurance, the cavity appointments will cost a total of nearly $1,000, after insurance. Yep, that’s $1,000 out-of-pocket, after-tax income. And we haven’t even investigated the cost of the root canal, yet. Good grief.

While I’m not happy about this extra, substantial, and seemingly preventable expense, I’m not going to get angry at my husband about it. After all, I’ve certainly been guilty of making financially unwise decisions, which have harmed our bottom line. Plus, I think the fillings and root canal will be punishment enough! But you better believe that the nagging encouragement to floss daily and get regular cleanings will continue!

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