Every parent wants his or her child to have a positive opinion of the dentist. After all, healthy, clean teeth are an important part of a healthy adult life. Countless studies have shown the terrible effects that poor gum and teeth health can have on individuals throughout their lives. One problem that many parents encounter when en route to the dentist, however, is resistance.
Children do not want to go to the dentist because they are fearful. They’ve seen cartoons with big drills or they’ve heard a horror story from one of their classmates at school. Yet one thing that parents may not have considered before is just how much their own reaction is influencing their children’s opinion of the dentist.
A Parent’s Reaction Influences their Child’s Opinion of the Dentist
Your reaction to your child’s dentist as your child’s parent encourages your child’s reaction to their dentist. A study in Madrid, Spain has shown that there is a connection between how much fear the parents emote or share in relation to the level of fear that their child fears when visiting the dentist.
Interestingly enough, the study also found that fathers played a larger role when looking at children with fear. The fathers who were calm and not stressed were more likely to have calm and less stressed children. The mothers, while not as important in transferring fear, did transfer fear so they should not be forgotten.
Stay Calm and Dental On
Essentially, when you visit your local dentist with your child, be sure to remain calm and present a non-anxiety provoking, non-stress oriented persona so that your child will be less likely to develop a fear of visiting the dentist.
As we age, we typically need to visit the dentist on several occasions, and will have to have different ranges of work done in order to preserve our smile or our mouth functionality when eating, etc. It is crucial that we give our kids the ability to visit the dentist without intense pressure or extreme fear. To help children with these fears, have both parents accompany the child to the visit and present the calm exterior.