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Is my partner afraid or just ashamed

S

soozypoo

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
97
Location
uk
Hi people,being a dental phobe myself and come through the other side I need advice on how to approach the subject with my partner about his oral health. We have been together 3 years and are getting married next summer,I didn't realise to begin with he had bad teeth, and I don't know if it has got to the stage where he is either ashamed to go,worried about cost, or has a phobia.
Basically his front top teeth to the canines on either side are just blackish stubs poking out the gum,i have heard him grinding teeth in his sleep so not sure if that is what has ground them away over the years or just neglect.
Since we have been together he hasn't been for any check ups in fact I don't know if he has ever been to a dentist as he said he has never had an extraction or a filling, anyway we were eating lunch and one of his back teeth break off,so I say are you going to visit a dentist and get it fixed,if you leave it, the problems will get bigger and the eventual cost be more. I said believe me I know, He replied if I go they will take one look at my teeth and laugh, then he was on about cost etc, yet he is willing to pay £400 for a bonsai tree.
Ive also noticed I don't think he cleans his teeth(although he calls my teenage son for not doing his) ive put his brush against a spare in different positions for the last week and it never moves, and when he speaks there is lots of old food stuck around his gum line and in the gaps between teeth, he never flosses either I don't think,so all that stagnant food and lots of coffee, well it doesn't smell too good at times,but how do you tell someone they need to clean their teeth without offending them????
Also as we are getting married I'm sure he doesn't want wedding photos where he won't smile, I'd love to know how to best help advise, but he thinks the cost is a rip off,when I go he says about how much I pay etc but I want to keep my teeth!
Any advice greatly appreciated
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,906
Location
UK
Hi it's nice to see you back. I hope you got over your bad treatment and managed to get it sorted out.

You could ask him if he has pain, as I am sure he must have. Then the conversation is started you could ask him if you should book an appointment for him when you next go, that way you could go together. I would think he is feeling ashamed, embarrassed and afraid and doesn't want to admit it to himself let alone you or the dentist. You can reassure him that he will not be judged by the dentist and that they will help him. The most it would cost him for a course of treatment is £233.70 and it might not even cost him that much. It could be paid in parts until he has paid it off. If he gets any benefits he may not even have to pay or maybe he could get treatment from a hospital.

You could leave the computer on this site whilst you go and make a cuppa or something, maybe if he saw some of the posts on here it might help him.

Have you told him that you were a nervous patient and that you can now go to get treatment. :butterfly:
 
S

soozypoo

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
97
Location
uk
Hi carole,hope you are well, yes it's been a while lol, my case finally got settled I was in shock as they made 2 separate claims, one against the hospital and the other against the original dentist who initially did the treatment,i got around 11-12k in total which I put in a separate account for the day i need it,however 4 years on the gold onlay is still here without issue and still surviving hahaha but has regular checks, but back to original convo.....
I thought about leaving the page open but after this morning good job I didn't, i couldn't leave it any longer as yesterday was another day of no cleaning and then he got up this morning and didn't, the stagnant food is beginning to stick round his gum line etc and I can plainly see it, and I really don't fancy kissing him like that, and we all know what morning mouth is like,I just have to clean my teeth,anyway I said guess my son still not cleaning his teeth, but what shocked me is it shows you're also not, he said yes I'm using my orange brush,i said well it hasn't been there for 3 days so how could you, he just shrugged and said I hadn't noticed!!!! Then went huffy saying why did I hide it, now hes not speaking to me,I said I thought you'd have noticed,his reply was well i dont do them all the time so why would I, he then turned it round on my son after I said but how can you not when you get that furry feeling on them etc he said well at least I don't stink of shit!!!! I couldn't believe it My son is 16 and has had an issue since he was born of soiling himself due to chronic constipation and being on laxatives,and yes his hygiene leaves a lot to be desired at times,but there was no need for him to say that and I feel hurt, but I think it shows that he is ashamed maybe?

I give up seems he really doesn't care about his dental health /hygiene,he never takes any pain killers or says he has toothache, he knows everything I went through he sits with me in the waiting room when I have my appointments but moans how much I pay for cleaning, fillings etc, which I use the compensation money for,anythin for my teeth I use that,i still go to the private one as I feel totally at ease there.

