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Can't even get braces because of my gag reflex



Junior member
Aug 13, 2021
Yes, I know this sounds silly. I have a VERY bad gag reflex. I go to a sedation dentist for all of my work. Recently I've gotten two impacted top canine teeth extracted to make way for the adult teeth above them. I'm 20 years old and have just recently been able to get back my dental hygiene back on track. My oral surgeon and orthodontist want to get top braces on and pull the adult canine teeth in to place, overall pretty standard stuff. However, because of my anxiety and awful gag reflex I've been unable to get my braces and have been putting them off for 6 months now. My adult canine teeth are starting to come down, but appears to me, are a little further back than they should be. My ortho said my teeth are perfect otherwise and my bite is great, and I really want to get braces but am just unable to. Is there anything that can be done? Listening to music, wiggling toes, pinching thumb, etc... none of this works for me. I can let someone mess with my mouth for a little bit, but too long or deep and I can't handle it. I gag sometimes brushing my teeth, let alone them sticking things in my mouth!

I'm pretty miserable and just want my teeth figured out, this whole situation is making me depressed and I feel like there's no option for someone like me. Everyone tells me to "just deal with it." I can't help but just feel like a freak because I can't even get braces. Obviously orthodontists don't do sedation because of course, why would they? Any recommendations for what I should do? I'm seriously so desperate to be able to get braces right now.
Hi Stuckinlife164,

sorry to read about your situation. It must be difficult to want braces so badly but not feeling able to get them because of your gag reflex. “Just deal with it“ sounds like a very useless advice, I wouldn‘t even know how that would look like in connection to a gag reflex. Needless to say that nothing about your problem sounds silly.
We have an article about gagging here on the site, my hope is that you can find something that you haven‘t tried yet:

Also, would getting a second opinion be an option? Maybe there is an orthodontist who offers sedation or has ideas how to make you able to get your braces?

All the best wishes