Evaluating the Relationship between Parental Dental Anxiety and Early Childhood Caries


1 Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Disease Research Center, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

2 Dentist, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.


Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is considered as the most prevalent childhood disease. Numerous factors have been mentioned for the formation of ECC. This study evaluated the relationship of parental dental anxiety and ECC in Iranian Children.
Materials and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, 340 parent-child dyads were divided into two groups: the first group consisted of 170 parents and their 3-6-year-old child with ECC (the case group), and the second group consisted of 170 parents and their 3-6-year-old child without ECC (the control group). Samples were selected using cluster random sampling from the kindergartens of Zahedan,Iran in 2019. A questionnaire containing parent’s information (age, education level, occupation and monthly income), and Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (CDAS) were used in this study. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20.
The anxiety level of mothers and fathers of the case group was similar to the control group (P= 0.284 and P= 0.114, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the level of parental anxiety (mother and father), and dmft index in the case group (P= 0.154 and P= 0.255, respectively). Also, mothers who were equal or less than 30 years-old were more anxious than mothers with more than 30 years-old (P= 0.034).
Based on the results, there were no significant differences in the groups based on parental dental anxiety. In other words, parental dental anxiety cannot lead to ECC in children.