Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time for a Rant

Being a "good" parent means taking care of your child's health and well-being. Conventional wisdom is that you take your child to the dentist twice a year for a "check-up." Well, we've never been able to afford that kind of dental care so my approach has always been to prevent cavities at all costs by good diet and habits and to do the check-ups in order of age/priority as we had the money. Of our four grown children, two of them made it through childhood without a single cavity. The other two had a few in their adolescent and teenage years. Child #5 had something like four cavities as an adolescent. One was not taken care of promptly and led to other problems.

So in our house we never have soda pop. The kids only get candy at Christmas and Easter and even then, to their consternation, it is strictly rationed. We live on homegrown, natural foods. We drink raw goat's milk several months of the year. My kids take Cod Liver Oil every day without complaint. The kids have the hardcore unsweetened yogurt to which I'll add stevia for sweetener. A few years ago I eliminated all juice except what I make myself that is unsweetened and they only get to drink it on Sunday mornings. Snacks are apples, other fruit, popcorn, tortilla chips, etc. The cookie jar spends more time empty than full. Etc. etc. you get the idea.

The kids brush and floss every day.

So my 6yo goes to the dentist yesterday for his first checkup and has eight cavities. The 8yo has six.

Pardon me while I go outside to have a few words.

And there is something wrong with the world when putting fillings in the teeny weeny little holes of my littlest boy's tiny baby teeth is going to run $1300. ???????????????????

Then add in the 8yo's fillings, a few for myself, and hey, we should do a cleaning or two so we're talking

$$$$$$$$$TWO OR THREE GRAND $$$$$$$$$ for fillings and exams.

Seriously. I try not to use swear words but now would be a good time if I did.

This is just the basic dental care. Not gold crowns or porcelain veneers. We're not replacing all the teeth with jewel encrusted platinum.

So now if I join the insurance racket and pay premiums for a few months so they can pay 50% of the fillings after the deductable, I may be able to save $200-300 in the end. Yippee Skippee.

To add the cherry on top. Today, my dishwasher which gets run fully loaded twice a day and is only about four years old, decides it wants a new motor if it's going to continue doing it's duty.

Thanks, I needed that.

In the hopeful words of Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day."


  1. Ooh. I was a certified dental assistant until my first baby was 18 months old. Believe me, it's nothing you've done or haven't done. My first had NO cavities as a child, adolescent and only one as a young adult. My two boys, on the other hand, have cavities every time they darken the door of the place. I didn't change the way we did dental care at home. It's genetic. I'm remembering my own childhood with filling after filling, spacers to hold places because of baby teeth having to be pulled early, etc. My husband didn't SEE a dentist until he was 13. He only had a couple of cavities. That's it. My daughter obviously got her father's strong tooth gene while my boys got their mother's horrible baby tooth gene. It got better for my middle son when he got permanent teeth so there is hope!

    Sorry about your horrible day. And Scarlett's right. Tomorrow is another day.

  2. When I was 8 or 9, my mom took us to the cheapest dentist within a hundred mile radius in podunk town Nebraska. He found 10 cavities in my mouth and my mother was livid with me! Granted, it was only $5 per filling at the time... but money was very tight...

  3. Ugh. It's just horrible. Horrible.

    Have you ever thought of checking out the Dental School in the city? I'm told that's where Nathan's Mom took them for cheap fillings. (Prolly not quite so cheap now, though...) Maybe that would be an option for the boys?

  4. I am thinking of trying to find a place with cheaper rates, if it exists. But still...

    There is just something WRONG WRONG WRONG that anyone would ever have to pay, insurance or not, that kind of money for fillings. It's more than we paid for the van we drive for pity sake.


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