Association of temperament with dental anxiety and behaviour of the preschool child during the initial dental visit

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an association between temperament characteristics of preschool children, dental anxiety, and their dental behaviour. A total of 100 children, aged 3–5 yr, who were attending their initial dental visit accompanied by a parent, were included in this cross-sectional study. Dental anxiety of children was measured using the Facial Image Scale. The behaviour of children during the initial oral examination and oral prophylaxis was assessed using Frankl's behaviour rating scale. Temperament was assessed using Emotionality, Activity, Shyness Temperament Survey for Children (parental ratings). Statistically significant weak linear positive correlations were seen between the following: the percentage duration of definitely negative behaviour and shyness scores (r s  = 0.28); anxiety level and emotionality scores (r s  = 0.28); and anxiety level and shyness scores (r s  = 0.26). Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that children with higher anxiety had higher odds of showing definitely negative behaviour, which decreased with increasing age of the child. Emotionality and shyness temperaments may be weakly associated with dental anxiety, and shyness may be weakly associated with the dental behaviour of the preschool child. Definitely negative dental behaviour is associated with dental anxiety and age of the child.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Oral Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)

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