The big scary thing

There’s this thing. That I have meant to do for some time now, but it’s been so big and scary in my head that I have put it off because: SCARY. My mind has made me think that it’s scarier than it probably will be (as minds tend to do with scary stuff) and I have put it off, and off and OFF until now.

Can you guess what it is?


I don’t know exactly why this seems so scary to me. But it does. And it’s real. The last time I went to the dentist was 10 years ago. TEN. Just before I got married . The time before that was probably 5 years earlier when I broke a tooth eating bloody vegemite toast at my deal at work one morning (toast of all things!). And before then probably when I was a kid.

While I was pregnant with Maggie my gums were bad and I can feel the start of a hole or something that I know means a filling at the very least. In my head I am pretty sure I will have to have root canal, and a crown and convinced it will cost me thousands of dollars…but how will I know unless I go? Just for the record I KNOW I am going to be right about this.

For months its been on my list and for months it gets bumped week after week. It was when I was visiting Eden a few weeks ago that she pointed that I recently gave birth without even a panadol and yet I’m scared of going to the dentist? She had a point.

So yesterday I made the appointment. Instantly felt sick, and tomorrow I go. As I said to Rob I have to show the kids that it’s no big deal (ohmygoditissuchabigdealtome) and just grow up and go.

So I’m going.

Anyone else feel the same way about dentists? Why do they scare us so? Got any wise words to share?
And I dare you to be brave with me and do one big scary thing together this week.
Who’s in?

Image from here.


  1. Oh HECK yes I feel the same way. FELT the same way.
    I avoided the dentist for about 6-7 years once I moved out of home and away from the parentals, but after getting some niggly pains (that my brain of course thought meant i needed 123981 fillings/that my wisdom teeth were trying to grow sideways) i booked an appointment.
    i won’t lie, i felt sick and had a little teary on the way there AND in the waiting room (how embarrasing!!!) but everything was a-ok and now i go back every 6 months for a check up AND a clean (which is gross, and i hate, but it’s nice once it’s DONE!)

    Tick it off your one thing list! And make sure you have a delicious baked good planned afterwards to look forward to!

  2. I am the complete same but went recently and they ended up just needing a small filling and a clean! the best part was my health insurance paid for it all!!!!! Hope you have the same good luck tomorrow

  3. Gosh it was about 9 years since I’d been and went after O was born, and no fillings BUT a mild form of gum disease because lack of flossing. Just get them to give you painless and it’ll be fine. The clean is often sore if it’s been awhile because of solid plague. I now go every 6 months to get my clean and checkup to save a repeat of the big drama I had. The thought of it is WAY worse that what it’ll actually be and so now I’ve probably scared you more and it’ll be fine. GO YOU!

  4. I am EXACTLY the same. Would rather have 10 pap smears….

  5. OMG yes! Buuuut! I have just been after a few years and a few kids and I needed two fillings. Do you know that I didn’t even feel a THING?! They numb the gum with cream before they do the anaesthetic, and you really CAN’T FEEL A THING! I’m glad I put my grown up undies on and got it done. My mouth feels better because I know it is healthy.

    And then the next week I watched as my 6 year old acted like grown up while she sat in the same chair to get a baby tooth pulled out. PULLED OUT! That was far more of a big deal than my little fillings.

    And the wallet situation? We recently switched to Medibank Private for our health insurance and they are awesome if you want to go to one of their preferred providers.

  6. I have good teeth so the dentist doesn’t bother me, I had my first filling last year at 28 with no painkillers. Why you ask? Because needles scare me, I would rather have someone drill out my tooth in agony than have a needle in my mouth. I am hysterical, crying, fainting lady when it comes to needles. I need my wisdom teeth out and I’ve only been putting that off for a good 10 years. Needles. Yuckers!

  7. Oh so understand. 2 years ago I did the same thing, went to the dentist after years and years of avoiding. When the appointment was over I MADE them book me in in 6 months time on the spot – I avoided the temptation to say “No – don’t worry – I’ll call you and make a time”. And I’ve been 3 times since, and done the same thing. It actually works – who knew!
    It is unpleasant – but not as bad as you make it out to be.
    Also I keep floss in the shower because I have the gum thing too. It’s actually a good place to do it.
    I know someone who very nearly died due to totally avoiding a bad tooth – the infection went into his brain – it totally freaked me out!

