Every now and then studies come about that put fear of death, public speaking and dentists at the very top of the list of the most terrifying things. Patients fearing a visit to the dentist continue to delay necessary treatment. A study shows that these emotions of fear can be transferred from parent to child.
Studies done in the past have pinpointed the relationship between fear levels of parents and their children, but there was never research done on the different roles that mothers and father play. America Lara Sacido, one of the researchers at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid explain that there is a more relevant role that fathers play in this emotional transmission when compared to mothers.
This study, which was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, analyzed 183 children between the ages of 7-12 and their respective parents. The authors verified that, similar to previous studies, when there is higher level of dentist fear or anxiety in one family member, there is also a higher level in the rest of the family. Research showed that fathers are key in transmitting dentist fear from mothers to their children. Researchers found that the children mainly paid attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when determining the level of stress a visit dentist would cause.
The researchers state that it is important to involve both mothers and fathers in dentist fear prevention campaigns, and that fathers can help appease a child’s dental visit through displaying no signs of fear or anxiety. Parents should continue to ensure their children and keep them relaxed. They concluded that through the transmission of positive attitudes, parents can set the right attitude for their children and visits to the dentists may not be as big as a problem.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Please call before your child’s appointment, especially if you have anxiety. Coming into the office before your child’s appointment is a great idea to ensure a happy appointment. Contact us today at 781-237-9071or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
We have a wonderful pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Pradhan, and hope that with your new insight on dental visits, future visits with your child will be enjoyable! Your little ones and teens will also be happy to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.
América Lara-Sacido, Antonio Crego and Martín Romero-Maroto. Emotional contagion of dental fear to children: the fathers' mediating role in parental transfer of fear.International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 2012; 22:324-330