I did not have health insurance for about 1.5 years. It was scary and I did have to schedule one trip to the doctor (turned out to be cheaper than I thought it would be, about $350) because I had a bacterial infection, but the thing I was truly holding out on was the dentist. I knew my teeth were in bad shape.
At the end of January, while still waiting for my dental insurance card to arrive in the mail… my inlay or partial crowd that had been bothering me for years popped out. I have been SO thankful to quickly find a great dentist who has fixed me up over 4 visits. I had a root canal (not as bad as it sounds, just a long procedure), 3 fillings (because 2 fell out), and a full crown on the tooth that had root canal.
Sadly the first crown was not a good fit, so another has been ordered and hopefully on April 1st I will have a completely fixed mouth. Seeing my teeth all white though and looking like real teeth made me so happy though!
I think my teeth do look nice from the outside even though I never got braces, but when I was a kid I was not taught or forced to brush my teeth. I did not start regularly brushing my teeth until after a lot of damage was done, which was around the 6th grade and only because a kid in my class pointed out that he could tell I did not brush my teeth.
After that I brushed my teeth in the morning only, but then at night all the sugars and acids were siting on my teeth. I brushed in the morning and night some time in college and started flossing in graduate school. Mouth rise only happened when I bought it and felt up for the burn.
Now with a mother-in-law who is a dental hygienist and having gone to great dentists, I know what needs to be done. I brush my teeth and use a mouth rinse post breakfast. Then, I brush my teeth, floss and rinse again after I am done eating for the day and before bed. I am also slowly working on cutting back on acidic and sugary foods because they make my teeth hurt when I eat them too often. Oh man were my teeth feeling it during the holidays.
I would very much like to keep my teeth, so hopefully I will not be in a dire situation like this again, if I follow the recommendations that is.