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My Sob Story (Long and Stupid)

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mintkilldeer

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
7
I created an account here because I don't know where else to go. I've developed this extreme anxiety over my teeth last month when I had to get a front crown, my second crown at age 20.

Basically, from the beginning of my life, my parents didn't really care about my dental hygiene. Or even really whether I bathed besides the occasional comment or two if I went more than a week without showering/bathing. More importantly, they never brushed my teeth or made me brush my own teeth. It's not like I didn't know what brushing teeth was or anything. I first learned about brushing teeth when I was six-years-old at school. They gave us free toothbrushes and a sticker sheet and a little calendar. We were supposed to put a sticker on the calendar for every day we brushed. I hung it up on the bathroom wall near the sink and proudly started it. I only got one sticker in before I gave up, for whatever kiddie reason. My parents didn't comment on this or try to get me to brush my teeth. They, however, have decent dental hygiene. Maybe they thought I would just pick up on it from seeing them do it.

So fast forward to age eight. My parents took me to an orthodontist which began the several year cycle of retainer to braces to retainer to braces. My teeth were extremely crooked apparently. It wasn't too long before orthodontist became worried that I wasn't brushing or flossing. I was told I should brush/floss repeatedly by the orthodontist. Apparently, he also went to my mother with these concerns. She didn't do anything.
Around this time, my father started pursuing legal action against his workplace and became obsessed with it. My mother started using more and more of her time to help him with that. It was all he could talk or think about, so, when he came home, they would sit in the living room and obsess over it for hours. So no one was really making sure I was doing, well, any of the things I'm supposed to do at night. Again, I think they just expected me to learn it on my own.

I then started to develop major mental health issues and warning signs, possibly because of being sexually abused for two weeks when I was eight years old. Or possibly from modeling on my father's increasing erratic behaviors, which I now know to also originate from mental illness. I started seeing a therapist, psychiatrist, and was prescribed medication. My parents soon forgot that I had to take the medication, and I didn't have access to it. When I asked my mother where my meds are for depression, my mother claimed she had no idea what I was talking about, so again, very hands-off parenting. But, weirdly enough, in other areas of my life they were extremely (maybe even overly) hands-on. To contrast, I wasn't allowed to go outside into the backyard unsupervised or be out of the baby stroller/pram/whatever-you-call-it in public until I was eight years old.

So during my preteen and early teen years, my neglect of hygiene started to become more and more obvious. During this time, my mental health became worse, and I drank more and more soda. There were some times during my preteen and teen years where I would start brushing, do it for a couple weeks, stop, start again, do it again for a while, then stop entirely. The reason it was difficult to keep doing it was mainly sensory issues, though the fact I had never really developed the habit didn't help either.

My braces finally came off at age sixteen. Or fifteen. I don't remember. I think I was just too far gone in fucking up my teeth, so they didn't think it was a good idea. Then, I started getting fillings. Lots of fillings. My parents didn't comment or seem worried about this. Neither of them took me aside and talked to me about oral health. I didn't even realize the damage was irreversible. Then again, if I was told, I'm not sure if I would have been mentally sound enough to try and correct my habits without help. My compliance to meds was very, very low.

I soon developed psychosis. I won't go into details, but it got to the point that my teachers noticed and contacted social workers to come and take a look at my house. I was sent to an in-patient care facility on a 72 hour hold because I was deemed a danger to myself. They noticed my lack of hygiene and actually tried their best to get me to do it! And I did it. But I was miserable, so my parents took me out against all the doctors' recommendations. My dental health again became as spotty as it was previously.

Then, I started going to college many miles away, and I did really well, even improving my mental health and personal hygiene by heaps and bounds. I chipped my front tooth, however, probably due to acid erosion and other factors. The chipping depressed me, but also further encouraged me to improve my dental habits. Except, I dropped out and moved back in with my parents in order to transfer to a different school. My mental health then plummeted. As did my personal hygiene. I tried to brush at least once a day. Whether I succeeded varied wildly.

