Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The toothache

Let me take you back to August of last year... Blake had two little cavities. Teeny tiny ones that would have cost me $75 for laughing gas, and maybe $50 a piece to have filled. Well, Being the idiot that I am, I decided, Eh, They are baby teeth and they will fall out anyways, let's save the $200. 
So we forgo getting them filled. I figured, Well, They aren't bothering him and so we will just keep them brushed and flossed and keep an eye on them. Well, Of course, I forgot about them...
Fast forward to yesterday, Blake tells me his tooth hurts. Okay, I'll call in the morning and make you an appointment. So, I call and make an appointment for next Tuesday. 30 minutes later Blake comes to me crying because he must have had cinnamon roll stuck in his teeth, and his tooth was hurting. So I go to brush his teeth to get it out and his gums start bleeding like crazy, and hes crying. Okay, call the dentist back and rush in there this afternoon... 2 MASSIVE cavities. And two new ones the size of what the two huge ones were last year. {I don't know how we skipped their last 6 month appt} Awesome.
The dentist then starts out by talking to us and saying "now not to make you feel guilty..." Yeah, So about a 20 minute guilt trip later, we are faced with the decision to either pull his bottom two first molars, and have a spacer retainer cemented in place until hes 10 or 11. Or other option, have a pulpectomy {a partial root canal} and then have them crowned. And of course white crowns are $100 more a piece than the silver ones.
And then starting a prescription treatment to try and "heal" the other cavities.
So, Now instead of spending $200 on fillings, we are spending a lot more. Like $700. And yes, We have dental insurance. 
Great, And that's only one kid. I know Lex is probably in the same boat, But her appointment isn't until next week.
So, A few preventative measures that maybe will save you {and me} some money in the long run. 

We will be investing in sonicare toothbrushes for each of our kids. Yes, They are expensive. But they sure as heck are a lot cheaper than $700.  And if you buy them through your dentists office you can get a mail in rebate. Times that by 4 kids and its totally worth the hassle of the rebate.

No soda. Period. Not that they have that very often, But its totally out now.
No gatorade. Yeah, So, Blake used to have one of those little clear gatorades each day at recess. Did you know that one green powerade has the same acidity level as battery acid. Yeah, Neither did I until the dentist told me today. Yeah, I wanted to shoot myself for giving him that. I am SO PROTECTIVE of what my kids eat that I couldn't believe I had basically destroyed my kids teeth single handedly by giving him that gatorade.
Easy on the juice. So, I am insane about not giving my kids apple juice and grape juice and stuff like that, But then the dentist asked me if I gave them juice and I said "No! no way, that stuff is pure sugar"  And then Mike said well, What about your naked juice... Oh crap. Yeah, my kids drink green naked juice like water. Didn't even dawn on me that that was "Juice" Hello? Yes, Its fruits and veggies, But its also sugar. And I have to be better about brushing their teeth during the day. They will still get green naked juice, Just not in a sippy cup throughout the day. Just once with a meal.
And thats another thing. My kids are grazers. They eat all day long. So the dentist explained that its better to just give them something all at once instead of prolonging the tooths exposure to the sugars. I mean, I can't win right? The dr says eat 5 meals a day and the dentist says that kills our teeth... Awesome. So, Yeah, All you parents that are only letting your kids have  a few pieces of Halloween candy a each day and spreading it out over months, You're doing it wrong. It's better to just let them gorge themselves on it for one or two days.
And we will let our kids have xylitol gum. All the xylitol gum they want... Until it ends up in someones hair. But thats what we have peanut butter for right? I don't remember exactly why the dentist said it was good for their teeth, But it is, and its cheap, So done deal.
Heavens to betsy, So remember when I said I make lots financial mistakes... This is one of them. {The kitchen in the new house may be a close second, but don't tell Mike I admitted that, and I don't really feel bad about that one, It's gorgeous}
Being cheap cost me. Oh it got me good. So, there is a difference between being cheap/stupid, And being frugal. So, Lesson learned...
 I will never be cheap at the doctors, {Not that I have ever been cheap in that aspect, Shoot, I paid for all of Doctor Mo's kids to go to summer camps this year I'm sure, We are in there at least twice a month} and
I will never be cheap at the dentist. 
I will never be cheap {again} with preventative measures... Because for real, it is just going to end up costing you {Me} outrageous amounts later on down the road.

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