Does Dental Fear Run in Families?

Friday, November 16th, 2012, 9:52 pm

It isn’t that dental fear runs in a family like blue eyes or button noses but there is a parent connection. Fear of the dentist is passed on to children by their parents according to a study from the University of Madrid.Dental fear can be passed by parents but can be avoided. Wilbanks Smile Center offers sedation dentistry options to relieve anxiety.

Previous research had connected the dental fear levels of children and parents (no real news there) but what is new about this study is it looked at the different roles that fathers and mothers play in passing these fears along.

Researcher America Lara Sacido explained “we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.” The study confirms that the higher the level of dental anxiety in one family member, the higher the level for the rest of the family members. Fathers seem to play a key role, “although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Dr. Sacido.

This means that if the mother experiences dental anxiety, the transfer of this fear to the child could depend upon the reactions of the father in regard to dental care. The best way to make sure your child doesn’t inherit your dental anxiety is to remain relaxed and calm when visiting the dentist or discussing dental care. Positive emotions from parents make a huge difference in how a child feels about dental care.

Those of you with dental anxiety understand how difficult it can be to receive the care you need. Sedation dentistry offers many options, depending upon your needs, that allow you to receive needed restorative and preventive care.

Please contact  Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA  today at 706-886-9439 to find out more about sedation dentistry and to schedule your visit.

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