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Stay positive and protect your children ‘s teeth

Fear of the dentist is very common in all populations around the world. Many people feel stressed by or are even terrified of dental examinations, which can eventually lead to avoiding dental appointments completely. A new survey has now provided further evidence that parents with dental phobia pass their fear on to their children, and this might significantly affect their dental visiting patterns later in life.

The survey results, which are based on interviews with 1,325 parents of children up to the age of 12, indicated that 48 percent of parents were afraid of visiting the dentist. About the same number of children (47 percent) shared the sentiment.

According to the investigators, more female survey participants had dental phobia. While 55 percent of mothers reported being afraid of the dentist, only 40 percent of fathers stated likewise. However, only 19 percent of mothers said that they found it very difficult to persuade their child to go to the dentist. About 37 percent of fathers said that it is one of the most difficult things to do.

The main reason for nervousness ahead of dental appointments was fear of pain (54 percent). Other reasons included not liking the dentist (17 percent) and fear of additional dental work (25 percent).

“It’s easy for kids to pick up on their parents’ anxieties when it comes to the dentist,”. “If children have a bad experience, it could jeopardize their willingness to visit the dentist throughout childhood and into adulthood.”

Doctors encourage parents to stay positive ahead of and during dental visits for their children. In addition, they should start visiting the dentist with their child within six months of the eruption of the child’s first tooth to allow them to become accustomed to the dental setting at an early age.

The survey was conducted by Kelton, a global insights firm, on behalf of Delta Dental. The firm conducted e-mail interviews with the participating parents from Dec. 2, 2014, to Jan. 2, 2015.

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