All I’m getting for Christmas….

So a confession.

Well more like a whole raft of confessions.

I have a mortal fear of Dentists.

I hate using a Toothbrush and most things that go in my mouth (and before any smart arse members of my family mention Knives and Forks… SHUT UP!!)

Over the past 15 years I have probably seen a Dental Professional an accumulative amount of times that you could count on both hands.

Finally, on the 14th of December I am having all the remaining Teeth I have left removed and dentures will be fitted.

Am I ashamed of this fact? Yes & No.

Yes, because I have always associated having dentures with old people who take them out to scare little kids or plop them in a glass of water at bedtime. I am not old nor do I plan on terrifying young children with them. The fact that I am being so open here about the fact that I am going through this process is that it is such a huge moment in my life that I think it should be documented, which leads to the reason I am not ashamed of the fact.

I have been in pain in one way or another for so many years now as a result of my teeth and have put up with it and only conceded to see a Dentist when things have been so horrendous twice, this being the second. Whilst the physical pain is a huge issue for me (and it is, I hate pain as much if not more than the next person) the psychological factors around getting this procedure done is a huge win for me.

Plucking up the courage to make that first phone call to make my first appointment with the dentist took three days. Yep, THREE days. I put it off and off. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sleep for the pain, I couldn’t eat anything but soup and noodles but I couldn’t phone the dentist either I was that afraid of going. However, after Three days of that, I gave in and rang. I had looked at the NHS website and chosen the Dental Practice with the best reviews and hoped that they might be able to fit me in within the next month. They got me in the following Wednesday. That was a bit of a shock, I thought I might have had more time to chicken out than that!

I was up front with the person I spoke to one the phone and told them I was an EXTREMELY nervous patient and gave her a potted history and would they please make a note that of this.

When it came to my appointment, I sat in the waiting room of the Dentist and I swear everyone in the room could hear my Heart beating. I had to fill out forms, it’s not easy to hold a pen when your hands are sweating as much as mine were. Sitting in that waiting room it seemed like an eternity, but in fact it was probably ten minutes. I had a guitar plectrum that I used for anxiety relief that I was twiddling in my fingers… it was moving faster than it probably should have been. If the other patients waiting didn’t realise I was nervous, then they must have been blind, it certainly wouldn’t have taken a Sherlock to work it out.

I was called up and was introduced to the Dentist and from there it all kind of went grey and fuzzy for about 25 minutes. Next thing I know I am walking out and it’s over. I remember the plectrum rolling over my fingers constantly and the notes on the Dentists computer stating that I was a “Extreme Nerves” patient!!

From there it was decided that I was having my top teeth removed and some of my bottom. How I got from there to where I am now, is a confusion of miscommunication, but it is where I really wanted to be at this point in time. I want it all over so I can just get on with my life and with all things crossed, I can start to get over this stupid fear of oral issues.

Whilst you may think that the pain is the worst that losing my teeth has been over the past few years has been, in reality it’s actually not. It’s really the self-image issue. OK, Pain is never nice, but you do get used to it after a while, and when it goes it’s a relief, and when it comes back it is annoying, but the image problem NEVER goes away. You always have the bad teeth and you always have to be guarded of how wide you open your mouth or how bad your breath smells. The amount of money I have spent on breath mints is crazy; I should have stock in Wrigley’s and Altioid Mints by now.

I am hoping that once 2016 comes around I can start working on how I feel about myself and I can start getting that new “Selfie Game Face” going on 

I am not a vain person by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I have never really been one for having my photo taken, well maybe that isn’t really correct. It’s not the having the photo taken that is the issue, it’s having it seen that is the problem. Maybe that is the issue I need to work on for 2016.

Who knows maybe that is the project for next year?

So kids, if you want some advice from someone who should have listened when he was a kid… Look after your teeth and they will look after you! You only get one chance, and it’s not just the physical pain that hurts.

Until next time…

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Paul Hurwood

Paul is a frustrated entertainer. From a young age he wanted to be Elvis Presley, but Elvis objected to lending out his Jumpsuits at the weekend. As he grew older he tried to be an Actor, things there didn’t go so well either… the spotlights kept missing him.

Now Paul enjoys sitting back and writing about Music, Doctor Who and Mental Health. He has a passion for the blogging platform WordPress and enjoys helping out practically with day to day use of the platform where he can.