Child’s Behavior and its Relationship with the Level of Maternal-Child Anxiety During Dental Care

Aline de Matos Vilas-Boas, Jessica Olga Sales Vieira, Michele Baffi Diniz


Objective: To evaluate the association between child's behavior and level of maternal and child anxiety during dental care. Material and Methods: The sample consisted of 100 children aged 6-11 years of both gender, scheduled for the first dental appointment at the dental clinic in a private school of Salvador, Brazil. The emotional reactions of patients were evaluated before the dental visit through the Venham Picture Test (VPT) instrument of anxiety evaluation. Mothers completed a specific questionnaire (Corah anxiety scale) to assess their anxiety about dental treatment. During dental care, prophylaxis and clinical examination by DMF-T and dmf-t indexes were performed. The child’s behavior during the dental treatment was evaluated by the Frankl's Behavior Rating Scale. Fisher's exact test and chi-square were used to evaluate the association between variables (α = 5%). Results: It was observed that 24.0% of children presented anxiety according to VPT. There was a significant association between level of anxiety and pain and dental caries as the main dental complaint (p <0.001), and between child's behavior and variables maternal anxiety (p = 0.01) and childhood anxiety (p <0.001). Conclusion: It could be concluded that there was a positive association between child's non-cooperative behavior during dental care and maternal and child anxiety.


Dental Anxiety; Pediatric Dentistry; Child Behavior.

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