European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 29–32 | Cite as

Parental attitudes and perceptions affecting children’s dental behaviour in Greek population. A clinical study

  • M. A. Kyritsi
  • G. Dimou
  • Nick A. LygidakisEmail author


AIM: This was to investigate the relationship of children’s behaviour during dental treatment to parental dental attitudes and perceptions in a definitive population of Greek children in Athens. METHODS: 88 children aged 3–11 years and their parents, attending the Community Dental Centre for Children in Athens, participated. A questionnaire including demographic information, questions regarding parents’ dental experience and anxiety (M-DAS test), as well as questions regarding expectant behaviour of each child and his/her dental anxiety level (parental version of the CFSS—Dental Subscale), was completed by the parents during the first examination appointment. During the two following operative sessions each child’s behaviour was recorded and evaluated using the Frankl Scale. Collected data were statistically analyzed using a SPSS statistical program. RESULTS: No significant difference was found between a child’s actual behaviour and gender, nationality, frequency of parent’s dental visits, parental dental fear (M-DAS) and previous medical experience of the child (p>0.001). In contrast, age (p=0.005), previous child’s dental fear (p=0.081), previous child’s dental behaviour (p<0.0001), predicted by the parent behaviour (p<0.0001) and parental version of CFSS-DS (p<0.001), revealed statistically significant associations to child’s behaviour during treatment. CONCLUSION: According to the present study in Greek children, children’s behaviour during dental treatment is related to age, previous dental fear and experience and behaviour prediction by the parents. Parents’ estimations regarding their children’s fear and behaviour could be a useful predictor of child’s level of cooperation during dental treatment.


parental dental attitudes children’s behaviour dental treatment Greek children 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aartman IH, van Everdingen T, Hoogstraten J, Schuurs AH. Self report measurements of dental anxiety and fear in children: A critical assessment. ASDC J Dent Child 1998; 65: 252–258.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Arapostathis KT, Coolidge T, Emmanouil D, Kotsanos N. Reliability and validity of the Greek version of the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule — Dental Subscale. Int J Paediatr Dent 2008; 18: 374–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Colares V, Richman L. Factors associated with uncooperative behavior by Brazilian preschool children in the dental office. ASDC J Dent Child 2002; 69(1): 87–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cuthbert MI, Melamed BG. A screening device: Children at risk for dental fears and management problems. ASDC J Dent Child 1982; 49: 432–436.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Feigal R. Pediatric behavior management through non-pharmacologic methods. Gen Dent 1995; 43:327–332.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Frankl SN, Shiere FR, Fogels HR. Should the parent remain with the child in the dental operatory? ASDC J Dent Child 1962; 29:150–163.Google Scholar
  7. Folayan MO, Adekoya-Sofowora CA, Otuyemi OD, Ufomata D. Parental anxiety as a possible predisposing factor to child dental anxiety in patients seen in a suburban dental hospital in Nigeria. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002; 12:255–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hangejorden O, Klock KS. Avoidance of dental visits: the predictive validity of three dental anxiety scales. Acta Odontol Scand 2000; 58(6): 255–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Holst A. Behaviour management problems in child dentistry. Frequency, therapy and prediction. Thesis, School of Dentistry, Lund University. Swed Dent J 1988; suppl 54.Google Scholar
  10. Holst A, Hallonsten A-L, Schröder EKL, Edlund K. Prediction of behavior-management problems in 3-year-old children. Scand J Dent Res 1993; 101:110–114.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Humphris GM, Morrison T, Lindsay SJ. The Modified Dental Anxiety Scale: Validation and United Kingdom norms. Community Dent Health 1995; 12(3): 143–150.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Humphris GM, Freeman R, Campbell J, Tuutti H, D’Souza V. Further evidence for the reliability and validity of the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale. Int Dent J 2000; 50:367–370.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Klaassen MA, Veerkamp JS, Hoogstraten J. Changes in children’s dental fear: a longitudinal study. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2008 Feb; 9(Suppl 1): 29–35.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Klingberg G, Berggren U. Dental problem behaviors in children of parents with severe dental fear. Swed Dent J 1992; 16:27–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Klingberg G, Hwang CP. Children’s dental fear picture test (CDFP): A projective test for the assessment of child dental fear. ASDC J Dent Child 1994; 61(2): 89–96.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Klingberg G, Berggren U, Norén JG. Dental fear in an urban Swedish population: prevalence and concomitant factors. Community Dent Health 1994; 11:208–214.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Klingberg G, Berggren U, Carlsson SG, Norén JG. Child dental fear: cause related factors and clinical effects. Eur J Oral Sci 1995; 103: 405–412.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Klingberg G, Broberg AG. Dental fear/anxiety and dental behaviour management problems in children and adolescents: a review of prevalence and concomitant psychological factors. Int J Paediatr Dent 2007; 17(6): 391–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klingberg G. Dental anxiety and behaviour management problems in paediatric dentistry — a review of background factors and diagnostics. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2008; 9 (Suppl 1): 11–5.Google Scholar
  20. Lee CY, Chang YY, Huang ST. Prevalence of dental anxiety among 5- to 8-year-old Taiwanese children. J Public Health Dent 2007; 67(1): 36–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Locker D, Liddell A, Burman D. Dental fear and anxiety in an older adult population. Comm Dent Oral Epidemiol 1991; 19:120–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Milgrom P, Mancl L, King B, Weinstein P. Origins of childhood dental fear. Behav Res Ther 1995a; 33(3): 313–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Milgrom P, Weinstein P, Getz T. Treating fearful dental patients. In: A patient management handbook, 2nd ed University of Washington, Seattle. Continuing Dental Education 1995b; pp 285–325.Google Scholar
  24. Nuttall NM, Gilbert A, Morris J. Children’s dental anxiety in the United Kingdom in 2003. J Dent 2008; 36(11): 857–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schuurs a, Hoogstraten J. Appraisal of dental anxiety and fear questionnaires: a review. Comm Dent Oral Epidemiol 1993; 21; 329–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sullivan C, Schneider PE, Musselman RJ, Dummet CO Jr, Gardiner D. The effect of virtual reality during dental treatment on child anxiety and behavior. ASDC J Dent Child 2000; 67:193–196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. ten Berge M, Veerkamp JS, Hoogstraten J, Prins PJ. Parental beliefs on the origins of child dental fear in the Netherlands. ASDC J Dent Child 2001; 68(1): 51–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Tuutti H, Lahti S. Oral health status of children in relation to the dental anxiety of their parents. J Pedod 1987; 11:146–150.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Van Meurs P, Howard KE, Versloot J, Veerkamp JS, Freeman R. Child coping strategies, dental anxiety and dental treatment: the influence of age, gender and childhood caries prevalence. Eur J Paediatr Dent 2005; 6(4): 173–178.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Wogelius P, Poulsen S, Sørensen HT. Prevalence of dental anxiety and behavior management problems among six to eight years old Danish children. Acta Odontol Scand 2003; 61(3): 178–183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wright FAC, Lucas JO, Mc Murray NE. Dental anxiety in five-to-nine year-old children. J Pedod 1980; 4:99–115.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Wright GZ. Psychological management of children’s behaviors. In: Mc Donald RE and Avery DR (eds): Dentistry for the child and adolescent. 6th ed. St Louis Mosby. 2000. pp 32–52.Google Scholar
  33. Yamada MK, Tanabe Y, Sano T, Noda T. Cooperation during dental treatment: the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule in Japanese children. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002; 12(6): 404–409.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis International 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of Paediatric DentistryCommunity Dental Center for ChildrenAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations