Mental Health and Dental Health

Today, I want to open up about something SUPER personal. My lifelong mental health struggles have taken its toll on my teeth. It’s been a tough journey – anxiety and depression made it hard to keep up with regular brushing and flossing, and the effects of my eating disorder only exacerbated the situation. To make matters worse, I had some awful experiences with dental providers when I was younger, which resulted in botched jobs and added to my fear and anxiety around dental work.

I’m on the better side of those mental health battles now, and feel EXTREMELY strong in my recovery. I’m more determined than ever to take care of myself in EVERY way possible. That includes fixing my teeth. However, I have to be honest – my anxiety and fear of dental work are VERY VERY real. The second I am in that chair my heart races and the tears start to fall and depending on the treatment my body will just start shaking uncontrollably.

Despite that fear, I’ve spent the better part of a year working on fixing ALL the things that need fixing and getting my smile back to one that I’m proud of. Not one that reminds me of all my past mistakes. I still have a LONG road ahead of me but I keep chipping away little by little and with each fix that’s made I feel a little bit of that fear chipping away too.

I share all of this with you in hopes that it can help anyone who feels the same or has felt similar. I want to remind anyone else who struggles with anxiety that it’s okay to feel scared. I want to remind those who struggle with depression to go brush your teeth even if that’s your only win for the day. It’s okay to cry, to shake, to feel overwhelmed. But it’s also okay to reach out for help and support.

So here’s to taking small steps towards better dental health, even if it means facing our fears head-on. I am EXTREMELY grateful to have a VERY good team of Doctors who take my anxiety and my care very seriously. And I am EXTREMELY thankful to have the courage to work through the REALLY REALLY hard shit.