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Deathly afraid of the dentist but 2 severally decayed teeth



Junior member
Apr 8, 2017
I'm only 16 years old and my back two molars are so decayed. One of them is almost completely gone and the other one has holes. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I'm really afraid of the dentist. It was really hurting about a month ago and I went to the dentist but she said that I had a lot of build up and would need to seek a oral surgeon and that she wouldn't be able to do anything. Since then, I haven't done anything because I'm so afraid and embarrassed. Everyone my age has braces and I have to get my teeth pulled out because I didn't take care of the as a young kid. My parents pretty much let me eat whatever I wanted and so I ate lots candy and drank a lot of soda. I have so much built up tarter on those teeth and if I smile really big you can see it. I hate smiling but can someone please help me? I get anxiety when someone just mentions the dentist. Anyone please give me advice on how to get over this fear
Hey, welcome to the forum. Please don't be ashamed. Many people will lose a back molar or two at some point. Those teeth get the most wear and tear, and are usually the first to need treated if any issues start coming up.

Because you're so young, you have a good chance of turning this around. I know you're embarrassed, but try not to be. When I was 16 I many problems with teeth too, problems my friends didn't have (I remember at one point being terribly jealous of my friend who had just had a dentist appointment where she was informed all her teeth were perfect and she didn't even need so much as a cleaning). It just happens sometimes. :p

But if you get those molars sorted, it'll be a huge weight off your mind. And if you get the tartar cleaned off, that will significantly reduce your chances of developing any more cavities. It's easier to take care of your teeth and handle future dentist visits when you know you're back in control of your oral health.

Just posting here and talking about it, which I know is not easy, is a big first step, and you should be proud.

Hi Clover,

Welcome to the forum and I second what sevena said about it being a huge step in itself, I hope this forum helps you to see that you aren't alone at all and we're here with you on this journey too.

I am 22 now but I was in a very similar situation when I was your age, I didn't smile, my teeth really hurt and I knew they weren't great but I actually managed to put them to the back of my mind until very recently, when thanks to this forum, I bit the bullet and I started my dental journey. This makes me want to reach out and hug you and tell you that it will be okay, I totally get the age thing and feeling like everyone else's teeth are so much whiter and stuff. My teeth are far from perfect (particularly my back molars), and I will most likely need an extraction of my upper back molar soon due to decay but I got there just in time, you're still young so your chances are better for that too.

I know it's easier said than done (I should take my own advice aha!) but you really needn't be embarrassed, you'd be surprised how many people are in a similar boat to yourself, even just by looking on this forum. In fact, I think it's good that you're trying to get in the mindset now at 16, even though it scares you. That is a very mature and admirable thing to do and there is always hope at any age.

Another thing... everyone's situation is different, some people neglect their teeth because of mental health, some people have bad accidents which knock their teeth out and some people are just born with bad genes that make them more prone to problems.

Everyone's different but the things that I've found helpful for me:

1) Finding a dentist that I trusted- I found my first expensive but phobic friendly one through a friend to ween myself in slowly, and then an NHS on the recommendation page on here which is looking as equally promising. (I'm not sure where you are sorry but recommendations and reviews are always good for building trust and getting the right place for you). You might not find the right place first, but there's no reason why you can't keep on trying.
2) Trying to work out what it is exactly that scares you- Pain, Judgement, the cost, needles, tooth loss
3) Trying to find strategies to make these fears easier and work these through with your dentist- like finding a dentist that offers painless injections, won't pass any judgement, will stop when asked, explains everything/just gets on with things and doesn't tell you.
4) Trying to change how I frame the whole experience by thinking about the outcome- what would be your ideal end goal? Confidence, better health, knowing that you kicked bum doing something that really scared you etc- Once you face a massive fear, I think it is true that other things get easier.
5) Get the ball rolling- I know making that first appointment is really scary but once you've started, you're one step closer to getting a healthier mouth. (I've also found getting early appointments reallly helpful as I'm always half asleep in the morning haha, by the time I'm properly awake I'm already home and have less time to panic). Maybe there is a time of day that works better for you?
6) Be kind and forgive yourself - This is a huge one! I think it's important to acknowledge that getting your teeth looked at is an act of self-care and you deserve to be happy and healthy. Maybe you could treat yourself after every little baby step you do? Like a walk in the park, new clothes, watch a film. I get to watch a film I know my boyfriend hates after every appointment, it's almost worth it to watch him squirm haha. :giggle:

I really hope that you both feel able to and have family or friends that you can talk to about your feelings, I know it can feel like you are alone but as I said before a fear of the dentist and teeth problems is much more widespread than most people talk about. You might even help someone else out by opening up. :)

Keep us updated. Please feel free to either reply on here or drop me a private message if you wish, I'd be happy to listen if you just need to rant or want to know anything else about my journey so far.

Good luck. :XXLhug:
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Please don't be embarrassed! I was in the exact same shoes as you when I was your age, and already had a broken molar by then. My parents also let me eat whatever I want and I ate so many sweets and drank so much soda. And all my friends had braces and my teeth were so crowded and I needed them too, but my parents never took me to the dentist or place an emphasis on oral hygiene.

But you're young and you're taking care of things now, and you're turning things around, and you should feel proud of yourself for that! I didn't start taking care of things until I was 30, and I wish I started earlier. Try not to beat yourself for the past - what's done is done. You're looking to change things now.

As for overcoming your fears - a big part of it for me was finding the right dentist. Are you happy with your current one, and if not, is there any chance you can ask your parents to switch? Honestly, a good dentist who will listen to you and work with you to overcome your fears makes a huge difference. And then talking to them about your fears will help (I personally suck at this part, but hey).

Good luck :)
Agree with others dont be embarrassed (dentists have seen everything) I am in my 30s and still get quite embarrassed about how my teeth look even though I got regular for appointments at the same pratice (NHS patient) 10 dentists in 33 years, may be I ate too many sweets and soda. I was never grace with good teeth, awkard mouth to start with, small mouth (probably if needed will never be able to have dentures)