While my coffee-drinking days have come to an end--and that's a sad story for another day--the "souvenirs" still linger. Does ANYTHING stain your teeth worse than coffee?

Okay, yeah, that's gross, but, hey, that's why people get their teeth cleaned. It's a very important part of dental health, and I applaud everyone in the dental hygiene field for never being "down in the mouth" about their work.


When I searched for the expense involved in getting typical teeth cleaning, I got a variety of answers. Cornerstone Family Dentistry in North Carolina reports that it can run you anywhere from $75 to $200. Cigna--an insurance company offering dental coverage--says that, on average, you're looking at a $90-120 range if you don't have insurance.

Yeah, it's not terribly prohibitive, I realize, but low-income individuals may not be able to spring for that kind of work, necessary as it may be. And Medicare doesn't provide the kind of dental insurance for seniors that most of us take for granted. From WebMD:

Medicare doesn’t generally pay for dental care that is considered routine, like cleanings, fillings, or dentures. Learn how to find low-cost dental solutions for seniors that help you save money on dental services.


When we were trying to get our mom dentures, we could not BELIEVE how much they cost, even the sets that wouldn't look realistic. I mean, having your teeth cleaned doesn't come close to THAT kind of expense, but, again, it could be something that just keeps getting put off.

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That's why it's such a relief for those on fixed incomes to have the kind of opportunity the University of Southern Indiana provides. The Evansville school's dental hygiene students, as part of their education, perform dental hygiene treatment for incredibly low rates.

Talk about a win-win; an unparalleled learning experience for the student and very little out-of-pocket for the patient. And those low costs include the cleaning, x-rays, and an exam. And the university's clinic does not accept dental insurance.

It's $35 for adults, $35 for seniors ages 60 & above, $20 for children ages 11-17, and $10 for kids aged 10 and under.

Shelly Marie Young is a USI dental hygiene student who posts on behalf of her and her classmates, and she is always looking for different types of dental issues from the public. You can never stop learning, you know. But, of course, her hours are limited--she's only available at 5 PM on Mondays and Thursdays; and on Wednesdays at 7:45 AM and 12:45 PM.

For people who may not necessarily be able to afford dental insurance, solutions like these are a godsend.

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