Seeing ex preferable to dentist
Walking out of a bathroom with toilet paper stuck to a shoe is more desirable than visiting the dentist for many New Zealanders.
This, along with bumping into an ex-partner and being caught with their fly undone, are faux pas Kiwis would rather find themselves in than a trip to the local tooth-yanker, a new survey says.
Oral-B's Dentaphobia study investigated the oral health habits of New Zealanders and what causes the well known fear of dentists.
According to the survey, more than a third of respondents said their last dental visit was more than three years ago or never, and of the people that do go, most lie to their dentist about their oral hygiene habits.
Most lies told to dentists were about the length of time they brushed for, people saying they flossed regularly when they didn't, and saying their last checkup was six months ago when it wasn't.
Christchurch dentist Peter Platts said fear of pain was generally the leading reason behind Christchurch people avoiding dental care.
''But with modern procedures there's more perceived fear than actual fear,'' he said.
''I think fear of dentistry and fear of the cost is the big worry to people."
Some patients had to be sedated with local anaesthetic to get over their ''struggle with dentistry''.
According to the survey, over 70 per cent of female and 60 per cent of male respondents said they felt somewhat or extremely anxious about going to the dentist.
Anxiety levels surrounding dentist visits were so high a quarter of those surveyed said they would prefer to bump into an ex-partner than attend a dental appointment, more than a fifth said they'd rather be caught with food stuck in their teeth.
More than one in eight respondents said they would rather find themselves walking out of a bathroom with toilet paper stuck to their shoe.
One in three Kiwi women would rather keep an appointment for a pap smear than visit their dentist.
Platts put 'dentaphobia' down to people leaving their problems too long.
''It's a perceived fear of pain, but then people come out and say it wasn't really as bad as what they thought it would be. And if patients saw their dentist more regularly it would be more cost-effective for them.
''If they did the preventative stuff then there's less reason for fear but because they keep putting it off the problem compounds.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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