As many of you already know, a child's first trip to the dentist is not always the easiest. But what if you have the ability to control the outcome of your child's teeth more than you thought?
A new study suggests just that—children will have less cavities if their parents display a more authoritative parenting style, and they also behave better than children whose parents are more permissive.
Authoritative parenting style is defined by the study as parents who displine kids while also giving them guidance. Permissive parents, on the other hand, are more likely to ignore bad behavior and let children make their own decisions.
The study followed 132 groups of parents and children who visited Nationwide Children's Hospital. The children were all between the ages of 3 and 6. Researchers gathered information about parenting styles and the child's behavior in order to reach their conclusions.
Ninety-three percent of children with authoritative parents showed positive behavior at the dentist's office and, versus only 42 percent of the children with permissive parents. In addition, "80 percent of children with authoritative parents had cavities, compared to 97 percent of children of permissive parents," reports Fox News.
It's safe to say that the correlation between parenting style and a child's behavior does not only apply to dentist appointments—other public scenarios would most likely yield the same results.
"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," said Dr. Paul Casamassimo, chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children's and author of the study.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Dental Experts Remind Parents, Toddlers Need to Visit Dentist by Age 1
Image: Girl at the dentist via Shutterstock