Brushing my teeth is triggering

Ericcy

New Here
See title.
I don't really know how to cope with this, since brushing your teeth is kind of important. I can start to do it and then I'll start panicking when I've barely cleaned my teeth. Anyone else? Any advice?
 

bellbird

Sponsor
Anyone else?
Not with brushing my teeth, but with common day-to-day activities being triggering: yes.

Sitting down on the toilet triggers flashbacks of when I used to hide and lock myself in the little toilet room in the Abuse House and my abuser picking the lock and bursting in on me.

Since it's a pretty unavoidable action, I approach getting through it in two ways:
-long-term stuff: therapy to process the trauma, reducing my stress-cup levels and maintaining self-care so that basal stress levels are reduced.

-in-the-moment stuff: grounding, which usually involves me using my senses to check in with my environment and reassure myself that I'm no longer back there; I'm safe now, and I'll also usually (quietly) tell myself outloud that I'm safe. Usually using my forum name, since I didn't have that back then either. "bell, you're safe. you're here." Sometimes I'll also gently smack my leg to get myself out of a flashback if it's really bad. Deep, slow breathing through my nose. That kind of thing.
 
Even if brushing your teeth causes you emotional distress, don't stop brushing your teeth as much as you should and end up with cavities and other dental health issues.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, I will vomit sometimes when brushing my back teeth. I am not as good as I could be about brushing, but I think over time it's gotten better.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Look for the differences. Comparing past trauma experience to present day teeth brushing. Focus on the differences. Think about those differences during the day.
 

MrMoonlight

MyPTSD Pro
Could you take small steps in order to conquer this. Divide your mouth into sections or even down to the tooth. Do one rotating quadrant or tooth every day..

Then build to two and so on.

Hope you figure this one out, so sorry you suffer like this.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
See title.
I don't really know how to cope with this, since brushing your teeth is kind of important. I can start to do it and then I'll start panicking when I've barely cleaned my teeth. Anyone else? Any advice?

A regular toothbrush creates more issues with me than one with batteries. I sort of got a routine going, because toothbrushing has been a huge issue for me. So, I brush teeth and directly after, watch a fun Netflix or Prime show. The distraction works well......but it is immediate. If I'm having a bad night of it.....I reduce the time....with the goal to at least hit every tooth, back and front and my tongue, rinse.....and then one day use mouth wash, and the other day I use ACT....to help the enamel stay on longer .....what I have left. So, plan something distracting immediately afterwards.....and not something in the bathroom. Glad you are working on this.
 
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