I made an appointment for early next month. I'm 29 and I haven't been since I was 19. Before then, I hadn't been since I was 9. I didn't go as a kid/teenager because I was raised by my single mother on welfare and she couldn't really afford to take me. When I went at age 19 (self pay), they complemented me how well I had kept my teeth in all that time. I brush and floss daily and when I didn't have money for toothpaste, I used baking soda. Sometimes I still do because I want to stay away from all the chemicals in conventional toothpaste. In high school, I fell off my bicycle and chipped one of my teeth. Mom and I couldn't afford to get it fixed but the dentist fixed it for free when I was 19 just to be nice. I was very happy. I had to go through junior and senior year and graduation pictures with a chipped tooth. I also have an overbite. A classmate told me my mouth looked like a bag of nails :(
I haven't gone between 19 and 29 because at 1st I was a single mom myself and barely kept up with my daughter's visits. Now the whole family has been on my husband's insurance for some years and I am comfortable going and being able to pay in case we have a big bill. I have made sure the kids have kept regular appointments. The repaired chipped tooth broke off again a few weeks ago. After I'm back at regular cleanings myself, I want to get it looked at. And possibly get braces. I don't care I'll be 30+ with braces. It's important to me because I've had an overbite my whole life. I'm just happy I can finally afford to do things for myself. There is no greater feeling that working yourself out of poverty.