• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Dental Hygiene



Junior member
Jan 1, 2017
I've never been great with dental hygiene due to mental health problems, and I think this definitely contributes to my fear of the dentist. Sometimes I will go for weeks without brushing my teeth, especially when I'm stressed or feeling depressed. I'm trying to change that though, and am looking for advice on how to improve my dental hygiene. My dentist gave me special fluoride toothpaste which seems to have made a difference because I often get a dry mouth. I've had several fillings over the years. My questions are this - what can I do to improve my dental hygiene and is there likely to be long term damage because of this? (I'm 24, and I had been going to my dentist every 6 months until about a year and a half ago when I couldn't deal with the anxiety of going because I was unwell, but have since been back and plan to keep going 6 monthly)
I am a dental hygienist who has experienced depression and is also a dental phobic.

My advice would be to get the depression under control first. Are you seeing a psychiatrist or a therapist? I'd recommend seeing one.

Here are my depression remedies for taking care of teeth when you really really really just cant:

1. Try brushing your teeth in the shower (if you are able to shower). This is my go to technique and is the only way I'll brush when I'm depressed.
2. If you cannot do any sort of brushing or flossing, chew gum with xylitol. You will need to chew a lot of this a day to be effective and it needs to have xylitiol, not just be sugar free
3. Try using mouth wash with fluoride in it if possible 2 times a day
4. Use a wet paper towel after eating to clear off the food debris and plaque from your teeth

To answer your question about long term damage: Yes, there can be long term damage. As a hygienist I am most concerned with gum disease. Gum disease can lead to bone loss and bone does not grow back. Eventually if there is enough bone loss, your teeth will fall out -- even if they don't have cavities. Cavities are another concern with not being able to brush or floss.

Keep chugging along... keep getting help.... it's real what they say: IT DOES GET BETTER. Stay strong