Canva Womans Teeth Being Clean By Dentist

Visiting the dentist

I hate going to the dentist and avoid it as much as possible. I always feel nervous in the waiting room, even for a check-up, and my heart races as soon as I see the dentist's chair. I know having good gnashers is important and we have to look after them, but it can be so painful! I hate to admit it, concerning teeth, I'm a real wimp!

Last week, I attended a webinar by the Men's Health Forum called Men and COVID-19*. I found it fascinating. I discovered that many men respond to seeking medical help for coronavirus in the same way I do for my teeth: they delay going to the doctor. Generally, women are far happier to make a medical appointment than men and they do it sooner. Men tend to wait until they have developed obvious symptoms. Men are also inclined to deny the risk, for example, believing that if they are fit and healthy, they will not get the virus. Sadly, evidence shows that this is not true: we can all get it. However, there are things we can do to help ourselves, like avoiding smoking, drinking less alcohol, taking exercise, social distancing and, of course, washing our hands. Sadly, the limited research currently available shows that men score worse than women on these behaviours too!

Thankfully, the research is not all bad. With many people furloughed, evidence shows that men are becoming more involved in parenting responsibilities and housework. Caring for people within the home and beyond is increasing. More men are volunteering for community projects. And, for those employed to work from home, men are enjoying a better work/life balance, particularly helped by less time spent commuting.

The truth is that generally men are more susceptible to this dreadful virus than women. There are many reasons and some of them are biological as well as social. But there are things we can do about it. My resolution is to stop being a wimp, swallow my pride and, when necessary, seek help early.

Keep safe,