A new study by the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that redheads fear getting their teeth checked out by a professional more than the Average Jane. If you're a redhead and happen to have the specific gene MC1R inside of you, this could explain your heightened anxiety when it's time for your regularly scheduled dentist appointment.
The Body Odd details the study as such:
The study's authors recruited 144 people for the study, 67 of whom were natural redheads, and 77 who were dark-haired. The participants answered survey questions about any fears or anxieties related to dental visits, and the researchers took blood samples that they later tested for specific gene variants common in people with red hair. People with one specific gene, MC1R, were more than twice as likely to report that they avoided dental appointments because of fear and anxiety than people without that gene. Of the 85 people in the study with MC1R, 65 were redheads.
And what if you have red hair and are carrying said gene?
It's possible, say the researchers, that redheads with the gene in question tend to be resistant to certain pain medications. This could mean redheads are more prone than most to experience a difficult dental visit, affecting their expectations about future appointments.
So: Just because you might be more physically predetermined to freak out over your next visit to the dentist, doesn't mean that you will. And even if you do, at least now you know why? I'd also like to note that my boyfriend's gorgeous redheaded sister is a dental assistant and she very much enjoys her profession!