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Why do I need to get my teeth cleaned anyway?

Updated on March 16, 2008

Why clean my teeth?

Having one's teeth cleaned professionally is an experience, depending on whom you are talking to, altogether different. It is wonderful, makes my mouth feel so good, my teeth are shiny, I love it say some! Oh my God, it's horrible, ripping my gums open, bleeding, gagging me on my own saliva, nasty tastes, I hate it others say! What is really going on when you have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist.\? I like to use visually enabling examples with my patients so I will include them here as well. Forgive me now if they are too ";graphically visual"; for your likening, but hey, whatever it takes to get the message across. Imagine your teeth like little white picket fences that are surrounded by gullys. Everyday, they are blasted by a vicious array of acids, dirty liquids, sticky foods, and bacteria that grow like algae in a pool. Now, a nicely painted fence will repel most things and the gully below would end up capturing some of this as well, depending on the size of it. Now imagine your teeth the same way, shiny, slippery teeth blocking anything from adhering to them, and firm, healthy gums locking out anything from building up inside them. Fast forward to two to three years of no cleanings. The surface of the tooth is not like glass, but can have grooves, depressions and chips in it, all of which attract stains and calculus(a combination of bacteria, saliva and other unsavory things.) The gums become unhealthy from having all of the above next to them, bring blood with antibodies to fight the onslaught of infection. This in turn makes them puffy, bleed easy and especially tender. And the bone inside the gums, holding the teeth in, starts to withdraw away from all this unhealthiness which is the beginning of gum disease or periodontal disease or perio as we professionals like to call it. What to do? Now when you have a kitchen trash can that is full of old food and trash, usually after about 4 or 5 days, it starts to stink. Longer than that and we take it out. Well, old food and debri trapped in your teeth does the same thing basically. And other people notice! Since it's right under our own noses, we can't smell it anymore. Try this test.. lick the back of your hand, let it air dry then smell it. You are now smelling your own breath. The gums, well, I compare these to getting a splinter in your finger. Do you look at it, and say.. yeah, we'll pull it out in a week or so. No. Basically that is what you are doing when you ignore build-up in your gums. That splinter's going to feel horrible getting dug out in a month, as do your gums when they are now infected and sore from leaving all that in there even longer. But just like a finger, once that splinter is out, it feels fine almost immediately, gums are the same way. Clean out the infection, the irritating calculus, the blood leaves the area, and the gum swelling goes down. They shrink up tight against the teeth, laying flat like pale little gums are supposed to. Getting them cleaned on a regular basis helps prevent this scenario from happening again and again. So basically getting ones teeth cleaned leaves pearly white teeth, healthy, non-bleeding gums and fresh breath for those close encounters with friends and family. Now who wouldn't want that?


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    • Igal profile image


      7 years ago from Los angeles

      This hub is very informative.I am glad to read it.Cleaning teeth in a proper manner make a good oral health.

    • profile image

      best dental clinic Singapore  

      7 years ago

      Why do we need to keep our teeth clean? Well obviously if you don’t maintain clean teeth it will lead to plaque that promotes bacteria then lead to an infection that’s sometimes causes of tooth loss or other costly procedures. So might as well maintain good oral hygiene and oral health because this also affects your self- image and self – esteem.

    • profile image

      Irvine Dentist 

      7 years ago

      Nice work..Interesting and infomative article..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It sounds good. My doctor advised me to get the tooth cleaned once in every year.

    • cyclrmom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Destin, FL

      teeth become stained and yellowish from age, coffee, tea, smoking among other things. Teeth look more grayish from taking tetracycline as a child while teeth are still developing. Bleaching from a dentist whitens from the inside out. Store bought whiteners work from the outside in. A cleaning at the dentist cleans debris and stains off the outside surface of your teeth. Whitening them is whole different treatment depending on which method you choose.So yes, you could get them cleaned but they won't necessarily look any whiter if they are yellowed from the above mentioned reasons. Tetracycline staining usually requires crowning as even veneers can be too thin and still show the darkness behind them.

    • profile image

      Dental Jobs 

      8 years ago

      interesting article, cleaning teeth and having your teeth whitened are two different things, its better just to have clean teeth!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i got my teeth cleaned last week but they don't look any whiter. what's up with that?


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