So this year, I had three dental appointments and also changed to a once-a-month medication. The first appointment was a cleaning that we kept having to delay from the previous year. When I was checked out, I was told I only had a broken filling (no cavities or anything). But in the process of the appointment, they broke one of my molars and had to put a crown on it. Then, for an unrelated reason, I became depressed, and, again, my hygiene was the first to go. Which led to me chipping another front tooth. I went in. They initially said it would be a filling, but, then, they realized my front teeth were too far gone and decided on a dental crown. My dentist then went on about how he's worried about me because I haven't been brushing my teeth. I started crying in the chair.

Ever since then, I've brushed twice a day, every day. Flossing at least once a day. I've cut out soda, candy, any super sugary food. I've started drinking more milk and yogurt. Even calcium supplements, too.

But then my third appointment, I got my permanent crown put on, and I didn't even get a chance to voice my concerns over my teeth. It was a very quick procedure. I think my dentist thinks I must be a lost cause because he didn't even talk to me like usual. My teeth have marks on them, probably from decay and staining. They're getting yellow and probably have very little enamel left. I feel disgusting. I don't like being around people anymore. I hate even looking at teeth.

I just feel so guilty. Yes, my parents played a role, but I should have done better for myself. My therapist says my concern is a good sign for my recovery, but I just feel miserable. I keep looking up on dental advances, hoping that maybe tooth regeneration will come sooner rather than later (research is promising but still has a ways to go). I really just want to start over with a fresh set of real teeth.
My next appointment is in less than a couple weeks, for a cleaning. I'm worried that they'll just tell me I'm too far gone. I still have my teeth, but how long until they have to extract them all?
 
Last edited:
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
676
Location
US
I observe, starting at a young age, that you demonstrated agency and self care. I think you are going to do really well. I’m very interested to see how this turns out. I hope you’ll keep us posted.
 
D

Dinoza

Junior member
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
11
Well, I can only say that I didnt really took good care of my teeth aswell, there were times I refused to brush for days... God knows why... I drank alot of soda aswell, ate tons of sugar, but for a weird reason my teeth are in a good condition. I had to crown my 4 upper front teeth, not cause of bad oral hygiene, but I used to grind them at night, It did not bother me to be honest, you cant see the difference I had 13 when I had to get the crowns. Not long ago I had to get 2 bridges in the back, down left and the other up right, still not cause of bad oral hygiene, but cause of an accident, well one was due to an accident, the other one is to blame on me, I had a root canal, and I had no idea that I must crown the tooth after that. After many years the tooth turned black he had to be pulled cause one of the two roots died, thats what I was told. To sum it up; I have 4 crowns and 2 bridges, you can not tell the difference, I have a filling here and there, but who dosent? You should not be depressed because you are getting crowns, Im 23 btw. The only thing that matters is that you want to improve your oral hygiene, and that you want to save teeth, keep in mind its better to crown then to lose a tooth. I know people who had a great oral hygiene, and still somehow lost their teeth, I had a bad one myself and without the few accident I would not miss even one, you maybe overreact a little, I m sure that your teeth are more then okay, there is not one person who is 25+ and never had a filling, be well!
 
M

mintkilldeer

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
7
I observe, starting at a young age, that you demonstrated agency and self care. I think you are going to do really well. I’m very interested to see how this turns out. I hope you’ll keep us posted.
Thank you for replying and for the kind words. I'll keep updating.

