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Upcoming appointment, advice please!



Junior member
Sep 24, 2020
Hello! I'm a 24 soon to be 25 year old female, and I've bitten the bullet and booked a dentist appointment for this coming Tuesday.. my first since 2013, and the one before that was when I was a young child. I'm on a journey of self betterment and this is a huge step for me.
Basically, long story short I've suffered years and years of poor mental health resulting in me severely neglecting my teeth from a pretty young age. On top of that I smoke, and eat and drink all the wrong things. My teeth are awfully yellow, gums severely receding and beginning to blacken at the bottom, they are crooked and the plaque and tartar buildup is huge.
I feel there is no hope for them, and I am petrified that the dentist is going to make me feel even more ashamed than I already do. I suffer with anxiety anyway so I guess I'm just looking for some advice on how to calm myself down, and how to approach the appointment on Tuesday, whether there's anything I should know or say to make it easier?
Thanks for reading
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Nov 2, 2010
The Hague , Holland
Hi Fairy24,

Thank you for sharing with us about yourself. Please share with your dentist what you wrote in your thread, that way you can ensure the dentist will be supportive and positive. Here is a link to a video I made about feeling embarrassed in the dental appointment, hope it helps:

After years of not going to the dentist, sitting in the treatment chair will be very new, strange and maybe stressful at first. I suggest to invest the time and ask the dentist to explain whatever they are doing to help you feel more familiar and in control.
A good starting goal could be superficial dental cleaning to make your teeth look brighter and nicer. It does not take long, does not require numbing the teeth and can help you get familiar with the dental treatment.
you might hear lots of information about your dental health after this consultation so if you have any questions , feel free to post them in this forum.
All the best,


Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 18, 2017
Hi Fairy24 :welcome:,

first of all: give yourself a HUUUUUUGE pat on the back. It is so hard to schedule an appointment if you are nervous and even more if shame is in play. You may not be surprised if I tell you, that for the most people, it is not the fear of the dentist, that prevents them from going, but fear of judgment.

Most people who suffer from poor mental health have difficulties taking care of teeth. Your dentist will understand this. I was wondering whether you are doing better currently.. and also how did your visit back in 2013 went?

Besides the great advice from Dr.Daniel, we also have a lot of sources here on the page if you look for some reading about what may help. Also, we have an article about embarrassment that may give you some reassurance. Would you believe that it‘s the most read part of our page?

My last note on how to approach the appointment is a quote from Mike Gow, one of our dentists:

„I will often say to the patient they believed they were coming to that first appointment to be assessed when in fact it’s the other way round. You know, it’s a job interview, they’ve come to interview me to decide if I am the right person to be their dentist and I hope they choose to employ me“

All the best wishes