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A study on related factors affecting dental fear in preschool children

  • Ruobing Peng1
  • Linhua Liu1
  • Youjian Peng1
  • Jun Li1
  • Tiantian Mao1,*,

1Department of Stomatology, Renmin hospital of Wuhan University, 430060 Wuhan, Hubei, China

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.020 Vol.48,Issue 1,January 2024 pp.184-190

Submitted: 24 August 2023 Accepted: 17 October 2023

Published: 03 January 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Tiantian Mao E-mail:


This study aims to examine the manifestations of dental anxiety (DA) and its influencing factors during dental visits among preschool children. The data of 166 preschool children who visited the Department of Dentistry of our hospital from April 2021 to April 2023 with oral problems were retrieved. Their DA performance was investigated using the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). In addition, based on their general data and potential risk factor information, we performed logistic regression analysis to identify the factors influencing DA. Of the 166 questionnaires distributed, a total of 160 valid questionnaires were retrieved. The average CFSS-DS score was 35.57 ± 3.51 points. Sixty-six children had DA, resulting in an incidence rate of 41.25%. The top 5 items with the highest CFSS-DS scores were fear of needles, dentists, tooth extraction, drilling and oral anesthesia. When the 66 children with DA were classified into a DA group and a non-DA group, we observed significant differences in age distribution, dental experience, only child status, general anxiety symptoms, dental condition, family income and specific dental treatment procedures, particularly tooth extraction, between them (p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that preschool children aged ≤4 years, those with prior dental experiences, single-child status, general anxiety symptoms, suboptimal dental health, family incomes below 100,000 yuan/year, and those undergoing specific dental procedures, such as tooth extractions, were independently associated with a higher risk of DA (p < 0.05). The incidence of DA in preschool children is high, and they exhibit substantial fear of needles, dentists, tooth extraction, drilling and oral anesthesia. Preschool children aged ≤4 years, with prior dental experiences, single-child status, the presence of general anxiety symptoms, suboptimal dental health, family incomes below 100,000 yuan/year, and those undergoing dental procedures, particularly tooth extraction, could be more predisposed to DA.


Preschool age; Children; Dental anxiety; Influencing factors

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Ruobing Peng,Linhua Liu,Youjian Peng,Jun Li,Tiantian Mao. A study on related factors affecting dental fear in preschool children. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(1);184-190.


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