Thoughts: "Visit the Dentist Twice a Year" and Other Questionable Warnings

A few years ago, a knowledgeable person told me that dental insurance is almost always a rip-off. He said that paying out-of-pocket for two cleanings each year and basic procedures was much cheaper than paying for the insurance.

Awesome tip, we thought. We will save some money!

We did save money. However, we also stayed away from the dentist. For more than two years. Apparently, it's free to not visit the dentist. Sweet!

When selecting benefits for my husband's new job, we decided to enroll in dental insurance. We like saving so much that we needed that extra push to visit the dentist.

Full of shame, I admitted to the receptionist that we had not seen a dentist for years. "Disgusting," she said. Just kidding, she didn't. She didn't even scold me for the offense.

I guiltily went to the dentist this morning. After two years full of way more coffee with cream and sugar than ever before (actually, cream and sugar with coffee is more like it), I was sure the news would be bad. Five cavities, stained teeth, whatever other bad things they can say.

Nope. No bad news at all. My dentist (who is great, by the way) left me with the typical warning, "Keep flossing every day." Right. I am not a flosser.

This dental experience has made me feel a little misled by the warnings. "Visit the dentist twice a year," "Floss daily," "Brush your teeth twice a day," "Avoid sugar." Or what? I have failed at each of those things during the past two years, and my teeth are fine.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for taking care of your body, including teeth. I have had cavities before. I guess I just find it ironic that the best report from the dentist came after two years with very little dental care (brushing my teeth faithfully counts, okay?). Not exactly motivation to step up in the dental care department.

My teeth do feel cleaner. I am glad we have the insurance as motivation to visit the dentist. I'm just not convinced the warnings are warranted.

What do you think?