• Dental Phobia Support

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Going to give it my all



Junior member
Jun 21, 2022
North Carolina
I am 26 years old and I've had fillings in almost all my teeth at this point. I drink way to much sugared soda, and just sugary things in general. I have tried in the past to build better habits and routines to take care of my teeth. But because of my anxiety and depression, all it takes is a stressful event or something throw me back to square 1. Every time I go to the dentist I feel dread, knowing there will be another cavity. I get embarrassed, thinking my dentist is judging me every time I go. After all, I judge me. I feel lazy and pathetic for not being able to do something so many others do. It gets to the point where I will avoid going.

Recently I noticed what are probably at least 2 new cavities. I wrote an email to my dentist. But discovering the cavity and having to tell them I probably have another sent me spiraling down a deep depressive hole. I had thoughts of harming myself. I hated myself so much in that moment. Still do. I keep thinking I'll have no teeth by the time I'm 40. All becuase i'm too pathetic to stick to a routine, to quit drinking soda. I chose to write here as an outlet and got some kind responses. I was surprised how much it made me feel better.

I am going to try again. To build better habits. To brush my teeth, floss, and mouthwash every day. To stop consuming so much sugar. I keep thinking "You're going to fail again. You never make a lasting change." I guess I'm writing here to give myself some accountability. Like, maybe vocalizing it where strangers can see it will help me make it stick this time. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. I might update milestones to motivate me a bit, if that's appropriate here. The past is unchangeable and the future is unknowable. But I can choose what I do here and now. And I am going to give it my all.

Sorry for the ramble. If anyone else is going through something similar, know I'm rooting for you.
Starfall Abyss
I'm rooting for you, StarfallAbyss. You remind me of my younger self. I am now 52 and have lost 6 teeth (besides my wisdom teeth) and am scheduled to get 2 more extracted in the next two weeks. I know the power of the sugar habit. I have been fighting it all of my adult life - trying and failing. My teeth have taken the hit of so many things: a phobia of the dentist that developed as an adult due to PTSD such that much-needed dental work did not get done and then those teeth were pulled one by one once it was too late; a sugar dependence as a coping mechanism; dry mouth from either my auto-immune condition or anxiety or both; and sometimes just being too scared to brush my teeth lest I feel a pain or notice something that needs attention.

I don't want to say something that ends up not lasting, but I think maybe, just maybe I've finally beaten the sugar in the last 8 weeks or so. It was fear that motivated me at the start. I had a tooth suddenly develop intense pain. It had a crown on it and I knew it had decay and needed repair, but it went urgent and too-far-gone very quickly. The first pain happened as I was eating a small cherry pie. From that moment a switch flipped in my mind that just scared me from eating sweets. I had the tooth removed three days later. Now those first few days post-extraction, in desperation for things I could eat, I had a little ice cream and pudding, but I didn't really even enjoy them that much as sweets. Now, several weeks later, as I am looking ahead to more extractions, I have been craving sugar again to cope with the anxiety, but there is something there this time. I finally don't want to be controlled by it anymore. It has taken me this long and this much loss to finally be where I don't want to be concerned that I make sure I keep an inventory of sugared-up treats in the house to get through the day or the week or whatever. I also needed to lose weight and it has been coming off since I dropped the sugar, and I like feeling lighter and more comfortable in my body. Anyway, I am rambling on.

Mostly, I wanted to tell you that I hear you and I can relate and I don't judge you at all. I hope that it sticks for me this time. And I hope it sticks for you. Just remember that there's nothing wrong with starting over, whenever you fall.
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Good luck. Keep us posted.
@StarfallAbyss I'm proud of you for keeping on trying, and picking yourself up to try again! I think you are doing great for 26, I wasn't making any effort to avoid soda or sugar at your age, or trying that hard with hygiene at your age, and worse than you I was a smoker, until I was quite a bit older than you in fact. Nobody should be judged or considered less than in anyway for seeking something that gives them comfort when they are stressed, anxious, or depressed, of course it is only natural we behave in that way, even if it is something that is harmful to our health. I hope your healthy changes stick! Something I believe too, if a healthy change is worth doing, it is also worth doing imperfectly. Like if it is great to quit candy, it is also great to reduce candy, if that is what you can manage, even if that is not as ideal as quitting totally. If it is great to brush and floss twice a day, it is also great to do it once a day, if that is what you can manage, even if it's not as ideal as twice. Good luck and keep us updated!