Well, I can only say that I didnt really took good care of my teeth aswell, there were times I refused to brush for days... God knows why... I drank alot of soda aswell, ate tons of sugar, but for a weird reason my teeth are in a good condition. I had to crown my 4 upper front teeth, not cause of bad oral hygiene, but I used to grind them at night, It did not bother me to be honest, you cant see the difference I had 13 when I had to get the crowns. Not long ago I had to get 2 bridges in the back, down left and the other up right, still not cause of bad oral hygiene, but cause of an accident, well one was due to an accident, the other one is to blame on me, I had a root canal, and I had no idea that I must crown the tooth after that. After many years the tooth turned black he had to be pulled cause one of the two roots died, thats what I was told. To sum it up; I have 4 crowns and 2 bridges, you can not tell the difference, I have a filling here and there, but who dosent? You should not be depressed because you are getting crowns, Im 23 btw. The only thing that matters is that you want to improve your oral hygiene, and that you want to save teeth, keep in mind its better to crown then to lose a tooth. I know people who had a great oral hygiene, and still somehow lost their teeth, I had a bad one myself and without the few accident I would not miss even one, you maybe overreact a little, I m sure that your teeth are more then okay, there is not one person who is 25+ and never had a filling, be well!

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I know there's people who are worse off. I guess I just can't stop fixating on my own situation. My teeth look so bad to me that I can't even look at them without getting stressed out.


I had my dental appointment today. No cavities but a filling did break so I'm going in tomorrow to get it fixed. He also said my enamel is a little soft at some places ("decalcified" was the word he used), but that as long as I brush that it shouldn't get worse. It still makes me really nervous. Is there a way to recalcify my teeth? If not, I hope that someone invents a way to do that.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,255
Dear mintkilldeer,

I'm sorry to read what you have been through in your life. Your situation is not an easy one and I understand how your mental issues interfere with your dental care. I also see how hard it is to get on track with self care and healthy habits if your parents not only ignored these areas of life but even made it harder. I also get how difficult it is to apply any kind of self-love and self-care after all the things you have been through. It's very impressive that you tried on your own over and over again and even more that you had made such a huge changes to your diet and habits. This only shows how willing you are to change your situation.

Nothing of what happened is your fault - making healthy choices and taking care of yourself required energy and dedication and these two are very hard to find when dealing with mental conditions. If even getting out of bed in the morning or taking a shower is an issue, how hard must it be to get healthy food or brush teeth twice a day? I however understand your regret and your thoughts about this and hope you will be able to find peace about this soon.

It's good to hear that you have a dentist and keep attending. At the same time it sounds like you sometimes do not get all the information you would like to (the question about decalcification would be a great one to ask). I can only encourage you to communicate openly with your dentist and tell him about how you feel about your teeth and what you would like to change. There are great possibilities in dentistry and your dentist might be able to offer you options for anything that makes you unhappy.

Do not worry about still having anxiety and obsessing about your teeth. This things take some time and you seem to be at the beginning of your journey. Once you gain full trust to your dentist and start to feel free to voice your concerns and questions and ask for more information about what's going on in your mouth, you will find more peace and calmness.

All the best wishes, good luck for your filling and keep us posted :clover:

P.S: Your story is either long nor stupid. Rest assured that nobody here would think of it this way - facing your fears is a very courageous thing, so very well done on tackling it :)
 
M

mintkilldeer

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
7
Dear mintkilldeer,
-snipped for length-
All the best wishes, good luck for your filling and keep us posted :clover:

P.S: Your story is either long nor stupid. Rest assured that nobody here would think of it this way - facing your fears is a very courageous thing, so very well done on tackling it :)

Thank you so much for this long, thoughtful response. It's taken me so long to get to this point, where I'm on meds that help and on the way to recovery. I don't know if I'll ever be "okay" the way most people can get to, but I'm making an effort. I hope my increased hygiene plus my changes in diet will help.

But again thank you so much for replying. I'll keep updating.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Your story isn't stupid You are wonderful and strong . I am just starting my journey too and at 28, I know I am going to need a lot of work as well. We can do this. We are worth it There will be a time that we will look in the mirror and be satisfied. For me, that's going to take the dentist and continued trips to the therapist. Therapy has been so helpful for my own mental health. I have learned that I am my own biggest critic and that I need to offer myself the grace and compassion that I would offer someone I love Easier said than done but that's my advice for you. Offer yourself the same grace, compassion and love that you would offer someone that you love. Reach out to me if you want to chat privately. Sending you strength. <3
 

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