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Broke-Ass Dental Care in NYC

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Oh Behave

The woman who hands out coupons for discounted tooth whitening at the Bedford Avenue stop in Brooklyn has gotten me thinking.  If there is one thing broke ass people can’t afford it is dental care.  I myself have been extremely slack in taking care of my chompers at certain poorer-than-average times.  I have compiled a short list of dos and don’ts to help you navigate the often treacherous land of broke ass dental care.

DO blame your parents. Genetics undoubtedly play a part in whether your teeth are '˜Austin Powers’ or '˜Jessica Simpson’.  While there is nothing you can do about your genes, this fact may make it possible for you to guilt trip your parents into paying for some or all of your dental care.  In my case, my father paid for multiple procedures simply because he felt responsible for genetically causing my Swiss-cheese teeth.



DON’T try to glue your crown back in your head using the glue you purchased at the drugstore.
I had a very delicate piece of dental work pop out of its place while eating a delicious salmon dinner one night.  I was in a precarious position not just because I had a nub of a tooth exposed, but more importantly, because I had been avoiding my dentist since I ran out of the money needed to finish the work.  Unfortunately for me, the dentist did not have as genial a personality as I require in a '˜dental daddy’.  That fact, in conjunction with my issues with male approval combined to make it a span of two years that I had been actively avoiding having the crown permanently glued into my head.  Since I was on the lam from my qualified dental professional I decided to do the next best thing and consult the Internet for a solution.  In this case, I was looking for a way to privately and discreetly glue the crown back into my head. Since the Internet told me it was a good idea, I purchased over-the-counter glue from a Duane Reade in Queens.  When I put the glue inside the tooth and mashed it onto the stub of my tooth underneath, the height of the pile of glue made it so the tooth didn’t fit properly back in my mouth.  It also wasn’t sticky at all (ironic!).  When I pried it off again, admitting defeat, I realized I now couldn’t get the glue out of it. I then tried to dig the useless glue out of the fake tooth using the only tool available to me in the bathroom where I was performing this task: the tip of a pen.  Though I did not achieve becoming an amateur dentist what I did succeed in doing was turning a white tooth blue.  Also, I succeeded in embarrassing myself by having to tell this story to my angry dentist when I arrived, shamefaced, back in his office, two years late.


don't talk just kiss

DO teach others to floss but DON’T be smug about it. When I registered for a semester abroad in London I decided that it would be my personal mission to bring flossing to the United Kingdom.  I remember instructing my Brit hookup on the subtleties of flossing as he stood in his underwear, gums bleeding.  Needless to say the relationship did not last.  It is my smugness that I blame for causing my subsequent dental difficulties.  Karma is a bitch.

Don’t eat Mentos in a foreign country.  They may be '˜the fresh maker’ but they also can bust your tooth in two.  Case in point, when I was in rural Eastern Poland.  I decided to brighten my day (and breath) with a little Mento action.  Long story short I got to experience first-hand the dental tourism movement in Poland.  The good news is; it only cost a few Zloty.

If these anecdotes have caused you to feel depressed lest you end up like me, take heart.  The Group Health Dental facility is offering a '˜courtesy discount’ on their cleanings regularly priced at $250.00.  The $49.00 deal is cheap enough that even this amateur dentist can afford it.

Group Health Dental Facility
230 West 41st Street
New York, NY 10036-7207

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Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine was born and raised in the land of the Pilgrims, Plymouth, Massachusetts. She turned in her buckled shoes when she moved to NYC to attend NYU. From that esteemed University she received her BFA in theatre as well as a Master's Degree in Performance Studies in 2004.
Now an actor, writer and broke ass day-jobber, Christine juggles her many personas with the elegance of a red panda. specifically the one in the Prospect Park Zoo . . . soooooo cute! She can be found most often in her own habitat on the Northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.