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Can Your Attitude Affect Your Family's Oral Health?

Posted on 4/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
A family of four smiling and heading to the dentist's office together.For a child, going to the dentist can be a scary experience. It may be their first time, or perhaps they had a cavity filled in the past and are worried about a repeat episode.

As a parent, you are the one that needs to support your child as he navigates these difficult emotions. In fact, a recent study has shown that kids who had supportive parents were more likely to be cavity-free than children whose parents weren't as supportive.

About the Study
This study involved researchers who analyzed child behavior and parenting styles of over 130 parent/child groups who visited Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio for their first visit to the dentist.

The children were 3-6 years of age. They then compared the children of authoritative parents (those who provided guidance and discipline while allow the child some freedom) to those who were permissive (those who did not control their child's behavior and tended to ignore poor behaviors).

The findings identified that 80% of kids with authoritative parents were found to have cavities compared to a whopping 97% of permissive parents. Additionally, 93% of the kids of authoritative parents exhibited positive behaviors compared to only 42% of kids with permissive parents.

Dental researchers believe that good parents who do the right things at home will develop kids who are careful, curious, and respectful. These are the same parents who are going to provide a child who behaves well and is relaxed at his first dental visit.

These parents likely practice good oral hygiene with their kids at home and spent time discussing the first dental visit with their child so that they were not anxious or nervous about the experience.

If your child's first dental appointment is coming up, a good attitude on your part is extremely important. If you have questions about how to prepare your child, please contact our office for tips.
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