Behavior Guidance

Dr. Julie and the staff at Explorer Pediatric Dentistry treat patients the same way we would want our own family members to be treated. Compassion and care are taken for you and your child to have a positive experience.

Dr. Julie delivers care in a safe environment, making sure you feel comfortable and understand all procedures. However, some patients exhibit behaviors that make it difficult or impossible to provide high-quality dental care. In this instance, you as the guardian and we as the dental professionals must come to an agreement about how to handle the behavior so that the necessary treatment can be delivered safely.

Uncooperative behaviors that can interfere with quality professional dental care can include: hyperactivity, resistive movements, refusing to open mouth or keep it open, and even aggressive or physical resistance to treatment, including but not limited to, hitting, biting, kicking, screaming, or grabbing the dentist’s or staff’s hands or instruments.

At Explorer Pediatric Dentistry, we want to teach the patients to have a lifetime of good dental experiences. Some patients may cry as part of this learning process. In the dental setting, we often find crying is usually not because of pain, but more often, crying can be a natural release of anxiety and/or an avoidance technique. All efforts will be made to help our patients cooperate by providing a kind, gentle and understanding environment. We try to use friendliness, persuasion, distraction, and humor as the first methods of helping your child have a good experience.

In the event that these efforts do not work with your child, we may attempt other recognized behavior guidance and management techniques. All of our methods have a goal of safety, to prevent patients from causing injury to themselves. We hope to prevent any traumatic situations, which can cause a lifetime of dental anxiety. We may use any combination of the following recognized techniques individually tailored for each patient:

Tell, Show, Do

The patient is first told what is to be done, we use words and terms in their language that help explain the procedure. (Dr. Julie and her staff prefer descriptive words, such as “sleeping water” or “handpiece that sprays water and air.” They try to avoid words that cause anxiety, such as “shot”, “needle” and “drill” and recommend that parents and siblings avoid those words also!!)The patient is shown what is to be done on a dental model, finger, or other objects. Then the procedure is done exactly as told.

Positive Reinforcement

This technique rewards cooperative behavior. Rewards include praise, compliments, or a prize, etc. If there is something you have promised your child in reward of good behavior, please let Dr. Julie and her staff know, we love to work as a team with parents.

Stabilization by Parent and/or Dentist/Staff

If indicated and following verbal parental consent, holding the hands, legs, and/or upper body for reassurance and to prevent the patient from making sudden unsafe movements.