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Obsessions...

N

Nattis

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Jul 7, 2008
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Sweden
I read a lot about the problems that people seem to have with their teeth and how much is needed to be done. At times when I get my panic attacks or get really anxious there is not much that helps. I hear about how to take care of your teeth. Tooth paste advertisements, dentists who has told me just to eat cinnamon rolls and pastry once a year, or I will destroy me teeth etc has put me into a threadmill.

I know there is a question in the polling-section about how you brush your teeth, but I wanna know. Does anyone else feel like they have lost all control and have obsessions about food and dental hygiene?

I cannot eat anything without having a toothbrush, a tooth pick or a flouride chewing gum nearby. I cannot even eat an apple without getting anxious afterwards, needing a chewing gum or brushing my teeth. If I have forgotten to use floss one day - oh, I just walk around thinking about it the next day. I use my mouthwash far longer than 30 sec. And I get kind of a bit of satisfaction after I have brushed my teeth and used my tooth pick, floss and mouthwater and topping that off with a chewing gum. But my fiancé gets really upset with me for stopping the film we are watching just to get rid of the food in my mouth.

If I eat candy or drink a soda... Oh... Problems...

I cannot taste a tiny bit of food or eat something with my friends. I run of to the nearest restroom and wash my mouth. I have an emergency-kit with flouride chewing gums, toothpicks and sometimes a bit of dental floss.

I have totally lost control and it is so disturbing. It ruins a lot. Expecially since I work with children...
"Why are you chewing on a gum?"
"Oh, dear. I'm afraid the dentist will come after me and hunt me down if I don't. Go off and play now."

...

Please, let me not be the only one. And how the hell do I get rid of those obesessions??
 
N

Nattis

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Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
97
Location
Sweden
Right... That doesn't sound very nice.

I don't really mean please let me be the only one... It would be terrible if more ppl felt the way I do. It's just that it's scary to feel alone.
 
macfoo

macfoo

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May 14, 2008
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154
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Maryland, USA
I keep proxybrushes in the car... and if those don't work the first thing I do when I get home is floss.

I would call it an obsession but one that doesn't sem to out of the ordinary for people who have been or are going through dental work.

My hubby thinks I'm crackers at the level of attention I now pay to my teeth, but I will say one thing. I WILL not get back in that dentist chair and spend an hour or two with the dentist scraping 20 years of black tartar build up on my teeth. Not gonna' happen!!!!

I've gone so far as getting plaque disclosure tablets. My darling husband reminded me "aren't those for kids who are learning to brush?" ... ya well, so? ... I'm learning to take better care of my teeth...

The obsession is more self control then anything. I had to keep reminding myself that it took 20 years for my teeth to get the way they did, the black stuff is NOT going to grow back overnight. Also, I had to remind myself that excessive can be just as damaging as not enough care (you can overbrush your gums, so the whole thing becomes self defeating).

Set up a dental care home program and stick with it (kind of like any habit it takes time to adjust to it). Ask your dentist to set one up with you if it helps.

Good luck!!!
 
N

Nattis

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Messages
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Sweden
Hm... Brushing 5-8 times a day. Flossing 1-2 times per day. Mouthwash 1-3 a day. Toothpicks 2-4 times a day. Chewing gum 4-6 times a day.

Hell yes I'm worried that I damage something because of this. My gum is always messed up. But I cannot stop. I get to anxious.

A home dental plan. Sounds like a nice idea. I will try to ask my dentist about it, but first of all - I'm gonna meet him and get to trust him. Or find another one.
 
N

Nattis

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Jul 7, 2008
Messages
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Sweden
I know. That would be a good idea.

Did I translate the subject wrong? Obessions means that you have to do it, otherwise you think something bad is gonna happen to you. Or you get a panic attack or you get really anxious... At least that's what I meant.

