Please help me brush my teeth more regularly. I have a lot of shame about this issue, so please be gentle.
Currently, I brush my teeth about 2-3 times a week and I never floss. My gums bleed when I do brush my teeth. I have a huge amount of shame about my lack of regular teeth-brushing (I'm dirty, gross, etc), so I haven't talked to anyone in person about it.
My goal is to brush and floss my teeth twice a day.
Here's a little bit of history:
- I used to brush twice a day and floss once a day.
- Then I was actively bulimic and depressed, and I stopped both (brushing immediately after purging is damaging to your teeth). Also I didn't care.
- I never purge anymore, and I am not currently depressed. But, I am out of the habit of brushing.
I'm not quite sure why I don't brush/floss. Part of it is habit. I literally forget about half the time. I have tried to associate brushing with putting in/ taking out my contacts, which I do every day, but that hasn't worked for me (maybe because that's so quick?). I have tried to associate brushing with washing my face, which I do most mornings and most evenings, and that works a lot better; I usually remember to brush, though I don't always actually brush. So, the problem is not just habit - I also have some sort of resistance to actually brushing my teeth. I really don't know why.
I go to the dentist approximately twice a year. I get about one cavity a year, maybe less. The last time I was there, they said my teeth were basically fine and that my gums did not look good.
I am in therapy (due to the eating disorder / depression) and I trust my therapist completely. I haven't brought this up with her due to both the shame and the fact that it seems unrelated to what we generally talk about. I think I could muster up the courage to talk to her about it if the consensus is that it would be helpful.
I am looking for advice/ tips on how to establish a teeth brushing and flossing routine that I actually stick to.
Please don't tell me how important brushing and flossing is: I KNOW. Please don't attempt to shame me into brushing/flossing: the amount of shame I feel actually is one of the factors that prevents me from brushing.
I saw this related question, and it was reassuring to know that I'm not the first person who has struggled with this.