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garlerey

SO doesn't match up with profession

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Please remove if not allowed. Also sorry for the strange title, I couldn't think of anything else.

I have a strange (?) dilemma and wanted some input. My SO and I have been together for 4 years and I am pursuing studies in dental health and dental research. My SO doesn't care about their oral health very much. They only brush at the most, once a day in the morning (they go to bed without brushing their teeth), do not floss, and have not seen a dentist in 8 years. SO has had braces when they were younger so they have been exposed to seeing a dental professional before. I do notice that they don't smile with their teeth too often, possibly due to extensive discolouration and staining from poor oral hygiene. 

I'm currently doing research in the dentistry sector and wish to pursue dental studies in the future. I find it contradicting to my aspirations that my SO doesn't care about their oral health and doesn't seem to be receptive of information I give to them. I try to not badger them with oral health advice, but I have warned them about the risks associated with poor oral hygiene. I also understand that they could have dental anxiety too, which I just don't know about yet. My SO doesn't discourage my academic studies and is supportive of it so that is not a problem. 

I love my SO very much and would like to be with them for a long time. But it's very hard because their habits and beliefs around oral health care go against my own. 

Advice, thoughts, your opinions, etc. are appreciated :)

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I would just try to be curious about your SO's lack of interest about it. Don't judge, don't try to force anything, just ask questions and stay open and kind. Poor oral hygiene doesn't make them a bad person or anything, and it's very likely there are reasons for why they approach their own oral health in the way they do. Be curious and non-judgemental about what those reasons are is the best approach. People don't often like being pushed to change, and people often feel comfortable with the habits they've formed. If they feel you pushing them, they might push back, which is why I'd take a more curious approach that isn't about giving them information or delivering any kind of moral judgement for their behaviour. 

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If it were to grow on you and become a potential deal breaker down the road, then you need clarity sooner rather than later. I would seriously consider raising this as a serious issue and then, let the chips fall where they may. I realize my suggestion does carry heavy risks but better to deal with it now than let it reste with you and one day, after having children, etc., you were to explode. In my personal and professional life, I confront and deal with real issues rather than sweep them under the carpet. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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2 hours ago, sel397 said:

My SO doesn't care about their oral health very much. They only brush at the most, once a day in the morning (they go to bed without brushing their teeth), do not floss, and have not seen a dentist in 8 years. SO has had braces when they were younger so they have been exposed to seeing a dental professional before. I do notice that they don't smile with their teeth too often, possibly due to extensive discolouration and staining from poor oral hygiene. 

Hahahahahahahaaha.

That sounds like exactly what I do! I hope my wife doesn't divorce me...

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