Frugal Dental Visit



Some of my mother’s most common sayings when I was growing up:

1. Oil changes are life of your car

2. Good credit is everything

3. Take care of your teeth, you only get one set.

She is pretty smart because it turns out, she was spot on☺️. Why, oh why, didn’t I listen more??? Well, it’s never too late…moving on..

We don’t have dental insurance. My husband and I have what we call a “shoebox” approach to dental care. We set aside money to pay for my families dental care. Now, what we do is probably not recommended by most dentists so I am not encouraging you to follow my plan.

We visit our dentist once per year, unless we have problems. The American Dental Association recommendeds a dental visit twice a year, I think, correct me if I’m wrong.  We get x-rays, a cleaning, and check-up at that time.


Here is a few frugal dental tips that I like:

1. Ask your dentist for toothbrushes or samples. When we asked our dentist for a toothbrushes,  she brought us the handful pictured above. She said that they “hate” these toothbrushes and were glad to get rid of them. My family isn’t picky, so we were glad to get them. Even if they aren’t the highest quality toothbrushes, they are perfect to stash in the bag to take camping or keep in case an overnight guest forgets theirs. Truthfully, we will probably just use them as intended😉.

2. Keep your old toothbrushes…at least a few, anyway. They are super great for cleaning small objects with lots of creases. Like my toaster, for instance *see post from a few days ago. I clean my jewelry, cracks in my cars interior, and the grout between my tile. They are also good to use for craft projects…so many things! Oh, and my very favorite..use an old toothbrush for a spot stain removal on clothes before laundering. This works so well, if you don’t try any of least try this one😉.

3. Shop around for your dentist. Some dentists provide free x-rays, cleanings, or dental exams at your first visit to boost business…The flip side of this is they may over charge you after they have sucked you into their business so please see number 4.

4. Call all of your local dentists to get price quotes over the phone, before you go. Prices for root canals, cleanings, x-rays, or fillings can vary widely. We actually drive to a nearby town for dental work because the costs are so much less there.

7. If it’s a small procedure like a simple filling, skip the “laughy” gas. The numbing medication works well enough for me to avoid using this most of the time. My dentist charges $15 for the gas. That’s gas money, folks—for my car!

8. If you have a particular skill, some dentists will barter services. I have mentioned before, I got a root canal in exchange for the services we provide at our business. We didn’t even know the guy!! Just strike up a conversation. Many are willing to exchange services or reduce the rates. Don’t be afraid to ask, they can’t eat you!

9. If you are really struggling financially, call around to your local dentists or churches in your area and ask about any free services available. I volunteer as a registered nurse at a local free clinic.  We also have dentists that volunteer in the clinic a couple days a month. We provide free medical and dental services to those in need. You have to seek out these services because most areas have something similar. You just have to have the courage to ask☺️.

10. I know this goes without saying, but take  good care of your teeth. Prevention takes care of problems before they start..Oh, and thanks mom for the good advice❤️.

2 thoughts on “Frugal Dental Visit

  1. Your mom’s advice was very good. I didn’t follow the oil change one with my first car and ruined it, so learned that the hard way. We’ve been fortunate to have dental insurance all along. Your tips are great for those who don’t, as in our 27 year old son. I never thought about calling around to check prices on procedures. I did see a coupon recently for a dentist for a free xray and initial exam, and that sounded like a good deal, but I guess it depends on what prices are after that!


  2. Exactly! I love the free exam and x-rays offer. Sometimes they truly are a good deal if the cost for any after care isn’t exorbant. I just get a notebook and make a list of questions to ask each place. Some will gladly tell you everything and some are more reluctant. If they are reluctant, then there is probably a reason, so scratch them off the list, lol. Then put a list of the prices underneath for normal things like fillings, root canals, etc. I have to write them down or I will forget immediately after hanging up the phone. Then you can weed out the ridiculously over priced ones. So glad you have dental insurance!! Yes, my mom is very practical.


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