I never used to brush or floss! Is there still hope for me??



Junior member
Sep 11, 2014
I am now 20 years old and as a teenager, due to a combination of ignorance, depression and not really caring about my hygiene, health or appearance, I have horribly neglected my teeth since I was 10-12. I almost never brushed or flossed them, and I binged on junk food and drank soft drinks almost every day. I never went to the dentist during this time as I have struggled to find a job and save money and was dependent on my parents who are poor and hate the dentist. Before recently, my last dental checkup was at age 7 or 8.

When I was a child, my parents sometimes told me to brush my teeth but never really taught me how, and when I did brush, I just made horizontal strokes across my teeth and only took about 30 seconds. In late adolescence/early adulthood, I started brushing again but stopped because of bleeding gums and I thought it was giving me mouth ulcers. Also, I actually thought I could use mouthwash instead of brushing.
And I never knew dental floss existed.

Also, basically, I never thought it was really necessary as I never had any immediate problems with my teeth, no visible cavities, and they looked good. I knew nothing about gum disease and other problems associated with not brushing, and I never got sick or gained weight at all so I thought I was in good health.
I also have Asperger's syndrome and never really grew up with many friends or had a social life, so not many people were around me to notice if I had bad teeth or breath.

As a result of all this, I never really got in the habit of brushing my teeth.
Now I realise how badly I have treated them and am full of guilt and regret. For the last month, I have been brushing and flossing 2-3 times a day, eating fruits and vegetables and cutting back on sugar. After the first a week of brushing my teeth, my gums have become pinker and stopped bleeding, and now the only time they bleed is between teeth if I floss too hard.

I have been to a dental clinic and they said I have one cavity, which I am getting filled on Monday and they showed me proper brushing and flossing technique. I asked them to check for gum disease and they didn't detect it, but I don't think its possible for me NOT to have it.

I think I have severe gum recession (I can see most of my front teeth through my gums). They are a little bit yellow but they are slightly crooked. Some of my teeth are chipped. Some of them have white spots, probably decalcification.

But now I am constantly worried that I will be in pain and have dental problems for the rest of my life, that I will need dentures at an early age, and that I will die young of heart disease. I would like to think that if I continue taking care of my teeth and living healthily, I will have a long and happy life. But I don't know if the damage I have done over the years is reversible. Lately I have been so worried and frightened that I can't concentrate or think about anything else.

My parents have tried to comfort me and made out that it isn't a big deal, but I don't think they understand how serious it actually is.

Is there any hope for me to live well, any way I can avoid constant pain and dental problems, not to mention lethal diseases, or am I doomed to suffer?

Honest answers please.


Jun 5, 2014
Believe the dentist if they say there's no gum disease. You are young, only 20. You have wised up before too much damage is done and if you keep taking care of your teeth from now they will be fine. If you're worried about gum and heart disease get your vitamin D level checked as a deficiency is implicated in both these conditions. Our bodies are forgiving when they are young. You'll be fine.

Miss Partial

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2014
Katy is right .....I can only add do not smoke. You sound totally fine....you are young and have a great future ahead.

Take care.....

Spike 1969

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2014
I would like to agree with the above 2 posts, if the dentist found no gum issues you are fine; it sounds like you are now doing all the right things and with regular cleanings and the right hygiene technique things will just get better and better.

Well done for going and sorting things before there were any problems:jump::jump::jump:


Well-known member
Aug 22, 2014
Wow, you remind me so much of myself! We're very close in age and I can really relate to a lot of what you've said. It's definitely not too late for you at all! I felt the same way when I first started getting treated but I've come to the realization it will only get worse the longer I put it all off. I'm so young, my life is just beginning...I should get this all taken care of so I can move forward with all the wonderful things I've yet to experience! Your dental problems will only hold you back and if you embrace them now and overcome them you will be so much happier in the long life you have ahead of you! :) if it makes you feel better I started out with 13 cavities, several of which I still have to have worked on, I need all four of my wisdom teeth removed, and I just had a root canal which isn't completed yet. I don't think anyone could be more paranoid than me :D You're going to be fine! Best wishes :clover: