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Positive Parenting Credited with Better Dental Visits

Feb 24, 2015

By Dean George

Parents that provide guidance and discipline to their children are more likely to have their children fare better at the dentist than children of permissive parents, according to a recent Ohio study.


Specifically, the children of “authoritative” parents are likely to have fewer cavities and are more than twice as likely to exhibit positive behavior during dental visits. Permissive parents were defined as those adults who did not manage their child’s decision and generally disregarded misbehavior.

“A good parent who hopefully does the right things at home and is developing a child who’s respectful and careful and curious, but within limits, is the kind of parent who’s going to provide a child who’s relaxed and knows how to behave (at his initial dental visit),” Dr. Paul Casamassimo DDS, study author and Chief of Dentistry at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Dr. Paul Casamassimo told Fox News.com.

Researchers said they didn’t expect any of the kids to show much anxiety since the first dental visit rarely has drills and needles involved and is more like a routine checkup. Still, kids will be kids and those seen in a dentist chair for the first time, without being heard, are never guaranteed.

In the study researchers analyzed the parenting styles and child behavior of 132 parent/child groups during their first dental visit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

In the study of kids aged 3 to 6 years old, 80% of children with authoritative parents had cavities, compared to 97% of children with permissive parents. The study also found 93% of children with authoritative parents displayed good behavior during their dental visit, compared to just 42% of children of permissive parents.

Casamassimo’s research team is now evaluating child patients of a private practice dentist to compare results with the earlier study.

While there’s no insurance protection against loud or misbehaving children during a dental visit, having a good dental plan can certainly give you financial peace of mind. To see plans available in your area, click here.

Sources: foxnews.com, ustoday.org
Photo source: savannahnow.com


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