danger at the dentist

July 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm 28 comments


So…i HATE the dentist. I have only been a few times in my life, but it freaked me out beyond belief. I felt confined and hated people that close to me ~ e.g. get OUT of my personal space.  I felt totally trapped having to lay back in the chair. Hated all the stuff in my mouth.   I only went to the dentist when something got really bad.  The last time i was at the dentist, I needed a root canal. The dentist told me that most people could not have dealt with the pain from my tooth. We all know that i have a high tolerance for pain and the only reason i went was because it was starting to actually hurt me and my street tricks (cloves and whiskey) were not working.

Well this time i went to a lady dentist because my one tooth is hurting.  I was freaking out, but I managed to get in the chair and have the exam. I spaced out and don’t remember the exam at all, but I remember talking to the dentist…..

DENTIST:  You have 16 cavities in your mouth.   You have 2 baby teeth still in your mouth.  <She looked at me.>

ME: What?SadTooth141

DENTIST:  You need to come back.  But we have to do this in steps because you get nervous in the chair. We will start with the front teeth.  When was the last time you went to the dentist?  Do you smoke?  Are you bulimeic?

ME: Ah….ah…. it was like years ago.  I had a root canal on one tooth then.  I get nervous at the dentist.

DENTIST:  Did you have a bad experience at the dentist? 

ME:  Um, no, I’ve only been to the dentist like 2-3 times.  I try to take care of things with stuff like cloves.  I think there are other reasons people might get nervous at the dentist.

DENTIST:  Yes there are other reasons people are fearful of the dentist.  Many people don’t like to have people that close to them, you know?  When you come back, we will give you nitrous oxide to help you calm down.  Do you smoke? Are you bulimeic?

ME:  Ah…nitrous?  Um…, I used to smoke, but stopped a couple years ago.whipit27n-2-web

DENTIST:  Very good that you stopped smoking.  Nitrous oxide, a gas that will help…

ME:  I know what it is….<thinking about laughing gas>… just never knew it was at THE dentist…

DENTIST:  It helps for me to do the work when you are more relaxed… you need alot of work.  Your enamel is in bad shape.  I suggest you use a prescription toothpaste and brush after eating and drinking…  Acid from soda, tea, some juices, or from stomach acid if you are bulemic will destroy your teeth…

ME:  Will my insurance pay for this?  <Me showing the card>

DENTIST: It will pay part of it.  You will have to call to find out how much.  I will give you a sample of toothpaste.  Try to use it.  If your mouth gets dry, instead of drinking soda, try water or use a gel to moisten you mouth.  Ok?  When you come back, we have to do a few more x-rays of specific teeth.. Don’t forget to come back…ok?

ME:  ah-huh…

Fucking 16 cavities… how is that possible?

I left the dentist with a bag including a purple toothbrush, samples of toothpaste, sampltime-481443_640es of gel that helps keep your mouth moist, a bottle of cold water, and another appointment to fix my teeth this week.  I have to have like 7-9 appointments.  That sucks.

Do I really need to get all 16 cavities done?

I don’t take care of my teeth.  That’s the truth.  Since I was young, it was never reinforced as a “self-care” habit and I feel like that lesson got lost. I forget to brush them alot, I drink too much soda, I puke up food, I forget to use dental floss.  I ignore any pain that comes from my teeth. And I don’t goto the dentist.  Another failure at self-care…Do you know that I took better care of Moonlight and Harbor’s teeth than I do mine?  They had teeth cleaning at the vets office a few times during their lives…….I cared about them…I don’t care about me.

What a mess….



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Summer time tips dumb and dumped at the dentist

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jen Layton  |  July 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Hey LT, yes, you need to have these cavities take care of, and you need to take care of your teeth! Dental diseases can lead to other things like heart disease that will be even more difficult to treat and live with. Having to have multiple appointments sucks, but it is much better than trying to do it all at once. It sounds like the dentist understands some of your anxiety, though.

  • 2. lee1978  |  July 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    It sounds like your dentist is really trying to help this work be as stressfree as possible for you. Good luck, LT

  • 3. Sarah  |  July 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, they need to be taken care of. Along with being painful, cavities can actually turn dangerous.

    Plus, you need your teeth to eat. Food is good.

  • 4. S  |  July 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Hi LT,

    I am not a dentist so I have no right to be writing any of this and it might be all wrong. My mom is also paranoid of the dentist, and we very rarely went growing up. It is my experience that what counts as a cavity is a little bit of a discretion – small cavities/weak teeth are things in the grey zone and it is a little bit of the dentist’s professional choice whether something is called, and would best be treated as, a cavity. It is possible that if you got a second opinion that person would not think you had 16 cavities. With 9 appointments pending, I think it might be worth a second opinion to see if there is an agreement on the 16, first.

