Study shows Laughter is the Best Medicine for Dental Fears

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A study has revealed that the best way to deal with dental anxiety is to laugh and think positively.

Swedish researchers have found that adopting an optimistic approach, laughing and looking on the bright side, are the best ways to deal with stress and anxiety caused by a prospective trip to the dentist.

Jenny Bernson, a researcher from the University of Gothenburg, said results revealed that people who think optimistically and look forward to when the appointment is over are most likely to cope with anxiety. Optimistic people are also more likely to visit their dentist for frequent check-ups despite feeling anxious.

During the study, patients were asked to complete a questionnaire. The results showed that there are five main coping mechanisms used for dental anxiety: using internal resources, which involves giving yourself pep talks and reassuring yourself, self-distraction, prayer, optimism and distancing yourself from the situation.

In a second study carried out by the research team, interviews with patients revealed that taking a humorous approach to treatment was an effective way of dealing with the stress of being in the dental chair. Jenny Bernson said that humour is a great way of gradually wearing down psychological barriers.


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