  8. Ladies,Ladies Ladies I was a dental nurse for 27 years & I have seen all types in my many years – it really is not that bad – it’s just the thought
    I’m sure you will walk out thinking – why did i put it off,it really was not that bad & if you need another appointment – make it there & then cause things will only get worse & cost u more $$$

  9. Beth
    I hear you.
    I gave birth with a few panadine with my son and no drugs with my daughter but there is still so much that scares me.
    Dentist scare me a bit, doctors do too, driving scares me, opening emails from important people and calling important people scare me too. I am scared to hear news that I do not want to hear.
    But at the end of the day I just do things and i feel better and I know my children will one day say wow mum look what you did.
    good luck with dentist I am sure you have great teeth with all that milky tea you drink!

  10. I nearly cried just reading this because it’s me! I went when I was 24 because for years I had this red line of pain along my jaw. Finally it got so bad I went but I wouldnt even sit in the chair at first. I ended up having five teeth pulled in hospital. I need to go badly now but I can’t bring myself to do it. I just cant.

  11. Been through this. When you make the appointment tell them you are very anxious about it and they’ll be SUPER reassuring and tell you what to expect. Also, choose a dentist from a friends recommendation who has a good bedside manner. makes all the difference x

  12. I didn’t go for about 30 years and only then because my friend made the appointment and took me! Have just had my first crown and it wasn’t too bad – cost hurts more than the procedure!

  13. I hear you! I hate the dentist too! I had shocking teeth as a kid – soooo many fillings etc. & now I’m fussy about keeping them clean & try to have regular checkups so I don’t let things get out of hand. If I left it for 10 years I don’t think I would have a tooth left in my head! I like the dentist I see now because he tells me everything he is doing as he goes in a nice calm way. Good luck. You will feel a weight lift off your shoulders.
    PS. The lady who said she would rather have 10 Pap smears?? I don’t hate the dentist that much!! Wowzers!

  14. Ah, now just adapt all that calmbirth stuff to the dentist and you will be fine. Yes, I put it off and off and off for years too – then I just bit the bullet and decided I may as well do as I’m told and now I seem to head in there all the time to get my teeth cleaned and progress on the gums checked. The kids go easily too – so I just have to make sure we keep to regular appointments so they don’t end up like me!

  15. Tracey from Melbourne says

    I think I’m actually scared of the cost more than the pain. I’ve had 3 root canals done and actually they aren’t very painful at all.

  16. Actually re: the recommendation, I was going to ask who you were going to see!
    My hubby had a dental emergency recently(he thought his tooth broke-it didn’t). No one would give him an emergency appointment until.. Mittagong dental care (on main st) Apparently he teaches at Sydney uni plus takes after hours appointments. His lovely wife fitted my hubby in before his first evening appointment.
    As an extra bonus he got to watch the tv (on the ceiling) while his work was being done, and it was much less than he expected or we paid previously for the same procedure to the other dentist!
    Hubby was impressed, and it takes a lot to impress him đŸ˜‰
    I’ll be thinking of you (while secretly hoping I can still get away with not going to the dentist!)

  17. Good luck and stay strong! I am a complete basket case when I have to go to the dentist and recently had to suck it up and go while I was pregnant – only to be be referred to an oral surgeon to have two wisdom teeth out at 28 weeks under local anaesthetic. The lead-up was way worse than the actual dentistry…

  18. I too am afeared of the Dentist and would prefer to give birth instead of go. There is no easy way. You go, you tell them you are scared, ask them to be kind and super gentle and then shut your eyes till its over. Its gross but it will end. Chin up lovely xx

  19. I went yesterday!!! First time in 7 years and only cause my husband made the appointment. I’m gunna put it out there and say it’s like a Pap smear – much worse in your head than in reality! Take earphones!!!

  20. Sharon Sweeny says

    Can’t say I’m a fan of the dentist but as EVERY SINGLE TOOTH in my head has a filling compliments of the NZ school dental clinic system I do tend to have to go every year. Several of my old black fillings have had to be replaced and I have had to put my big girl panties on, I have a fear of drowning so the water in the back of the throat thing is my issue, gulp gulp, *raises hand so she can sit up to swallow.

  21. Yes. I haven’t gone. I had a infection the other day. Went to my MD. I would gladly give birth natural all over again to all three of my children med free. Before swing a dentist. Can’t do it. I know they will need replaced with fake dentures. I had a terrible experience at 17 and it was a nightmare. I still remember. I’m nauseous talking about this. Really it’s a big phobia for me. I have taken a Valium prescribed prior to going for X-rays. I to though explained “my” fear to the kids so that they would go. Bless you and good luck.