Anyway. That's how it is for me. I cannot do anything if I don't get my toothbrush or a chewing gum... It messes upp my life. I was playing cards with my parents after dinner yesterday. And all I could think about was the food that was still in my mouth and how I would be able to sneak out and brush my teeth. After 20 min I gave up and exused myself and said I had to go to the restroom. Which I didn't need at all. I just had to brush my teeth in order to not get a panic attack or something. I couldn't concentrate and lost every game we played. So, I cannot just cut it down... I've tried.
 
brit

brit

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If you can't cut it down, try rinsing with just water instead of brushing or chewing gum instead.
I had a dentist when I was a young teenager whom I liked and who always used to say how well I brushed etc....well I had braces so you do tend to brush after every meal then.

Unfortunately even when I no longer had braces I enjoyed the clean sensation after brushing..and continued to brush 3-4 times per day instead of twice. I wouldn't say I was obsessive about it at all but I still managed to overdo it over the years and wear my gums down in places. I also blame the 1970s Braun electric toothbrush which swung through 45 degrees or so - totally different design to the ones today.
So please try to learn from my mistake...what you are doing is probably causing your gums more harm than good.
Once your teeth have been fixed...you may find you get more relaxed about it...the obsession probably stems from your past dental history and wanting to avoid treatment at all costs...have you discussed this with the psychologist yet?

In fact it is probably more beneficial to floss once a day than it is to brush say 3 times.
 
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S

Sofia

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Aug 8, 2008
Messages
52
I'm not a doctor, but this sounds a lot like an obsessive/compulsive disorder that two of my friends are being treated for. Their compulsions weren't dental in nature, but the process seems to be the same. They both are taking a medicine prescribed by their doctors that seems to be helping a great deal. If you can, I suggest that you talk with your physician about this. Easing your mind may be as simple as taking a small pill each day.:)
 
N

Nattis

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Sweden
Thanks!

I shall try to bring it up with the psychologist at our next meeting.

Yesterday, thought, I managed to watch a whole movie without running away until the end! And we had our meal at the beginning. Ok. I flossed... But I kept myself from brushing until the end! Haha!....

Sounds stupid...

Thanks for sharing! I'll do my best to handle this on my own, don't want a small pill... :redface:
 
S

simply terrified

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Jul 31, 2008
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UK
Hi Nattis :)

It is a very interesting topic that you have brought up :)

As a kid, i hated brushing my teeth. When my first tooth extraction took place after being in a week in agony, I promised to myself, that i will brush religiously from then on.

Somehow, it didn't happen :/ After my IV - 2 extractions and 7 teeth fillings I, again, sweared to myself, that this was it, i will brush them no matter what, after every meal or food I had - though, it somehow did not happen again :D Well, it is sad, i guess, but toi me is funny in a way, cause now I don't feel happy, if after eating any meal, I feel any peaces of food stuck between my teeth or maybe it is just my imagination :D

Anyway, I can't go to sleep peacefully, if I have not brushed, mothwashed and flossed my teeth.

But I keep myslef away from overbrushing, cause my dad did it and damaged his teeth - the overbrushing (and he obviously pressed hard as well), danaged the emalya of his teeth, which is not ideal either. And I think, it does damage gums too.

Though, I blame adverts for the chewing gums, as they usually stated that it is so healthy to chew it after EVERY meal...well I try...but sometimes I don't have one, so then I simply try to rinse my mouth.

Most of the time, i tend to have with the floss.

And yesterday i cought myself observing (in the restaurant toilet :ROFLMAO:) these tooth brushes - the ones you can chew, and calculating, whether 2 for a pund is a good deal, and wonderin g wether I should try one :D

But, I have never though of this behaviour as obsessive, i took it as simply caring about my teeth, just because I don't like to go to dentist.

Though, i keep myself away from overbrushing too, cause don't want to damage my teeth.
 