  • 5. Anne  |  July 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I am terrified of the dentist too. I do take my kids regularly, though. I don’t know how it happened that my 13 year old ended up with 13 cavities within 6 months! I couldn’t believe it. It still doesn’t make sense. I found a dental clinic with a sliding scale. He has had appointments and will be done after 2 more. I decided to be an adult and get my teeth cleaned and examined too. I am going this week. I can only imagine what the results will be. Also my younger son has autism. He hates going to the dentist. We are able to get anti-anxiety medication for him. This might be an option for you, too. Just a thought.

  • 6. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm


    I don’t know ANYONE who likes going to the dentist. Yes, as the others have said, you need to get the cavities taken care of. You’ll end up with multiple root canals or having all you teeth pulled if you do get them taken care of. My Grandparents had dentures. Those are false teeth. You have all of your teeth pulled, and then are fitted for degrees. Both grandparents always said false teeth were painful and annoying. You can’t eat things with seeds like strawberries. Grandma always regretted choosing to get dentures.

    I’m not trying to freak you out. Just giving you your options. In addition to laughing gas, I also need to get shots in my mouth to have dental work done. It makes your mouth numb. When I get home from the dentist, I take a nap while my mouth gets feeling back.

    You will feel better when your teeth are taken care of. If you don’t get the cavities filled, then they WILL get worse.

    I’m glad you chose a female dentist. Sounds like she wants to help without upsetting you. Many, many people freak out at the dentist. Some have to have medicine (an IV) to make them sleep so they don’t jump out of the chair, attack the dentist, or hurt themselves. You don’t have to have an IV unless you choose to. Just take it slowly.

    Does your dentist offer headphones or a movie to watch? Does she play background music you can choose? Some offer sunglasses to keep the bright light out of your eyes. There are a lot of options to help you calm down. Ask her what she can do for you.

    Finally, you might ask KC or her mom to come with you if you are too nervous. I haven’t seen you blog much about them in a while.

    Hang in there. Take care of your teeth. (((Hugs)))

    • 7. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Also, the stomach acid that comes up when you vomit will dissolve your enamel on your teeth. Be sure to rinse out your mouth after you vomit. I hope Dr. Val will provide you some support with vomiting, too,

  • 8. Stephanie  |  July 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I think that’s great that you took that step at the dentist. Dentists can be daunting but it sounds like you may have found one that recognized you weren’t comfortable and is sensitive to that. You ARE worth taking care of, so take GOOD CARE of yourself.

  • 9. jnkmailacc  |  July 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm


  • 10. momma2abby  |  July 12, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    It sounds like you have a good dentist that gets it. They put my kiddo under anesthesia to do her dental work. That’s a good option for her. Also ask your dentist about getting your teeth sealed. The tops of your molars can be sealed where a lot of cavities take place. Insurance doesn’t usually pay for it but I think it’s worth it for everyone. I’m glad you are taking care of you. Everyone deserves dental care.

  • 11. sageplant  |  July 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    If you can get nitrous it will help some. Try and get as many as you can get done at one time. I know that might not happen. That’s too bad, but for all the. Reasons above, it’s a. Good idea. Some Drs will put patients out but that depends on what kind of insurance. Then. They can do more work. They did that for my kiddo…it worked out well..

  • 12. CMC  |  July 12, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I know I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record and that it must be getting annoying by now but…
    Celebrate the little victories, LT, you went to the dentist even though you were afraid. You faced your fears in order to take care of yourself, that sounds like a great step. And you quit smoking, I don’t care what the reason was, it’s hard to stop and it’s great for your health. Give yourself some freaking credit!

    Maybe you should set aside some time every night to self care- not just physical either, take care of your emotional health too. Eat junk food, put on a lotion you really like, watch a funny show, take a bubble bath, do anything that makes you happy, then brush your teeth when you’re all done.

    I know you said you drink a lot of soda but how much water/non-caffeinated fluids do you drink? You’re supposed to drink 64 oz or about 2 liters every day. Being chronically dehydrated can cause: exhaustion, headaches, dizziness, and just a general feeling of unwellness. Since I’ve started paying more attention to how much I drink I’ve gone from maybe 20 oz to about 64 every day and I feel a lot better. If you’re not getting enough fluids you might want to consider trying to drink more water or switching to a caffeine free soda. It might make you feel better and it would be another little self care victory you could add to your list.

    As for the puking up food, this isn’t something I have experience with but I hope you know that your value as a person isn’t dictated by your weight. You’re so kind, and compassionate, and you reach out to complete strangers and share incredibly personal parts of your life in order to help them be better parents and protectors to the children in foster care. You’re creative and a talented writer, you’re brave, and strong, and determined, and so many other things. That’s what gives you you’re value as a person, not how big your thighs are.

  • 13. ritalee8383  |  July 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I’m glad you went to the dentist and she sounds like a nice one to work with. When you have low self esteem self care isn’t on the radar sometimes. It’s a hard habit to break – not taking care of yourself. Maybe start out small with a goal of “doing one thing nice for yourself each day”. It can be anything. Wishing you well.

  • 14. radicalhope  |  July 12, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I’m too scared to even read this.

