Dental fear and anxiety often begin when we’re very young. That’s one reason why most dentists recommend a first visit by a child’s first birthday or when the first tooth comes in.
With an early introduction to the office environment and the process of dental visits, children can learn that it’s not an inherently scary thing but part of taking good care of their mouth and overall health. (The other reason, of course, is to check for proper dental orofacial development and risk of early childhood caries.)
Of course, even seemingly innocuous things can make a big, big impression on a kid…which brings us to the subject of a new study that recently caught our attention. Published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, the paper explores children’s perceptions of how a dentist looks.
And believe it or don’t, but most of the subjects – kids between the ages of 6 and 14 – preferred that their dentist look like…
…a dentist, white coat and all!
They were also a little psyched out by headcaps and protective eyewear. Most were fine with plain masks and white gloves.
And for the record, “Most children liked dentists with closed shoes and no jewellery but preferred the use of a wrist watch.”
We’re not sure, though, whether any of that explains any of this: