• Dental Phobia Support

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The guilt is real

A

Ashc

Junior member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Canada
I just found this website, and it's already been validating. I've been avoidant of the dentist all my life, but usually go once a year/year and a half. I've gotten way better with dental hygiene, but after giving birth for the first time last year, I ended up avoiding going even though I knew it was risky - I think I felt so accomplished having gone through such a scary experience, that I just wanted a pain and fear break (and I was also learning hot to be a mom to a newborn and didn't have insurance until I went back to work).

Anyway I also didn't take prenatals (only took individual important vitamins, but no extra calcium) because I'm afraid of taking large pills and somehow didn't think to crush them at the time. Then the pandemic happened so I definitely wasn't going to the dentist. I've had tooth pain on and off, and it came back yesterday, along with nausea, and I finally have a check up for next week. I'm also a hypochondriac, so I keep imagining its infected and it will spread and kill me. You know, real rational thinking.

I'm now stuck in this loop of guilt at being in this position because of my own doing, and fear of having an abscess or needing multiple cavities or root canals. It's amazing that I know I can get through terrifying physical experiences, and continue to be scared and want to avoid (those are the power of emotions for ya..). I also somewhat worry about being judged when I go, but I've had good experiences with this dentist so far, and this site has also helped alleviate ate those thoughts.

Anyway, sorry for the novel - any insight or solidarity is appreciated.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,579
Location
United States
Hello Ashc,
Welcome to DFC! It is great that for the most part, you have managed to push yourself to go the the dentist for routine care despite being fearful. Tooth decay is a slow developing process so try not to worry too much about what the dentist may find although I know pregnancy can be quite hard on teeth. Also try not to be too hard on yourself about your leave of absence. Life happens and sometimes it’s not always feasible or practical to get the care we know that we need. What is most important is that you are addressing it now. I am happy to read that you have had positive experiences with your current dentist. I have had countless good experiences with my own dentist over the years and while my fear is a lot less, I still have anxiety about going so I can completely relate to how you feel. Please keep us posted with how things go with your appointment.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
2,001
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi Ashc,

welcome to this wonderful forum. you will get here lots of support and good advice.
A small scientific fact: during pregnancy teeth do not lose calcium.
Please allow me to share with you a link I made about fear of feeling embarrassed during a dental visit:
I find it very reasonable not being able to go to the dentist due to a child delivery, luck of insurance , covidr19 ...
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,036
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Ashc,

:welcome: Hello and welcome, we are really glad you are here and shared your story. I agree with everything @kitkat said !! I'm really glad you feel comfortable with your current dentist so far and that the site has helped. I know for me that is what really jumpstarted me.. finding a kind compassionate dentist and starting to come on DFC! The support here is like no other because people really understand and are open about things.

I too understand about not taking big pills and didn't take my prenatals those are awful.. thankfully now I've found supplements I take that are powder you mix with water and the calcium works amazing (isotonix, if you ever want to think about it) it helps a ton to be able to drink them! and they taste decent too :)

I also think that when you have anxiety, catastrophizing (thinking worst case scenario) comes pretty easy and usually the dentist has a chance to really relieve on of those feelings or thoughts and give a little good news.

If you do get a chance and haven't already Dr Daniels videos are great and helpful , the one he shared and them all on his website.

Hope your tooth pain goes down and your appt goes well. Keep us in the loop!! :grouphug:
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,234
Hi Ashc,

your post is a bit older and I second everything already said, but there is one part I would like to comment on. I always come around to your thread and the name of it makes me wonder: is the guilt really real? Have you done something wrong, on purpose, despite being aware of consequences and having the possibility to do it another way?

Thinking about your situation, I don't think so. Getting back on track with dental care can be a long and exhausting process and depending on the level of your fear it may always stay a bit tiring, even with a trusted dentist. Having a baby is a life changing thing and keeping the routine you had before is not possible in most areas of life so it's really not a surprise that you stopped attending at that time. I don't see this as you being guilty at all, it's more about how life works. Last fact: remember that the general job of fear is to make us avoid things that hurt us in the past. That's why it's there and it's a healthy thing that helps us survive. It's not a crime to avoid the dentist if you are fearful; avoiding is natural and feels right in that context. Going, on the other hand is where you need energy, effort and literally fighting your instincts to get through it. Coming up with these is easier during calmer periods of life.

So again, I don't see the guilt as real and don't see anything you did wrong. On the contrary - I see that you are here now, looking for ways to get things moving again. Hope your check-up went well and if you get a chance, let us know how you got on :grouphug:
 
A

Ashc

Junior member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Canada
Hi Ashc,

welcome to this wonderful forum. you will get here lots of support and good advice.
A small scientific fact: during pregnancy teeth do not lose calcium.
Please allow me to share with you a link I made about fear of feeling embarrassed during a dental visit:
I find it very reasonable not being able to go to the dentist due to a child delivery, luck of insurance , covidr19 ...


This is so helpful, thank you! It actually turned out that I had no cavities after all (that was a huge surprise).
 
A

Ashc

Junior member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Canada
Ashc,

:welcome: Hello and welcome, we are really glad you are here and shared your story. I agree with everything @kitkat said !! I'm really glad you feel comfortable with your current dentist so far and that the site has helped. I know for me that is what really jumpstarted me.. finding a kind compassionate dentist and starting to come on DFC! The support here is like no other because people really understand and are open about things.

I too understand about not taking big pills and didn't take my prenatals those are awful.. thankfully now I've found supplements I take that are powder you mix with water and the calcium works amazing (isotonix, if you ever want to think about it) it helps a ton to be able to drink them! and they taste decent too :)

I also think that when you have anxiety, catastrophizing (thinking worst case scenario) comes pretty easy and usually the dentist has a chance to really relieve on of those feelings or thoughts and give a little good news.

If you do get a chance and haven't already Dr Daniels videos are great and helpful , the one he shared and them all on his website.

Hope your tooth pain goes down and your appt goes well. Keep us in the loop!! :grouphug:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I know it's been a while since I first posted, but did want to update that I didn't have any cavities (surprising). I actually did have to get a gum graft though, which is worse haha, but I handled it really well, which I'm proud about. I still have to tackle an upcoming cleaning (anxiety provoking more so because of covid), and I'm really grateful to have found this forum!
 
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