  • 15. songsforsilences  |  July 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    LT, good for you for going to the dentist!!!!!
    I think electric toothbrushes are really great. They make your teeth feel so clean, it’s amazing! I also used to have a problem with not brushing my teeth as much as I should, but once I got the electric toothbrush, I really liked the feeling of a clean mouth and I almost looked forward to brushing. Electric toothbrushes are of course more expensive than regular toothbrushes, but they do such good work! Get those cavities taken care of – you deserve it. Xo

    • 16. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      I totally agree. Since using a Sonicare toothbrush, I have fewer issues. 😄

  • 17. jpirog2013  |  July 12, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Yes, you need to get them all fixed, don’t delay.

  • 18. bethanylest  |  July 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    LT, get all the cavities taken care of, otherwise they will get worse. It sounds like your dentist has a plan which includes going slow. She sounds good. Try flavored water or seltzer – stay away from the sugar waters. As for the puking, you need to talk to your therapist about that. It will keep ruining your teeth. Good luck!

  • 19. onemorewithus  |  July 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Lots of good words here.
    Friend, your best bet is to inhale as much air as you can and dive into these appointments. You can breath again once they are done. Just duck and get through it. You do need to take care of your teeth, no way around it.

  • 20. Gisela  |  July 12, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Hi LT,
    You are taking care of yourself right now if you are going to the dentist. Congratulations!
    The 16 cavities can be taken care of, and please do, it is important. They will get worse if not treated and you need those teeth to last you many years until you are a very old lady.
    I hope the experience will end up being a positive one.
    God bless you.

  • 21. s00147954  |  July 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Sounds like another positive step LT, going back to the dentist even though you’re scared. I think you’re really brave! I’ve had to have everything imaginable done – braces, wires, plates, bands, you name it I’ve had it. It sounds like the lady dentist you’ve found is a good one too.

    Oh and don’t let all the fancy stuff they gave you make you feel overwhelmed! taking basic care of your teeth is pretty simple, some of the other commenter’s have said some good ideas already – drinking lots of water, etc. Flossing is good too, cause’ it gets into all the places a toothbrush can’t 🙂

    Maybe think of it as an investment in yourself – I think having healthy teeth just makes you feel better on the inside (plus somebody mentioned that dental disease can lead to heart disease which is true).

  • 22. manyofus1980  |  July 13, 2015 at 1:23 am

    It sounds like the dentist is trying. And is caring and good. I’m glad about that. It will make things a lot easier for you. It will be much better too have your teeth fixed up LT. XX

  • 23. coccomuffin  |  July 13, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Attagirl! Glad to hear you went to the dentist, brave indeed 😉 . However, LT, you really have to stop neglecting yourself this much, be more kind to your body. Dunno how many times I wrote these very same words in my comments… I’m repetitive, sorry!
    Follow the advices given by the dentist, she seems a nice lady understanding of your position and your fears. Go back to the clinic and have all of your cavities taken care of, what’s more please remember to brush your teeth each single time you ingest soda (or any other sugary drink/food). I know you drink lots of it, but since your teeth are in a bad shape why don’t you try to cut down on soda and switch to water? At least for a little while, just the time necessary to fix your teeth. I’m aware it won’t taste as good, but it’ll be good for your body, way less harmful and way more nourishing!
    Take better care of yourself LT! I and the other commenters care a lot about you, let us have good news ♡

  • 24. Mark  |  July 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

    You state: “Another failure at self-care…Do you know that I took better care of Moonlight and Harbor’s teeth than I do mine?”; don’t confuse what you did or didn’t do in the past and apply it to what you ARE doing now. It is not a failure to improve! You do care about you ultimately and you are trying to navigate a difficult course (life) with little direction but you are moving forward. Congrats, pat yourself on the back a little and keep going forward.

  • 25. Lori  |  July 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Oh LT! Pat yourself on the back for going to the dentist. Now you must let the dentist help you take care of your teeth. Take a deep breath and just move forward. God bless and know that you have many friends who are quietly “helping” you for all over the planet.

  • 26. John Stanton  |  July 13, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Going back to see this friendly dentist is like saying that you care about yourself and that you are worthy of love. You are worthy!

    This song is for you… Let the Healing Begin…

  • 27. AnnMarie Johnson  |  July 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    High fives for going! I’m so glad the dentist is willing to work slowly with you. (Need to find one like that for two of my family. Not sure if we can due to insurance.) It could be worse: I have taken pretty good care of my teeth all my life, and I have way more than 16 cavities (plus 3 or 4 capped teeth!). I had cavities on my baby teeth!

    If the gas isn’t enough, you can also get pills to relax beforehand (altho then you need someone to take you home!).

  • 28. dinah1007  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I went to the dentist this year, I really enjoy going and having my teeth cleaned, feels so good. Anyway, they told me I hadn’t been for 9 years! Time is flying by. Busy here with a critical care newborn (weighed just 1 pound) and for some reason this is the first time I have been able to comment on yours for a long time. I think it is the iPad. Get those teeth fixed up, Baby.. Then just keep brushing.


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