Let me share a tip with you, my first of the new year. If your only new year’s resolution is to save money and spend less, do not make a dentist appointment for January 2. I don’t know if it’s genes, growing up with well water, or the man at Lyndale’s farm stand who would give me and my sister free candy all the time because we “looked so healthy”, but in my thirty-one and a half years, I have had my share of dental work. My share and yours, actually. Many fillings, big fillings, three root canals, it’s not pretty. I haven’t had a cavity in years thanks to excessive flossing and no more visits to Lyndale’s, but what I have now is a case of I’m Getting Old. My fillings, the ones I’ve had since I was probably eight, are failing. And they’re not only failing, they’re breaking my teeth. I have two large fillings next to each other that are so old and so big, that years of them expanding and contracting with my hot coffee and ice cream diet have caused them to crack two of my teeth. Now, is it just me, or are any of you out there a bit outraged at the fact that your dental work could cause you to need more dental work in the future. This bugs the crap out of me and gives me the crushing panic feeling that I haven’t had since I paid off my credit card last winter. I need to have two crowns put on to replace the acres of metal fillings currently destroying my molars, and despite the wonderful Teamsters dental plan I have, I still have to pay nearly $1,000 to have this work done. This just sucks. And if I don’t do it, my teeth could break, resulting in the need for two more root canals, or potentially dental implants depending on how the teeth break. I’m really left with no choice but to have to work done. I’m not interested in another root canal, three threaded metal rods embedded in my skull are enough, thank you very much, but I really, REALLY don’t want to charge it. So here I am, doing my best to personally save more and spend less, and my dumb teeth go and screw it up. I’m torn, does it still count as spending if I don’t want to do it?