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Study: White coats may scare children from dental care
Updated: 3/19/2009 5:00:07 PM

Study: White coats may scare children from dental care The traditional image of a dentist in a white coat may be preventing some children from getting dental care, based on how the outfit made them feel.

Researchers from Turkey surveyed 9 to 14-year old children to choose from various photos that showed dentists in four different types of clothing, InteliHealth News Service reports. The results were mostly split evenly, though more children responded they preferred their dentist to be wearing something other than the white coat.

The children were also divided into anxious and non-anxious groups and were asked a series of questions, according to the article. Researchers found the anxious children were less likely to prefer the white coat than non-anxious children.

While past studies have looked into dental care anxiety, few have centered on the dentist's attire.

The Pennsylvania Dental Association recently said anxiety during a dental checkup can be managed and preventable, especially in children. The association urged parents to keep regular appointments with the child's dentist every six months and to avoid using a teeth cleaning as a form of punishment.

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