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I have a phobia of cotton wool, is there a any way this can be avoided when receiving dental treatment?

Hello Jennifer. I have this strange phobia and I know it’ll sound ridiculous but I cannot stand the touch of cotton wool so every time my dentist places some in my mouth I freak out inside and tears roll down my face he asks what’s wrong but I never say because I’m so embarrassed. I don’t want to seem like I’m being childish, I just cannot stand the thought of it being in my mouth so is there anything I can do about this? Can he use something else other than the cotton? Thanks!

Hello
its very important that you tell the dentist this , otherwise how can he know what is upsetting you ?
It may be possible not to use the substance at all .
However another idea might be to try and desensitise yourself to the feel of cotton wool .
perhaps buy some cotton pads and cut them up .
just look at them first . then wet a small bit , place it yourself in your cheek .
At first you will get the uncomfortable feelings but they will die down .
This is a form of systematic desensitisation which is a well known successful technique for phobias like this .
hope this might help
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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