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I can't use toothpaste/mouthwash - so ashamed!

(66 Posts)
VeryNotNormal Sun 27-Oct-13 07:49:38

Okay, this is a long story but, in a nut shell, I can't use toothpaste/tooth powder or mouthwash without gagging and occasionally vomiting. I'm not pregnant, I've had this problem literally since I was a kid.

It came about when my Dad decided to try me on the mintiest, strongest Colgate toothpaste when I was very little (can't remember how old exactly, but I remember the event only too well). I remember heaving and gagging and vomiting and it was absolutely terrible. I ended up only being able to brush my teeth with water (I think I tried salt at one point too which was okay but seemed pointless). I can't stand the smell or taste of mint or anything even vaguely minty. Just the smell makes me gag! I also have issues with stuff foaming in my mouth. I have issues at the Dentist with anything that tastes bad. I can't handle having my teeth cleaned because the tooth powder they use makes me gag. I also hate the taste of the injections and treatment, I am often sedated.

My teeth don't look awful (but they aren't lovely and white because I can't use whitening toothpaste). I don't have bad breath but my dentist bills are enormous (I'm private because I need sedation). I'm 30 and I've had three root canals already. Crappy teeth run in the family but mine are the worst.

I can use and do use Xylitol and Hydrogen Peroxide as a mouthwash but I have concerns about the HP because I've heard it can wear away tooth enamel and mine is surely weaker than most.

Am considering giving this a go, as I can leave out the mint and it hopefully won't foam:

I've ordered this just because it's not minty, although I've been putting off trying it because of the thought of gagging:

My cousin's daughter appears to have the same problem. She's been doing fine on the strawberry toothpastes but needs to move on up to the next kids toothpaste level and she's been gagging too. Seems to run in the family, what the hell is it?

My questions are:
- Has anyone else got this/heard of it?
- Does anyone have any suggestions?

I expect some of you to be horrified. I know it sounds utterly disgusting. I am filled with shame about it, so nothing you can say to me will make me feel any worse!

Sharpkat Sun 27-Oct-13 07:51:46

I don't have the issue with toothpaste but just brushing my teeth makes me gag so I empathise.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sun 27-Oct-13 07:58:47

I have a similar issue, and get on well with Corsodyl toothpaste as it's salty rather than minty, and isn't very foamy. I use the Corsodyl Daily mouthwash too as it's not super-minty.

Flibbedyjibbet Sun 27-Oct-13 08:02:53

Are you ok with the children's varieties like your cousin strawberry/bubble gum?

VeryNotNormal Sun 27-Oct-13 08:03:30

Thanks! I might give that a go. Interesting reviews on Amazon, people moaning about the weird taste but I can handle weird/salty, just not minty!

VeryNotNormal Sun 27-Oct-13 08:05:01

Strawberry isn't as bad, I tried Toms of Maine. There was still something that tasted toothpastey though, maybe the fluoride? And I wasn't great with the foaming...

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 27-Oct-13 08:05:54

Sounds grim for you.

I sympathise enormously re phobias but can you focus on tackling yhe phobia (whilst using the strawberry toothpadte, hope that helps)

stargirl1701 Sun 27-Oct-13 08:07:00


shimmeringinthesun Sun 27-Oct-13 08:08:12

I have no practical solution to offer here, but I just wanted to say that after reading your post, that you are in no way disgusting, and nor should you feel shame about it, as it sounds a terrible thing to have to deal with. We all have our fears, and this is yours.
. You have my absolute sympathy and understanding, and I hope someone comes along soon with a solution.

Good luck op.

VeryNotNormal Sun 27-Oct-13 08:10:45

Thank you so much shimmeringinthesun, that means an awful lot. The only person who knows about it is my DH. I literally cannot bear the thought of anyone else finding out.

bakingaddict Sun 27-Oct-13 08:11:38

I recommend going to see a behavioural pyscologist and having some CBT therapy to overcome this phobia. Might be cheaper in the long run as your dentist bills are going to get bigger as inversely your teeth get worse over the coming years

Dilidali Sun 27-Oct-13 08:11:39

Try this, doesn't really foam.
Also, brush with this, it is meant as an interspace toothbrush, but you could very gently brush with this. The head is smaller than normal, you won't (hopefully) feel that your whole mouth fills up.
Perhaps use flossing tape? Most of it is minty, surely there must be one that isn't.

