Fathers Are Key to Kids’ Fear of Dentist, According to Study


This Father’s Day, as you celebrate Dad’s love and support, don’t forget how important he is as a role model – for dental health! It turns out, you may have him to thank for your healthy smile.

Emerging evidence indicates that influence of fathers is particularly important as young children are introduced to dental care.  A recent study conducted in Spain indicates that fathers have a particularly important role in building good dental habits in their children.

For many kids, fear of the dentist is a big problem, which can lead to children attempting to avoid dental care, a habit they can carry into adulthood.

The study focused on the transmission of fear of the dentist among family members. Fear of the dentist is a learned behavior, and while both parents’ attitudes impact children, fathers appear to have more influence on how much fear a child will feel before going to the dentist.

According to the study’s co-author Professor America Lara-Sacido, “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.”

Was your Dad a good example at the dentist? On Father’s Day, thank him for your beautiful smile!


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