How far would a child go to avoid the dentist? One boy found in the French Alpine village of St. Gervais went so far as to invent a kidnapping, according to The Local.
The boy had been missing when police found him hiding during their patrol through St. Gervais. The boy said he had been kidnapped from his own, nearby town of Bagnols, and described his would-be abductor as a tall man with a large scar on his cheek. He even added details like the color of his shirt, and the type of car.
He claimed that, while going to his appointment at the dentist, the man had pulled over in his car to ask for directions, after which he forced the boy into his car. The boy said he was able to exit the vehicle when it stopped in Saint Gervais.
Police spent about a month seriously investigating the claim. At some point, though, while looking through CCTV images captures in Bagnols, they realized something wasn’t adding up — there was no car on record like the one the boy had described.
Once the police went back to speak with the boy, he admitted having made the story up because he had been afraid of his dental visit and had been trying to avoid it. While this was certainly an extreme length to take, it’s not necessarily that surprising. According to Harvard Health, dental phobia affects anywhere from 13% to 24% of people, and many people experience fear so paralyzing that they won’t come in for anything other than a dental emergency.
Luckily, dentists today have a variety of methods they can use for reducing stress and anxiety during the visit.