Are Kids with Siblings More Prone to Dental Anxiety?
If you are an adult who’s spent a lifetime avoiding visits to the dentist, you already know how dental anxiety impacts your oral health. What you may not realize is that dental anxiety is also a major issue that can affect your child’s oral health in the same way.
Researchers at Northwest University of Nationalities in Lanzhou, China conducted a study of 405 children between the ages of 9 and 13 to investigate the effect that family structure in general and the presence of siblings, in particular, has on kids' oral health. The findings showed that 36 percent of children with siblings experienced dental anxiety compared to only 24 percent for only children.
What Does This Mean for Your Family?
While this was a broad study, the results do suggest that children pick up on the anxiety of siblings, which forms the basis for their own opinions and feelings.
As a parent, one way you can avoid this is by starting at a very early age and instilling in your children a positive attitude about dental visits. This includes visits to their dentist beginning around six months to one year of age.
Why so early? These visits have less to do with dental care than they do about letting your child get used to the sights and sounds of a dental office at their own pace. When you combine early visits with positive reinforcement at home, you can help your child avoid the oral health problems that go hand in hand with dental anxiety.
Call Us to Get Your Child Started
If your child is ready for their first visit or you have questions, please call us so we can help.