Is the Fear of the Dentist Genetic?

sugar land dentist for kids

Even the best pediatric dentist in the country will meet a few patients that are terrified of coming to the dentist. The question is if the fear is caused by not knowing what to expect, not being in control, or is perhaps  even genetic.

Parents’ Fears Passed Down

Studies show that parents who have a fear of the dentist tend to have children who are afraid of the dentist. One study performed in Washington State looked into dental anxiety in children whose ages ranged from 0.8-12.8 years. The 421 children who participated in the study were patients at 21 different dental practices across the state, and their parents were asked to fill out a 15 question survey regarding the child’s level of fear. This study found that the higher anxiety experienced by the father, the higher anxiety displayed by the child.

Sugar Land Pediatric Dentists Help Eliminate Fear

To help calm any dental anxiety that may exist, our Sugar Land pediatric dentists go out of their way to make patients feel comfortable the minute they walk in our office. We offer a children’s play area in our waiting room so children can relax until their appointment. We also feature toys, books and video games to make them less anxious. During their check up, each child is able to watch a TV above their dental chair to help take the focus off what is happening inside their mouth. Every child that gets through their appointment gets to choose a prize from our treasure box for being brave.

During the appointment, our pediatric dentists take the time to explain what they are doing and what it may feel like to the patient. This helps take the fear of the unknown out of dental procedures. We always want our patients to feel comfortable, and give them a visual cue to let us know if something is wrong so we can help make them comfortable again.

For children who are afraid of not knowing what to expect, we also offer dentist tours or ‘happy visits’ where the child can come and take a tour of the office, learn about the different tools we use when cleaning teeth and even take a ‘ride’ in the dental chair. We have found this ‘happy tour’ can put the child’s fear at ease allowing them calmer visit to their pediatric dentist.