• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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looking for help for my son



Junior member
Jan 12, 2013
Hello everyone, I'm hoping to get help from this forum...my grown son refuses to brush his teeth. He has always had a gag reflex as a child, I took him to a pediatric dentist that wasn't overly friendly...professional but not friendly. We switched to a better dentist after a few years. He gagged quite a bit, but always made his 6 month appointments. I always made sure his teeth were brushed in the morning and before bed. He really only gagged during x rays, not so much during cleaning. Now as an adult, I can't go in the bathroom and brush his teeth for him..when I bring it up he doesn't want to talk about it and usually gets mad and leaves. I have bought all kinds of toothbrushes and toothpastes that I think might help but they are never used. I even told him just rinse with mouthwash. He wants a girlfriend and has had them, but I'm worried that no girl will stay with him with his poor grooming. What can I do as his mother? He doesn't seem worried about it so he's not motivated to find help. Thank you for any advice you can share!


Junior member
Dec 6, 2012
Hi worried -

I'm pretty new here, so I can't offer a lot of help, but I can share my experience with you.

Growing up, I always had awful dental hygiene. My parents didn't push me to brush my teeth, so I didn't do it. They got bad pretty quickly and I just let them go, thinking it couldn't get any worse. Unfortunately, it can always get worse. I'm now in almost constant pain and will need dentures - and I'm only 27. I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

He's very lucky that he has someone who is so caring to push him in this. My dad would always bring up the issue of my teeth, and it really bothered me because I was so embarrassed. I know now that he was just looking out for me, but it sort of hurt at the time. I just felt a little bit attacked and ashamed.

There was no way for someone to bring it up to me without me being sensitive, but the more my dad talked to me about it, the more I wanted to get the problem fixed. Just explain to him that you care about him very much and that his dental hygiene is incredibly important. I wish you luck and hope that he doesn't end up in my situation, because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.