The Family Dentist, Fear, and Your Father.

As a Reynoldsburg Ohio family dentist, I want to be concerned with the dental health of just that: the entire family.  One of the more difficult age groups to effectively care for is quite often younger children.  The issue of fear regarding the trips to see the family dentist is not a new one; children have been scared of the family dentist for years.  In response dentists have created numerous anti-fear campaigns but new research is showing that the most powerful force of influence actually comes from the home.  Parents are the strongest factor in passing on fear or comfort with the family dentist on to their children.

A child’s fear of the family dentist is strongly tied to his or her parents’ fear.

Interestingly enough it seems that the father is the strongest influence on whether or not children will be afraid of the family dentist.  While both parents can and do transmit a sense of anxiety or comfort about the dentist to their children, the father can actually override the mother’s influence either way.  That is to say that if a child’s mom is fine going to the dentist, but the father displays fear or avoidance; the child will also develop that sense of fear and avoidance.  Also if the mother shows fear and the father is a picture of calmness, the child will also develop that calmness when visiting the family dentist.

All of this to say that emotional reactions, like much of our personal make up is in some part due to what we learn from our parents.  It is really important that as parents of younger children we exhibit calm and confidence in visiting the family dentist.  Regular check-ups and cleanings are a large part of maintaining a good oral health.  If our parents can demonstrate this comfort, especially the fathers then we will in turn see more and more children not afraid to sit in the family dentist’s exam chair.  If you don’t have a family dentist then give us a call here at our office or schedule an appointment online to come and see us.  We’ve been serving the central Ohio area for many years now and we want to continue keeping you and your family’s smiles looking their best!

Source: Science Daily

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