So I don't think he'd go there, to be honest I feel I may be fighting a losing battle,i love him but he really needs to clean his teeth lol just don't know how to move forward from here now
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
755
Location
UK
Ah sorry suzypoo, that sounds rotten.

The strength of his reaction there makes me think both afraid and ashamed. Often in that situation people will push back quite strongly. Dentistry really is expensive, there's no getting around it, but I do wonder how often people complaining about the cost are actually afraid? Nobody wants to spend a lot of money on something the only associate with pain and fear.

Do the two of you have a good relationship otherwise, the sort where you can talk through things? If so, then perhaps he needs just a little bit of time and patience to get past the embarrassment and anger and you will be able to support him when he is ready to face up to it?

Saying hurtful stuff about your son is not OK though.
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,906
Location
UK
Hi I am sorry but I have to say I would be really concerned at the way he talks about your son. If your son has issues then this attitude especially from an adult is not good. I would be thinking twice about any marriage plans.

I hope I haven't overstepped the mark here but I feel really strongly that you and your son should be treated with respect and care, especially by someone that is suppose to love you enough to propose.

As to the dental fear he suffers it may have to wait until he gets pain or teeth breaking to help him decide that he needs to see a dentist. A lot of people suffer for quite a long time before they can't take it anymore and make that first appointment.

I wish you all the best and the strength to support your son and partner with their problems. :thumbsup::thumbsup::butterfly:
 
M

mirla

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
67
I agree with Tink.

Fear, Shame, and Money often end up interwoven.

Personally, I stopped going to the Dentist because of Fear. Later, Money became a second reason to not go. As my problems got worse, I acquired new fears, and my avoidance of those new fears caused my problems to get even worse, which caused me to acquire new fears, which caused my problems to get worse. Around and around in a horrible cycle of growing fear.

Through it all, the shame of not taking care of my teeth grew and grew. So, when I had the money to go again, I was paralyzed with fear and shame. Eventually, I found that my shame had grown to such an extent, and I had had enough other life experiences, that my shame was actually the biggest fear I had.

I wish I had some advice on what you can do about it. Once I was in the height of my fear/shame, if anyone would have approached me about any of this, I would have run away. I could not face it. The mention of a toothbrush would have made my heart race. The only reason I went when I did was that I didn't want me daughter to be stuck where I was. I knew it was too late for me (I later learned it wasn't), but I needed to save my daughter. So I braced myself, consulted this forum, and went.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
833
Location
UK
I don't think he would've said a hurtful thing about your son unless he was internally freaking out. Think about it - when you're in a good place, thinking mean thoughts doesn't really happen because you can afford to be kinder. But when you're carrying a big burden of shame and fear, lashing out is much more likely, especially when someone is trying to make you confront that shame and fear!

I'd be patient, but not give up. To me the nasty thing he said is just proof that he's not dealing with this well inside. It can be hard for men - sometimes they think that admitting they have an issue or they need help feels "unmanly".

Tell him about this forum. Even if he doesn't post, if he gets curious, having a read here could help!

Wishing you both the best :hug4:
 
S

soozypoo

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
97
Location
uk
Hey guys, hope you are all well,and no carole I completely understood where you were coming from it made me think that myself,but anyway since then he has cleaned his teeth every morning, I've heard him scrubbing hahahaha, it may only be once a day but I guess it's a step forward,I don't want to push him yet and mention floss last time he had something stuck in his teeth he told me he used to use part of a cigarette packet folded to poke between his teeth! Surely floss would have been more comfortable than cardboard lmao.
Im wondering if that also could have what made his teeth bad, smoking, he has been stopped now for 3 years,but before we met he said he smoked around 30 a day since he was 11 so that was a good 32 years!

I really hope I can convince him it's not too late as he thinks it's a vanity thing, hahaha
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,906
Location
UK
I remember years ago you used to see a lot of people using a piece of cig packet to clean between their teeth and the thing that sets my teeth on edge they used wooden tooth picks yacky do :o

I think there is hope if he has started to brush his teeth, it can only lead to more dental care. He must do it when he feels ready and at a pace he feels comfortable with too.

As for mentioning floss, I would get some wisdom easy glide flossers. I was terrified of flossing a few years back and got these, I still do they are very easy to use and really do glide between teeth.

Once he gets used to the brushing he won't want to slip back. :thumbsup::butterfly:
 
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