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Hand Over Mouth Experience (behavior management) at the dentist

I was curious if anyone has had a dentist who employed this technique for managing your child's behavior?

**For anyone who is not familiar and is curious, the dentist puts his hand over a child's mouth to curb unruly behavior in the chair. Along with hand placement, the dentist repeats, "Once you stop the noise (or hitting or biting...) I will take my hand away."

I am not asking as a parent, but rather, as an ex-dental assistant who worked in an office that used this.

I have been thinking more and more about this. It does work. It accomplishes compliance in the chair.

However, I am curious of parent's experiences with it, as I don't think that a majority of the parents had a thorough understanding of the technique. Dr. would explain it fine, but at the moment, emotions are high, and parents agreed, often, I suspect, without having a full understanding.

I would love to know what parents think about this.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on Oct. 8, 2009 in Health

Answers (4)
  • As a parent, it sounds like an inappropriate way for a stranger to handle my child. I would probably not approve.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:53 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • if it works, then it works. no problem there.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:54 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • My 3 year old has visited the dentist about 3 time's. My child's dentist never used this kind of approach if he or she did I would then take my hand magically turn it into a fist and pound their face

    Although we have had compliments on my child's behavior there i wouldn't put it past a stranger,

    As mother's we love our kid's. Stranger's dont give a damn!

    No need for masking.....

    bow down  


    Answer by LexsiesMommy at 2:59 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I'm not comfy with strangers discipling my kids in any way.
    Also, every child is dif. & while it may have worked for all the kids he/she used the technic on I garentee my son would have flipped out even more.
    He has a thing with anyone putting their hand over his mouth. He enters an almost panic state. Yet another reason I keep close to my children some ppl. think they are helping but don't really know the child. I have had my family take their hand & place it over my sons mouth to tell him to quiet down because the baby was sleeping (when all they had to do was just tell him the baby is sleeping & he would have quited down like he always does) but the fact that they placed their hand over his mouth threw him into an insain panic attack, not being able to breath like mode. Telling him if you stop I'll take my hand off didn't work either, he'd just screaming and kick louder & harder. 

    Answer by Happ-eToBme at 5:20 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

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