Charity

Charity

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I'd agree that this is something you might discuss with a psychologist... What you're describing would be better called compulsions, perhaps. Usually in psychology, "obsessions" are unwanted/intrusive thoughts that one can't seem to stop thinking, and "compulsions" are actual tasks that one feels compelled to do or else feel terrible until it can finally be done. The classic stereotype people talk about is a person who is obsessed over germs and dirt, and feels compelled to wash his/her hands hundreds of times a day. Hell, a person can have these feelings about just about anything, so there's no reason why it couldn't go in a dental direction in those of us who've already had issues in that arena.
Anyway, this is something that your psychologist should know a lot about, and be able to help you-- with OR without medicine. Good luck! :XXLhug:
 
N

Nattis

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Messages
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Location
Sweden
compulsions is a better word, yes...

Hm. It's not just taking care of my teeth, because I feel a growing sense of panic after I've eaten. I try to skip meals, just so I don't overbrush. (have lost 10 kilos the last 3 months. partly because of my anxiety too, but... not eating that much anymore... :( ) I'm afraid of eating anything - apple, drinking tea, berries etc. just because I don't wanna keep brushing, chewing etc.

When I get really panicking about going to the dentist or beeing stuck in some thoughts about it, raising my anxiety, brushing my teeth for 10 min (two different toothbrushes) and then going through any dental hygiene you could imagine - chewing gums, mouth water (4 different kinds, well, not together... but... haha!) , toothpicks (3 different kinds, using 'em all...), floss (of course) and flouride tablets... I feel kind of relieved. It is the only thing that works.. I've tried walking, reading, playing computergames... etc.

Sometimes I go brush again after an hour. Just to make sure that it is ok. I might have missed a spot last time...

Anyway, this might all go away after "everything is fixed", I dunno... But right now it is really annoying... I'm going to the bathroom at work, leaving my collegues with all the kids etc... I just feel stupid about it.

I've always gotten complains from the dentist about me taking care of my teeth, guess I don't want any complains now. Hate beeing lectured or "should have done this" and "you know you can only eat pastries once a year" and "you may only eat candy once a month". I have all these pictures about my teeth falling apart if I get one piece of candy in my mouth...
 
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S

simply terrified

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Jul 31, 2008
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Hi Nattis :)

By sound of it, perhaps it is slightly more cleaning, then probably a person needs. As it is explained in the Wikipedia on tooth enamel : "Other nonbacterial processes of enamel destruction include abrasion (involving foreign elements, such as toothbrushes), erosion (involving chemical processes, such as lemon juice), and possibly abfraction (involving compressive and tensile forces)."

Though, this website : http://your-doctor.com/patient_info/dental_info/dental_disorders/prevention.html , advises to brush after every meal, so maybe you are doing the correct thing.

My dentist a couple of years ago said, that chewing too much chewing gum might remove fillings, as it is sticky. So, who knows.

I believe that there should be a balance in everything - like ying and yang - too much brushing could probably cause as much damage to teeth, as not enough brushing.

Maybe you should discuss this with your dentist, in a sense like: How much brushing and cleaning is necessary for teeth to stay healthy and avoid any damage.
 
F

FinnishGirl

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May 13, 2008
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Finland
Nattis, are you doing this all to avoid visits to the dentist or do you just feel it's the end of th world if you don't brush your teeth after every meal? I really get the impression that this isn't just a branch of your dental phobia... As your compulsions make you lose weight as you feel you can't eat, you should get help for this as well. Whatever is going on in your head, it has to stop so you can eat properly again. Nothing bad will happen if you eat a bit of candy, if you don't do it often. And especially not if you eat normal, healthy food!
 
brit

brit

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Nattis
A poster called Bigpalal struggled with similar issues re his diet especially..you could search some of his old posts to see what advice was given to him.
 
N

Nattis

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Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
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Location
Sweden
Thanks!

I was because I was trying to avoid the dentist, but now it is different, that's why I wanted to post, to see if someone else had the same problem...

I'll read up and discuss this with my dentist and psychologist if they want to help me. Otherwise, I shall talk to someone else. It's really annoying not being able to relax about stuff. It's not that hard on me to do all this, because, not doing it is worse...

Thanks for your time and thoughts. :XXLhug:
 
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