Parent Information About Behavior Management Techniques for Child Dental Patients

We do our best to give your child the best quality dental care in a safe and caring environment.

Every effort will be made to work with your child to gain cooperation through understanding, gentle guidance, humor and charm. When these fail there are other management techniques that can be used to eliminate or minimize disruptive behavior. Our dentist(s) and staff have received training in the following techniques accepted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

  • Tell-show-do: the dentist or staff member explains to the child what is to be done, shows an example on a tooth model or on the child’s finger, then the procedure is done on the child’s tooth.
  • Positive reinforcement: rewards the child who displays cooperative behavior with compliments, praise, a pat on the shoulder or a small prize.
  • Voice control: the attention of a disruptive child is redirected by a change in the tone and volume of the dentist’s voice.
  • Mouth props: a padded device is placed in the mouth to prevent closure of the child’s teeth on the dentist’s fingers or dental equipment.
  • Hand and /or head holding by the dentist or assistant: an adult keeps the child’s body still so the child cannot grab the dentist’s hand or sharp dental tools.
  • Nitrous oxide: medication breathed through a colored / flavored nose mask to relax a nervous child. The child remains awake but is relaxed and calm. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas. Children with sensitive stomachs may become nauseated when breathing nitrous oxide.
  • Stabilization wrap: a body wrap made of fabric mesh and Velcro that is placed around the child to limit movement. It is never used without parental consent.

To download and sign that you understand the what, when, how and why of their use as well as the risks, benefits and available alternatives please download the pdf.