Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Connecticut (U.S.)
Haven't been to a dentist in forever
This is extremely embarrassing for me to admit, but I have never been to the dentist in my adult life. I can't even remember how old I was the last time I went, but it's been at least fifteen years (I'm 30 now).
I bring this up now because 1.) I got an ad in the mail from a local dental practice offering a discounted exam to new patients, and 2.) because I noticed my gums bleeding a bit when I was brushing my teeth last night. So, for the first time in a long time, I'm seriously thinking that maybe I should finally go see a dentist.
The idea makes me anxious. It will be extremely embarrassing to admit to the dentist that I haven't had a check-up in 15+ years. It will also be embarrassing to admit that my dental hygiene is not very good. I'm very lazy about it. I rarely brush more than once a day, and I almost never floss. And when I get depressed, my dental hygiene is one of the first things to go, and it's not uncommon for me to go a day or two without brushing at all.
And because of all that, I'm scared to find out that I might have some really awful problem or disease or something. That just makes me want to avoid this even more, especially if I might not be able to afford the necessary treatments/procedures anyway. I'm afraid that finding out something awful will just make me feel even worse about myself, make me even more depressed, make me feel even more like an incompetent failure who sucks at life. If the news is going to be bad, part of me (a big part) would rather just not know.
Anyway, I guess that's my situation. I don't think I'm really asking for advice or opinions here, since I wouldn't expect anyone to suggest that I don't see a dentist. It's obvious that making an appointment is what I have to do. It's long overdue, to say the least. I just know that I'm going to have a very difficult time making myself do it. The inclination to just keep putting it off is strong, and has obviously been strong my entire adult life. I know that ultimately I will feel better for having done it, but that doesn't make me feel any more motivated to do it. It's like that with everything for me: the promise of relief in the future never wins out over my fear of unpleasantness in the present. I'm terribly avoidant.