Dental fears are surprisingly common. In fact, one out of every seven Americans suffers from some type of fear of the dentist. If you are one of these people, you know how difficult it is trying to put these fears aside for the well-being of your oral health. But what if your fear of the dentist threatened more than your own oral health? What if it could affect your child’s? Below, your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, takes up the subject of whether your fear of the dentist can negatively affect your child.
Phobias: Are They Learned or Innate?
For the longest time, scientists have believed that phobias are innate. They have postulated that phobias have grown out of an evolutionary instinct to survive. Thus, a phobia of snakes makes sense because many snakes are deadly, and avoiding them can keep a person alive. However, recent research has taken a different stance when it comes to the development of phobias. Some researchers are beginning to argue that phobias are learned by observation. Thus a young child who sees a parent recoil in fear from a snake may develop a fear of snakes.
If phobias are indeed learned behavior, the implications for parents are very serious. When it comes to a dental phobia, parents should encourage the attendance of dental visits and speak about the benefits of oral care in positive tones to avoid transferring negative feelings about dental care.
Your Child and the Dentist
If you struggle with a dental phobia, don’t let your fear affect your child. Encourage the development of a relationship of trust between your child and your Des Moines children’s dentist, Dr. Johnson. Be sure that your child gets in the habit of attending regular dental visits every six months, and mention the benefits of dental care rather than your fears.
Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines Children’s Dentist
When was your child’s last dental visit? If it was more than six months ago, it is time for a checkup. Schedule a visit with your Des Moines children’s dentist, Dr. Johnson, today by calling 515-223-9764. Our 50266 dentist office welcomes patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.