Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saving Money at the Dentist

We have all our dental appointments tomorrow. This is not a day I really look forward to twice a year, due to traumatic dental experiences as a child. So I try to NOT pass on this fear to my little ones.

How do I do that? By offering a reward.

See, it takes so long to get all of us through the dentist that we usually drive through McDonald's for a treat after, and get everyone something from the Dollar Menu to hold them over until we are home. A couple years ago I got to thinking - our co-pay for cavities is $40. So I tell the kids that anyone who has teeth CLEANER than mine can get themselves and ENTIRE meal. It still costs less than a co-pay for one cavity, but gives the kids an incentive to keep their teeth clean all through the year, since they never get an entire meal at a fast food restaurant.

It Works for Me (we haven't had a cavity yet!), it might Work for You too!


  1. McDonald's and clean teeth! Can't beat that!

  2. Hello Carrie, I am a mom of soon to be four children under age four, we are due in July. I found your letter to a mom of littles on happy to be at home. i tried to click on the link that would take me to your blog but it took me somewhere else, some weird real estate site. thought you may want to fix that. I was determined to find your blog because I need all the advice from a mom who has been there that I can possibly get :) I think if that link were fixed you would have many more followers. Thanks for being an encouragment.

  3. Amy- In case you are getting the comments... I just found that the link on the bio doesn't have the www in front of it. I am writing to Joy to see if she can change it. Thanks for letting me know! The link is correct if you click from the "About our writers" page.

    I appreciate your dedication in finding my blog!

  4. Wow! You must have clean teeth! LOL! We save money by just not going to the dentist unless there is a problem. But then, we have great teeth and not too many problems. Don't worry, we make up for it in orthodontics. Dental insurance huh? We don't have that we're different again. LOL!

  5. I want to hear about the childhood dental experiences :O)

  6. It's better left forgotten... something about a tooth pulled without the anesthesia being in effect...

    And Lisa of Best Life- my husbands work has a great deal. For just over $100 a year, the price of 2 individual cleanings, we can all get free cleanings twice, and only pay a co-pay for cavities or other things. It's really not a bad deal for so many of us!

    We've never had a cavity, so I guess it's working.

    It also pays $1000 towards orthodontics, too. We've had two go through braces, and will probably have several more, although my standard for the "necessity" of braces is much, much higher than it was before. We will no longer do it for the more minor movements... only bigger things. In Florida we had a child LOSE teeth with brackets on because there were so many orthodontists they fought over the patients, and got them in YOUNG so they could get the money. Here there's only one ortho in a 60+ mile radius. He is real understanding about waiting!

    One child who had braces before did not do a good job brushing his teeth. The ortho looked in his mouth and mentioned something about "Phase 2". I said there was no way I was spending another dime on teeth he refused to brush. The ortho looked at said child and said, "She has a good point. You know, you really don't have to brush your teeth. You only have to brush the ones you want to keep."

    Come to think of it, I think Matt has done a better job at it this last 6 months. He's 15, so I don't tell him to brush any more.

  7. What a blessing to have such good dental and ortho coverage. But I'm not convinced it's all in the care. I think a lot of it is genetic. I have never had a cavity and neither have any of our children. Only a few of them have ever been to the dentist and even then it once or twice.

    But I'm with you on the standards for braces. Even with the $1000 help, it's very expensive. We have two in braces now, one that is finished with them and one that we did Invisilign with. Whew! These kids are expensive! (but well worth it...braces or not, their little smiles brighten my day) Lisa~