Setting Positive Tone for Family Dental Visits

Father Son BrushingWhen you’re a parent, modeling behavior is often even more important than telling your kids how to act. Children pick up on cues from you, both obvious and subtle. The way you treat others, the way you manage money, the way you eat, how physically active you are, and even the level of stress you carry on your shoulders are all under observation by your offspring. Katy pediatric dentist, Dr. Colin Lathrop has witnessed the influence parents have on their children first hand. A Spanish research study collected data to pinpoint just how influential parents are when it comes to dental care.

Fear of the Dentist Not Uncommon in All Ages

It’s only natural to harbor certain fears of the unknown. You were probably nervous as a child when you had a doctor’s appointment that involved vaccinations, when you went to your first day of school, had an initial practice for a new sports team, or had to give a speech in front of your class. You may even have memories of extreme dental anxiety. If you do happen to hold deep dental fears from your childhood which you have never resolved, your impressionable children may be picking up on your underlying apprehension. You may even think that you’re hiding your feelings of anxiety, but children are very perceptive.

Research Study on Dental Fears in Families

Research implemented at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid zeroed in on this link between parents and children’s fears regarding going to the dentist. Dads tended to be more influential in this way than moms. Published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, data collected from 183 children between 7 and 12 in the city of Madrid showed obviously intertwined fear levels between children and parents when faced with dental appointments. Fathers tend to have what researchers call a “mediating variable.” In other words, their reactions set the tone for the entire family’s emotional responses. If you are a parent taking your child to the dentist for the first time, you have the opportunity to set the stage for pleasant feelings if you can find a way to harness your own anxieties.

Visit your Katy, TX Dentist

Dr. Colin Lathrop is an experienced and widely respected family dentist serving patients in the Katy TX area. Patients can contact Dr. Lathrop at 832-437-3849 to schedule an appointment or a consultation.