Heavenly Hygiene: My Dentist’s Determination

(the following is adapted from the tune sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music)

Caps on incisors and people who listen
And brush all their teeth till they sparkle and glisten.
Children who don’t even flinch when it stings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Ladies who floss and have good solid fillings,
Men who can rinse without all of it spilling.
Breath that smells fresh as a garden in spring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Hygenists who seem to know just what they’re doing,
Patients who use their teeth only for chewing.
Enamel with no spots where nasty plaque clings
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the child nips,
When the drill slips,
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Xrays devoid of all manner of caries,
Children with faith in the good old tooth fairy.
Choirs whose teeth brighten their mouths when they sing,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Patients who come every six months for screening
Happy to offer their champers for cleaning,
Enjoying the fun that a root canal brings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Teenagers trained to take care of their braces,
Dental conventions in far away places.
Days that I leave feeling just like a king
These are a few of my favourite things.

When a tooth breaks,
When my back aches,
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

– “Dental Poem: My Favourite Things” by Mary Strever, February 5, 2019

This silly dental ditty confirms one thing in my mind: I have a great deal of respect for anyone brave enough to be a dentist!

Earlier this month, the Bolks party of four trekked into our local dentist for our semi-annual checkups and cleanings. When it comes to all the various departments in medical care, it never ceases to amaze me how blessed we are to live in the time period that we do. In 21st century America, we are apt to take for granted the ease of access to a whole field dedicated primarily to our chompers! Accessing dental care hasn’t always been so easy, you know. As recently as the 19th century, the only feasible option for dentistry would have been the traveling “tinker” who might be persuaded to pull an aching tooth when he finally arrived to you on his countryside rounds.

You might say the old way of dental care, as well as the modern, both have a pro and a con to them. On the plus side of the old, your dentist would come to you…but he was not readily accessible. On the plus side of the new, your dentist is readily accessible…but he doesn’t make house calls. This begs the question…where might one get the best of both worlds? Wouldn’t it be great to have a dentist who you could call on anytime, and a dentist who would take the time to meet you where you are at? I think you can see where I’m going with this…Jesus (symbolically speaking, of course) is such a One.

In Heavenly Hygiene: My Dentist’s Determination, we are going to typify our Lord as the Dentist of Dentists. We will analogize 5 ways that Christ’s work in the spirit is akin to that of a dentist’s work in the mouth. While a dentist is concerned about dental hygiene, Jesus is concerned about our heavenly hygiene. And he is bound and determined to present us clean and spotless before God. Let us now dive into our “appointment” with Him.

Heavenly Hygiene Item #1:


The first line of action in a dental appointment is to scrape away the pesky plaque and tartar that builds up on teeth in between appointments. No matter how healthy of an eater a patient may be, none are immune from sugars building up on their teeth and causing decay. The dentist must scrape away the filth in order to get our pearly whites back to a clean and healthy state.

Jesus, like a dentist, is in the business of removing filth. No matter how godly an individual may be, none are immune to sin that builds up and causes spiritual decay:

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. – Psalm 14:3

But wait, there’s more! Heavenly Hygiene Item #2:


The second line of action in a dental appointment is to furbish the teeth with a high-powered electric brush. This scrubs away at any remaining plaque and tartar that may have been left behind after the scraping/scaling, leaving the teeth squeaky clean and polished.

Jesus, like a dentist, is in the business of furbishing. He doesn’t merely scrape away the filth that is on the surface, but he scrubs and polishes until that which is underneath the surface is whiter than snow.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – Psalm 51:7

But wait, there’s more! Heavenly Hygiene Item #3:


The third line of action in a dental appointment is to administer a professional floss between the teeth. Plaque and tartar can hide away in hard to reach spots that can only be reached by flossing. The flossing process can also help detect any problem spots where excessive bleeding might occur that points to gum disease.

Jesus, like a dentist, is in the flossing business. He is concerned about cleaning up those “in-between” areas of our spirit…the places where we have become hard to reach because of some hidden sin we are clinging on to.

…cleanse thou me from secret faults. – Psalm 19:12b 

But wait, there’s more! Heavenly Hygiene Item #4:


The fourth line of action in a dental appointment is to flush out debris by rinsing the mouth out with clean water. After all that scraping, polishing, and flossing, one can only imagine how much icky residue is still left behind!

Jesus, like a dentist, is in the business of flushing away debris. Even after our filth has been removed, and our furbishing and flossing have been taken care of, there is still bound to be some gunk in our spirit moving forward. It comes with the fleshly territory. Thank goodness Jesus has the power to rinse it away.

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. – Ezekiel 36:25

But wait, there’s more! Heavenly Hygiene Item #5:


The fifth and final line of action in a dental appointment is to coat the teeth with a fluoride treatment. This is meant to serve as a protective barrier against cavities for several months in between cleanings.

Jesus, like a dentist, is in the business of fluoride treatment. He doesn’t merely clean us up and hit the road, but he covers and equips us by providing us with protective barriers against further decay. (i.e. the Bible, the Holy Spirit, our church family, the fruit of the Spirit, the armor of God, etc.)

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. – John 14:18-19


In conclusion…

Next time you pay a visit the dentist, I hope you will be reminded of the “Dentist” that wants to pay a visit to you.

How is your Heavenly Hygiene? Are you due for an appointment with Jesus? He is more than qualified to deal with the filth, the furbish, the floss, the flush, and the fluoride. And get this – He is so concerned with your Heavenly Hygiene that He will come visit you wherever you are. Now that is one determined dentist! If you have questions about how to become a “patient” of Jesus, please visit my past article entitled “Buy Four, Get One Free“.

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

For God’s Glory,
CA Bolks


Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.