This Pandemic has been all over the news and I have been having some anxiety. One of the ways that I deal with anxiety is I clinch and grind my teeth at night. On the 22 of March, I bit into my night guard hard. It hurt and I had a concern that I had broken my tooth. I really didn’t want to increase my chances of catching the virus by visiting the dentist. I waited a few days to see if the pain would subside. It didn’t. I made the brave decision to go to the dentist.
On the 25, when I got to the office, there were only a few cars in the parking lot. My grandpa decided to wait in the car until I was ready to check out. When I approached the door there was a large sign that read: Knock to be let in. This was due to the pandemic.
Once I checked in at the front desk, I was given paperwork to fill out. I looked around at the small lobby. It was empty. Because of my visual impairment I had to ask for assistance to help me fill out the paperwork.
As I was filling out the paperwork I was so scared; I was shaking because not only was I fearful of catching the Corona virus, but I was also fearful of having to get extensive dental work that would be accompanied by a large bill. The dental hygienist was kind to me, as she explained what would happen during the procedure.
When the dentist came in, he appeared to be already dressed in his Covid-19 attire, which included a thick gown, gloves and a mask.
He seemed rushed to get on with the exam. He didn’t really introduce himself. He just quickly asked me to open my mouth, and then he looked with a mirror and a poky tool. He told me that my tooth wasn’t broken; however, I needed to see my orthodontist because my teeth shifted. To keep your teeth from further damage, I also needed a new night guard and a new retainer.
Since I also suffer from body image disorder, my heart sank because I felt ugly due to the change in my teeth.
That same day I tried to make an appointment to see my orthodontist. However, due to the pandemic, he would not be available for consultation until May. But I was able to see a technician at his office, who gave me a new retainer. The technician didn’t really have any advice to give me to help with my clenching and grinding other than to get a new night guard from Walmart. This advice added to my anxiety because I wasn’t sure if it would work, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to see my orthodontist until May.
When I went to Walmart to buy another night guard, I noticed how the people moved quickly and seemed standoffish. Interestingly enough, the shelfs in Walmart were filled of supplies even though the shelf’s in other stories in my area were empty due panic buying because of the pandemic. I grabbed my guard, checkout and went home.
A few days later, I have learned that by not watching as much news on the pandemic the anxiety I have felt has gotten better. I hope that the pain will go away even further were I will not have to see my orthodontist in May. How are you coping with anxiety during this time?