Does Dental Phobia Run in the Family?

Pediatric dentists often face the fear of dentist and dental office in young patients. Psychologists have concluded that fear of dental procedures is frequently transmitted among family members. Parents often have a tremendous impact in the transmission of dental phobia to their youngsters. Spreading the phobia is in many cases merely a matter of parental behavior.

Mother’s fear vs. father’s fear

A most intriguing discovery shows that the presence of dentist anxiety in children patients tends to be severely influenced by the father’s behavior, feelings, and display at the dentist. Psychologists are not certain on how to explain these phenomena; however, many professionals agree that children pay more attention to the emotional responses of the paternal figure than they do to the mother’s reactions when assessing the dangers of a potential situation.

Therefore, if your child suffers from a form of dental anxiety, you should consider involving both parents, especially the father, in the process of developing a fear management plan for the child.

Practical advice for prevention of dental phobia

  • Never threat your child with getting him / her to the dentist as if it were a frightening scenario.
  • Try to appear relaxed on the topic of dental treatment in front of your children, even if you do experience a certain discomfort.
  • Explain the matters in detail to your kid, especially the fact that potential pain is dealt with special anesthetics. Furthermore, explain that not treating teeth in time may lead to more serious conditions in the future.
  • Laugh on the subject, stressing on the positive outcome associated to such an experience.
  • If you manage to completely avoid the fear before the first visit, make sure you stick to this principle in the future.

Due to the fact that father’s figure is virtually the most important figure for kids when it comes to assessing dangers, it is reasonable to assume that fathers should take the functions and the responsibilities of a guide for his children. However, it is very important for the father to translate the entire experience into words and to explain in a logical manner the core advantages of paying regular visits to the dentist.

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