  22. oh my goodness! I have the worst teeth ever (deep grooves) so I have to go to the dentist every 6 months otherwise it’s filling city. I do hate the dentist though but for the strange reason that I hate failing. I feel like I’m failing a test at the dentist and getting in trouble (for not flossing or for getting cavities or something weird…. who knows!).

    My best dentist story ever…. A while back my husband and I went to the dentist. I hadn’t been in 2 years. I had 21 cavities which had to be filled in four separate visits. It cost $5000. My husband hadn’t been in 14 years and is not so great with the regular teeth brushing. No consequences! He walked out of there with not a single problem. It’s not fair I tells ya!

    • OMG my brain thinks of the dentist in the same way.. like I’m failing the test and I’m going to get in trouble from the dentist ROFLOL. Like I’m on trial, and about to be judged, for not being a good little tooth fairy LOL. I also had the same filling nightmare as you, apparently I clean my teeth a little too diligently and have destroyed the enamel. Brushing three times a day after meals is really bad for your teeth. Who knew!? Hubby on the other hand…

  23. Im hearing you LOUD and clear, I hate – detest- loathe – fear the dentist and only go when I have too! But I must say since finding a great one it has been less stressful once Im there! He is super patient with me and puts me at ease…..but go in there with the mindset if I can give birth without even Panadol then this will be an easy challenge! Set yourself the challenge and proove to your girls you CAN do it!

  24. Gibbergunyah says

    Beth, I have extremely high-maintenance teeth and go every 6 months or so for a clean etc. I DO use the Calmbirth breathing and visualisation at the dentist. as a result I was able to have a filling last year with no anaesthetic. My reactions must have seemed a bit strange as the dentist (who has also done Calmbirth) asked, and of course smiled broadly when I told her.
    I see you’ve already chosen a dentist, but if you need one I have been going to the same one for 15 years and she is wonderful.

  25. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Not my favourite thing to do Beth but I’ve had some horrible things done to my teeth and had N access a d ended up in hospital,not going into the details it will only scare you more,good luck Xx

  26. Oh Beth, you’ve just written my exact thoughts. I’m due at the dentist in 15 short minutes!!!!! I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow when my visit is done & dusted. I’ll be brave if you are. X

  27. I hear you!!! I left it for 7 years and then one day realised how bad that was and booked in with a new dentist. I was so scared… Anyway it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought and now I go every 6 months. Can’t say I look forward to it, but if I’m to make my kids go every 6 months then I have no excuse! You’ll be fine. xx

  28. Oh BETH! Tisk tisk. Ten years is a long bloody time! But…I totally know how you feel. I have veneers on my front four teeth, which need to be replaced every five years unless I just swallow the massive price of porcelain ones which will last almost forever, but the big scary $$$ gets me every time. Replacing them every 5 years make no financial sense, but y’know…big scary $$$ up front. I had them done four years ago just before our wedding, and at the same time had a root canal (with no anesthetic at all, that’s how dead it all was!) Anyway, long story short I felt some sort of ‘capping’ come off it on our honeymoon TWO YEARS AGO and I haven’t done anything about it. So bad. Now I think there’s just a big hole into my tooth canal – eeeeep! Thing is my schmancy shiny veneers make me think it’s fine. And then I was all like ‘oh I’m pregnant, can’t go to the dentist’ and ‘oh got I newborn, can’t go to the dentist’. You’re making me book an appointment aren’t you….ARGHHH!!!

  29. Dentist: “Just how long has it been since you last had your teeth scraped”

    Me: no comment

  30. Yes yes yes! I haven’t been in maybe 5 years? It was a year in which I kept chipping the same tooth. I had a great dentist both times, but I am just always so scared of being SHAMED. I also freak out because my wisdom teeth are a MESS but they don’t hurt or cause any problems, yet I’m scared I’ll be told to rip them out or have some kind of corrective procedure done.
    It’s weird because typing this makes me realise I’m being silly, but I just can’t ever bring myself to go!! Now that I have a child, I get scared that I’ll be shamed for being his parent (of course I would never deprive him of the dental care he needs). I think if you have a couple of up themselves turd dentists earlier on in life, it does scar you.