Don't be silly, of course we're not disgusted! It's a shame you feel you couldn't open up about it before.

Dilidali Sun 27-Oct-13 08:14:05

Oh, you could also try a tinsy bit of bicarbonate of soda and brush with it.
Seriously, try CBT, it works smile

EricLovesAnyFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 08:14:55

I find strong mint horrible and I can't use Colgate types but it doesn't sound as extreme as yours. Could you go to a health food shop and buy a few varieties of Indian toothpaste to try? They are less minty and less fake tasting than commercial toothpastes. I use one called Dabur clove toothpaste, it's expensive but I can tolerate it. It is minty though, just very mild.

sashh Sun 27-Oct-13 08:19:30

My gums used to go red and swell with toothpaste as a child, the dentist told me to use water, apparently it is the brushing that makes the difference.

I use pearl drops, not as strong as many others and can often be found in the £ shop.

Have you got an electric toothbrush? If you don't then get one.

Why not try just using the toothpaste on the front outer teeth - so not actually in your mouth and if you can gradually move the toothpaste further back.

So brush with water until clean and then use toothpaste on front upper 2 teeth, and gradually build up.

AnyFuckerForAScone Sun 27-Oct-13 08:20:19

Have you tried oranurse? link here it is supposed to be flavourless and non foaming.

My dc loathe toothpaste but are ok(ish) with Sensodyne for children as it is spearmint rather than peppermint, so I do have sympathy.

peggyundercrackers Sun 27-Oct-13 08:20:47

ask your dentist about non foaming tooth paste. I use the corsadyl tootpaste and it does have a unique taste which does take a bit of getting used to - I gave some to my brother an he nearly threw up, its quite salty tasting.

you could also try something like which has no taste and doesn't foam.

oscarwilde Sun 27-Oct-13 08:23:02 make your own!! You can choose your own flavourgrin

ilovepowerhoop Sun 27-Oct-13 08:27:32 - could this help?

Swanlike Sun 27-Oct-13 08:27:58

I have this sort of in that anything mint flavoured makes me gag. Apparently my dad (whom I've never met) was the same. This goes for sweets or anything mint flavoured as well as toothpaste and mouthwash, although I actually like mint the herb. I have crap teeth from years of not being able to tolerate toothpaste. I've managed to find one - Sensodyne Whitening - which is very mild mint flavoured and I can tolerate and I use dental brushes and unflavoured floss. I ask the dentist to use non mint flavoured mouthwashes etc when possible. I also have my teeth thoroughly cleaned by a dental hygienist every 3 months which has improved things enormously. You can also buy natural toothpaste in a range of flavours online which tends to be less foamy if expensive eg - I think this reaction to mint flavouring is fairly common, so don't feel strange about it and there are ways to make it bearable. Good luck!

ilovepowerhoop Sun 27-Oct-13 08:33:49

your cousin should check the fluoride levels in the strawberry toothpaste her dd uses as if it is 1450ppm already she may not need to move to another toothpaste at all.

VeryNotNormal Sun 27-Oct-13 08:34:19

I have an excellent Oral B faux sonic toothbrush which I think has really saved my teeth (as much as it could). It was £80 or so, but worth every single penny.

Gonna go and try bicarb now as it's in the kitchen cupboard. That Oranurse sounds like just the ticket! As does the DIY toothpaste idea (

I am quite overwhelmed with your lovely and helpful messages. Feeling a bit teary! This has been the bane of my life for YEARS and reading your messages makes me think there just might be a solution! I suspect CBT would be useful for the dental phobia too...

headlesslambrini Sun 27-Oct-13 08:36:24

you can buy a homeopathic toothpaste as apparently mint can block a lot of remedies which they use. Doesn't foam up at all and tastes aniseedy. I had it for awhile and although it didn't whiten my teeth the dentist was surprised at just how clean they were.

have a look here

LadyMedea Sun 27-Oct-13 08:36:56

It sounds like you might have oral hypersensitivity rather than a phobia -

Do/did you have any particular problems with new food/textures as a child?

There are ways to gradually desensitise yourself and that link has a few of the professional techniques but there is more if you google.

Hang in there brushing with water is still good as it mechanically removes plaque. I would also second the suggestion of trying with a little bicarbonate of soda, it's tasteless but very good at getting rid of stains.

LittleNoona Sun 27-Oct-13 08:43:32

Lush do "Toothy Tabs" which aren't minty or too foamy - perhaps give them a go?

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