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The oral health of dentally phobic 12- and 15-year-olds: a descriptive analysis of the 2013 Child Dental Health Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-599
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number8
Early online date26 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019


King's Authors


Introduction Dental anxiety has been shown to be related to poorer oral health. Limited data exist exploring the relationship between oral health status and dental anxiety in non-clinical populations in children.Aim To compare the oral health of phobic and non-phobic children aged 12 and 15 years.Design Secondary analysis of data from 12-year-old and 15-year-old children in the Child Dental Health Survey 2013.Materials and methods Participants were grouped into non-phobic and phobic groups, depending on their self-reported dental anxiety (MDAS). Descriptive analyses compared the two groups on social demographic factors, clinical status, self-reported oral health status, oral health-related behaviours and oral health impact.Results A total of 601 children were classed as dentally phobic with 4,144 classed as non-phobic. Dental phobic children were more likely to be female, had more active decay and untreated dental disease, and rated their dental health as poorer. Phobic children were more likely to report that their oral health had a negative effect on their everyday life. This group were less likely to brush their teeth regularly or attend the dentist for check-ups.Conclusions Dentally phobic children have more dental disease and express greater impact on their everyday life.

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