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i have not had my teeth cleaned in about 1o yrs

i just now have got insurance and really i have been ashamed to go because i never really floss and i never like hearing them nag but i know i really should go. i have nice looking teeth, i'm afraid i could have something wrong with my gums from not flossing. how do i get the courage to go? i just hate thinking of it, has anyone else been this long without a cleaning? what was the outcome?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:37 PM on Mar. 4, 2010 in Health

Answers (10)
  • I've not been in like 4 years and i'm feeling the same way. I brush and floss everyday and I still feel weird. I moved and that kinda was the breaking point cause I didn't know who to go to etc. But for you and me and everyone else, I think it's important to go because one day cavities and stuff can turn into bigger problems than just bueno!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:39 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • I go about once every 8 - 10 yrs. What do I care what they think? It's their job to clean them not to judge me. I have no insurance and saving for it isn't easy. Food and medicine comes first and nothing is left over for luxuries like teeth cleaning.

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:53 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • ok, i went about 12 years without a cleaning, and with a molar that had lost a filling. i am not a big flosser. i might floss 1x a month. the dentist was sooo worried about that lost filling, but there was no nerve damage, i got my filling and everything was fine. i apologized for the condition of my teeth, and he said they were not bad. maybe he was just being nice. the cleaning was painful! i may not go that long b/t cleanings again! just do it! make the call and go on in!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 9:22 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • eww..i havent been in forever. I hate the scraping on my teeth. It literally sends shivers down my spine. If and when i do go back they will HAVE to give me some kind of gas or something...i can not handle that shit!

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:34 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • I'm a dental hygienist and one of the most important aspects of my profession is to educate patients. I never look down upon a patient or yell at them for their lack of dental care. I have spent most of my career working with Medicaid and HIV patients.

    admckenzie - please do not feel that I am bashing, I only want to educate - having your teeth cleaned is not a luxury, it's a necessity.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 7:38 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • This what happens:

    Both plaque and tartar form on everyones teeth. Both are loaded with bacteria. Plaque is the sticky film that you brush off your teeth. Tartar is a combination of calcified plaque and mineral deposits from your saliva which cannot be brushed off.

    When the plaque and tartar become trapped between the tooth and gums the body thinks there is an infection. The body will try to fight it. The problem is the plaque and tartar are on the outside of the tissue and the body cannot get to it. This causes the body to attack the tissue - gums, ligaments, and bone the teeth sit in -periodontal disease. It also cause the bacteria to be released into the blood stream. When the bacteria is in the blood stream it can cause cardiac complications, blood sugar complications, miscarriage, and in severe cases death.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 7:39 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • The number 1 cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. It is estimated that 85% of the population will have some form of periodontal disease in their lifetime. Early periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis only affects the tissue (gums) and can be reversed. Signs of gingivitis are gums that are inflammed and bleed easily.
    Periodontal cannot be reversed but it can be brought under control. This is when the body has attacked and destroyed the ligaments and bone causing a space between the tooth and gums. Brushing and flossing will not get into the space to remove the plaque.
    People that have lost teeth due to periodontal disease have a difficult time with dentures. You need the bone for a denture to sit on - if there is too much bone loss than the oral cavity becomes flat- at this point options become very expensive.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 7:51 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • The average set of dentures cost around $2000. You can get less expensive dentures but they are usually made out of acrylic (plastic) and should be replaced with a couple of years. Even a good set of dentures should be replaced or at least relined every 5 years. Relining a set of dentures runs $200 to $500.
    With dentures you will lose 80% of your chewing ability and 50% of tasting - there are taste buds in the roof of the mouth.
    People who have had too much bone loss do have the option of implants. An implant is not a tooth replacement it is only a post. Implants are $2000 - 3000 per tooth. A denture or crowns are made to fit over the implant.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 8:01 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • During my 22 years in this profession, I have had great outcomes from proper treatment and patient compliance. When we tell you that you need to floss it is for your own good - you're a mom, it's like telling your children they need to eat their vegetables.

    Each tooth has 5 sides - the chewing surface, the tongue, the cheek side, and 2 sides one on each side of the tooth next to the adjacent tooth. If you are only brushing than you are only removing plaque from 3 sides of the tooth. That's only 60% which means 40% is not being cleaned - almost half.

    Adults tend to get decay between the teeth because they do not floss and periodontal disease usually begins between the teeth.



    Answer by PrttyMstng at 8:14 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Dental insurance:
    There are very few true dental insurances. Most plans are discount plans. Companies will sell you a plan telling you what you can get for free - that's great if everything is healthy. What they fail to tell you is that if you have periodontal disease you are no longer eligible for free cleanings - services for periodontal problems are at a discounted rate but not free.
    BTW - periodontal disease is painless, high blood pressure and diabetes is painless too.

    I find it very interesting that if a medical doctor tells a patient they have a disease the patient accepts treatment but when a dentist tells a patient they have periodontal problems the patient sometimes has trouble accepting treatment. The condition of the oral cavity affects the entire body - your mouth is part of your body.

    Last, I started a dental questions group here on cafemom to answer dental questions.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 8:27 AM on Mar. 5, 2010

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