Like anyone with a fear of the dentist, the thought of sitting in the dentist hair filled me with terror. Ironic really considering I'm lucky enough to have a smile which I'm proud of.
The memories of that bleach like smell, the bright clinical lights and the clink of the instruments were vivid when I looked back and I couldn't face the thought of going through it again.
The last time I went to the dentist I was 17 and had to have a tooth extracted. It was uncomfortable but it healed well. I'm not sure where the fear came from, perhaps it was just linking my visits to the dentist with having to have teeth removed. In my life I have probably had around 3 teeth removed.
So fast forward to early 2013 and I started to suffer a bit of pain. I ignored it as I was scared and that was the way it remained until September 2015 when everything seemed to ache. By strange coincidence I had taken up the habit of grinding and pushing my teeth together to try and 'rid' myself of the ache. Inevitably this made things worse. Things came to a head when I realised it'd been 10 whole years since I'd last been to see a dentist. I decided to brave it and phoned around to find a NHS that would take me and booked an appointment.
Whilst I waited the three weeks for my appointment I started to accept I was going to get help and strangely enough I stopped grinding so much and the pain seemed to fade away.
The day of the appointment dawned and to say I was nervous was an understatement. Funnily enough there was no funny dentist smell or I didn't notice one. The dentist was really friendly and understanding of my nerves, sitting with me for a while. After she examined my teeth and took xrays, to my complete and utter surprise she said nothing was wrong. I had been grinding my teeth so much it was causing the discomfort and pain. It was like a vicious circle.
Whilst you too may have avoided the dentist for many years out of fear, my best advice is to face it head on. Whilst you may not be lucky enough not to need any treatment, you will know what you're facing and you can tackle it with grace. Fear will only scare you if you let it.
Do let me know how long you've left it before going to the dentist and how you felt when you faced your fears.