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Dentist Fear and Dental Anxiety

Teaching children from birth how to take care of their teeth properly is a major step to keeping their whole bodies healthy as they grow. But when parents are afraid of the dentist, it can end up taking a toll on their children’s dental health. Read on to learn more about an interesting study that shows just how much influence mom and dad can have.

Did you know?

Fear of the dentist is a big problem when treating children, which probably doesn’t come as a big surprise. But how kids become afraid of the dentist is a little more surprising. It turns out, most fears of the dentist actually come from mom and dad!

A new study confirms the emotional transmission of dentist fear among family members and analyzes the different roles that mothers and fathers might play. Previous studies had already identified the association between the fear levels of parents and their children, but they never explored the different roles that the father and the mother play in this phenomenon.

Interestingly, it’s fathers who appear to be most important in whether or not kids become afraid of seeing the dentist. For reasons yet to be identified, children appear to look to their dads as an emotional signpost when deciding whether or not a visit to the dentist should be considered a stressful situation. Also, fathers appear to act as a mediating influence that can make a mother’s dental fear either more or less impactful on their children, depending on their own reactions.

Researchers believe that this information can be potentially extremely helpful. It clearly tells us that there is a major need to involve mothers and especially fathers in dentist fear prevention campaigns. Additionally, fathers should be educated about their influence so they are hopefully less likely to display signs of fear or anxiety in front of their children when they will be attending a dental appointment.

Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre has three children of her own, from ages six to twelve. She is experienced in treating children of all ages, and believes that no child need be afraid of the dentist when proper care is given to make both kids, and their parents, as comfortable as possible. If your child displays a fear of the dentist, give our Ann Arbor dental office a call today at 734-677-2156. We are more than happy to arrange special appointments to see your child without any sort of pressure to be treated until they are ready.


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