Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Getting Son to the Dentist

Hi everyone,

I’m starting to get worried about son’s once beautiful teeth. I’ve recently noticed brown discolorations on them from all the coffee and smoking. No telling what else is going on with them.

The last time I managed to get him to the dentist for a good cleaning and fillings was 2+ years ago. Since then I have made him two appointments, both of which he didn’t show up for. Everything was set up for him, he left the house with check in hand saying he was going, but he just doesn’t show up for the appointments. Lied to me the first time - shortly after that supposed visit I received a reprimandish-type letter from the dentist saying he failed to show up, even though son said he did. The second time, he didn’t even bother lying – just told me point blank he didn’t go, end of story. It’s very perplexing to me.

Does anyone have any good suggestions as to how I can persuade him to actually go to these appointments?

I avoided the dentist for ten years because I was convinced he wanted to inject a tracking device in my jaw. Maybe your son has some sort of fear about the dentist. Talk to him and don’t try to force the dentist, but just try to get an understanding of why he is avoiding it. Talking through delusions sometimes helps me get over them.


Thanks for your feedback. It makes sense. I will try to open up a casual dialogue with him about it and see where that takes me.

I’m fearful he could loose some or all of his teeth if he won’t go :fearful:

Yeah, I’ve been paying for my years of neglect. About four thousand dollars, once everything gets fixed. And that is with really good insurance.

He might be afraid of the pain. If so, tell him that a little pain now will save him much pain later. But I agree with
@@cj9556 , have you simply asked him why he refuses to go? Seems like you need to find out the reason why he doesn’t want to go before you can deal effectively with the problem. By the way, I’m going in for a root canal tomorrow. Yuck. Tell your son that this is what he’s in for if he doesn’t take care of his teeth and gets regular cleanings and check-ups.

Hi Nick,

After both missed appointments I tried to talk with him about it, but the big wall came down. Now that some time has passed I should probably try to ask him. I have even thought about bribing him lol. But seriously, money is a big motivator for him, so idk, still mulling that one over.

Thanks for your feedback and good luck with your root canal!

My teeth are ruined due to a combination of poor oral hygiene,teeth grinding and not going to the dentist very often.
One of the reasons is phobia. From my first visit to the dentist when it required 5 people to placate me I have always been wary.
Certain things haven’t helped such as I once had a dentist at school who whilst examining me just before giving me gas would talk about demon dentists.
Other such things as it often hurt despite them giving anaesthetic and an urge to gag when they asked me to open my mouth and they started to prod didn’t help.
The last visit I had a tooth with a long root extracted. The dentist was quite brutal. I ended up with dry socket and was in absolute agony.
If I went to the dentist now I’d need someone with me,especially if I had anaesthetic, but there is no one so I haven’t been for years (last time my brother came but for over a year now he has virtually cut off contact with me and the rest of the family).

You sound like my daughter who is just 8 years old and was diagnosed in Jan. of this year. The last dentist I had her to told us not to come back. I have made her an appointment with a different dentist for Aug. 4. I find myself always apologizing for her behavior and feeling sorry for her at the same time. The fear I see in her eyes is heartbreaking and knowing I can’t help her is killing me.

I am right there with you. My son has quit brushing altogether and I think they are starting to lose enamel. I have your very same worries.

It wouldn’t hurt to possibly encourage him to brush his teeth with baking soda and his finger after it is washed. Let him know that many dentists are aware that a root canal may be done without sedation if the proper technology is used. Many have gone on to help elder people still masticate food. Either way, let him know you’ll try to accompany him if you will, and more importantly that he’ll be fine.

Thanks for the baking soda/finger suggestion. I will suggest that to him next time I catch him in a receptive mood. Today was not a good day for him. I like your wording “after it is washed” :smile: That would for sure apply to him. He actually accompanied me and his sis out for lunch and to the mall last Saturday. I could smell his hands every time he was close to me. At one point, I gently said “you may want to wash your hands” and he said “I took a shower today”. Is it possible to take a shower without washing your hands lol :confused:

I would like to accompany him to the dentist and he knows that, but he would not want me to.

I know this sounds awful, but I keep trying to find the positive whenever possible. Since I can’t force him to go to the dentist, I have just decided that with each paycheck, I am putting aside a small amount each time and when his teeth rot, then maybe we can get some pretty white new veneers or something. Pretty soon it’s going to start hitting some nerves and there is going to be some major pain. I just hope it’s not too late by that point.

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No. I’m pretty sure the hands get washed during showers. I’m sorry, you made me laugh.

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Yeah, once that enamel is gone, you can’t get it back. It’s gone for good. Soda and acidy drinks will eat away at enamel. I will repeat what I wrote above. Tell him a little pain NOW, will save a LOT of pain later. Bribe him if that’s what it takes. Sit in the room while the dentist works on him and hold his hand if that helps.

I made up my own “saying” years ago. It goes like this: “Getting your teeth fixed when there’s something wrong with them is like getting your car fixed when there’s something wrong with it. The longer you wait to fix them, the worse the problem gets and the more expensive it gets to fix.” I just got back an hour ago from having a root canal. Honestly with the technology dentists have now my root canal was almost pain free. It was a little uncomfortable but very little pain.

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