teeth2I think my dentist would heartily agree with me that I don’t like sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Call me crazy, but having some screeching, whining, sharp, buzzsaw device jammed into my teeth and gums is simply not on my list of the top 10 ways to spend an afternoon.

So, I do all I can to reduce the misery, anxiety and pain that can accompany visiting the dentist to preserve a perfect set of choppers: While in the dentist’s chair, I use deep breathing exercises, I bring an iPod with all my favorite tunes and I once even brought my tablet with the first season of Sex & the City loaded on it, figuring at least Samantha’s tawdry antics could distract me.

Now I have another tool in my dental pain- and anxiety-reducing arsenal: When making a dentist appointment, I’ll be aiming to have it fall during my Week 2. And if that doesn’t work, then during my Week 3. (Which are 8 to 22 days from the onset of menstruation in a 28-day cycle.)

According to a new study in the International Journal of Dentistry, dental pain and anxiety are highest in the week prior to menstruation and during your menstrual week.

Past research has shown that low levels of estrogen on these days in your cycle make you more sensitive to discomfort and more easily rattled by anxiety-provoking situations. So, it’s obviously understandable why dental procedures would be far less enjoyable.

Not planning to see your dentist anytime soon? This advice still holds true for similar potentially painful, tension-filled situations–say, a lion-taming class or going for your first bikini wax. So, plan accordingly!

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