  31. Dentists don’t really bother me, but they should as I had a horrific dental experience when I was 5. I have had the same dentist for the last 10 or so years and she is gorgeous. I even had a crown done a few months ago and the worst part was paying for it. My big scary thing is pap smears – loathe them !!! I am 1 year overdue and you might just inspire me to make the appointment đŸ˜‰

  32. Good girl. My gums were ANGRY during my third pregnancy as well. Dentist told me to rinse with warm salty water & it really helped to settle things down. Good luck tomorrow. You’ll be fine. Things rarely are as bad as we anticipate.

  33. There is a legitimate reason for fearing the Dentist – it costs do much bloody money!
    Good luck!

  34. YES!!! Terrified! Totally get it. My tip for getting through it: remember, you’ve gotten through giving BIRTH mate, nothing the dentist can do could possibly be as bad!! Got me through a wisdom tooth removal, conscious, in the chair… Good luck x

  35. Two words:

    Happy gas

  36. I must be the odd man out….I love going to the dentist. I love how clean my teeth feel afterwards. When I was younger I only brushed once a day, now I HAVE to brush before I go to sleep. I have a Sonicare toothbrush and I use it in the shower every morning. If I forget to floss I feel gross. It probably helps that I have two good friends who are dental hygienists and they have filled me in on the horrors of poor dental hygiene. Plus, my Mom had to get dentures at 30 years old due to Pyorrhea of the gums. Seeing what her mouth and lack of gums looks like at 87 has kept me on the straight and narrow. Not flossing can also lead to heart disease and all sorts of other icky things due to the bacteria bad gums produce.

  37. It seems like I’m the odd one out here. Dentists don’t bother me at all- our family had a lovely chap as kids, who was very kind and gentle, and I remember getting fillings done with him without any needles at all and not being uncomfortable about it. We went fairly regularly, it was not a negative experience, perhaps that’s why it’s not such a big deal now?
    I’m a bit lazy, thinking I should get to the dentist more frequently, but never seem to get around to it. Last time I went was for a wisdom tooth extraction during my second pregnancy- I was in a bit of pain and we did it there and then, thankfully it was straightforward with just a local anaesthetic. The relief was immediate. I took my headphones, listened to a podcast and shut my eyes. I was eating nachos for dinner six hours later!

  38. I don’t mind the dentist, except for the inevitable lecture about flossing!
    My big scary thing is making a seachange. In two weeks. After deciding to do it about two weeks ago! I am FREAKING! (And frantically packing, the last time I moved it was just me and the hubby, now we have two kids and MAN do they come with a lot of STUFF).
    Good luck at the dentist, it will be fine!!

  39. I went recently for the first time in close to 30 years (the last time I remember going was when my parents took me at age 14). My parents even offered to pay me to go once when I was in my 30s.

    I have always been terrified of the dentist despite not having had anything wrong with my teeth or ever having had a filling. I blame my fear on being taken along to my sister’s orthodontic appointments and seeing her in hospital after having her wisdom teeth out.

    So anyway last year I decided that now that I have a child of my own I did not want to pass on my fear to him. So at the age of 2 we took him to the dentist to get looked at, he loved it. I had a bit of a chat with the dentist about my fear and how long it had been and managed to convince myself to make an appointment.

    What do you know, my teeth were still perfect, no holes or anything wrong. Just in need of a good clean. I recently returned for my 6 monthly check up.

    I had built the fear up in my head so much that the reality was almost a pleasant experience.

  40. Dentist trips give me the horrors but never as bad as I imagined it would be:)

  41. Lisa Aherne says

    I am terrified! The result has been that I don’t go, and now I have a full upper denture. It makes me gag, I hate it, and it lives in my pocket unless I am going out to lunch with special friends. Oh woe! My advice is to go to the dentist every six months, then nothing dreadful will happen, and life will be easy. In my next life I will have teeth all white, healthy and glistening until my old age!

  42. SO SO PROUD OF YOU ?????

  43. I have a terrible fear of the dentist however the pain got so bad recently (keeping me awake type of bad), I had to do it. It’s only been four years since the last visit but the damage is done. My teeth are good, my gums are not good. Apparently genetic! So after being referred to a specialist, I have now been to the dentist nearly every week for the last five weeks and it continues on…thankfully the specialist and all of his staff are lovely.
    Well done to you!


  1. […] my goodness this week was a not a good one for me and teeth. You will remember that a while ago I was terrified of going to the dentist but it had been 10 years for a check up, […]

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