Behavior Guidance

Dr. Bekka is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist with many years of experience devoted to delivering care to children in a comfortable and compassionate manner. Many children are nervous or fearful when they come to the dentist or may have special needs that make tolerating dental care more difficult. In most cases these fears are easily mitigated with routine strategies, but sometime more advanced techniques are needed. Part of pediatric dental training includes early childhood development and psychology.

Behavior management techniques are used to provide your child with dental care in a safe manner. We have found that positive reinforcement is a great technique to reduce adverse behavior in children. We also understand that a three year old child will act age appropriately; we do not expect children to act like short adults. In actuality children tend to respond more positively and are more relaxed in the dental environment than most adults if treatment is presented with care and compassion from the beginning. Regardless of a child’s behavior, our office will always treat your child with care and respect.

Different children respond to different behavior management techniques. Please be assured that our office will obtain consent from parents prior to using advanced techniques and that no technique is selected as a punishment. Different techniques are chosen for different children for the safety of each child and so that the treatment may be completed.

Dr. Tannen is well versed in the many behavior guidance techniques supported by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Please feel free to discuss any issues or concerns with her. We encourage open communication between doctor, patient and parents.

Behavior Techniques

Tell, Show, Do

This technique is used on virtually all patients. Dr. Bekka will explain what she will do; she will then show them what we will do and with what. THEN WE DO IT! This is a simple yet very effective technique that helps most children feel comfortable and confident during their dental visit. Dr. Tannen also encourages children to watch treatment in a mirror should they chose to.

Voice Control

This technique is used to intercept inappropriate behavior as it begins. The dentist alters the tone of voice and/or volume to interject more authority or gain attention. Dr. Bekka finds that whispering during outburst an effective type of voice control to intercept this behavior.


Distraction is the technique of diverting a child’s attention from what may be perceived as an unpleasant procedure. Giving the patient a short break during a stressful procedure can be an effective use of distraction prior to considering more advanced behavior guidance. The objectives of distraction are to decrease the perception of unpleasantness, and avert negative or avoidance behavior. To quote Monster’s University “it’s all about mis-direction”. Our office is equipped with television in each treatment room as well as the masterful singing voices of Dr. Bekka and her staff.

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen

Most children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office. Sometimes, however, a child may feel anxious before or during treatment. Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen; AKA “Laughing Gas”; is a safe, effective agen used to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and enhances effective communication. Additionally it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with their ability to tolerate dental treatment. While breathing “laughing gas” your child will feel calm and relaxed, maybe even like they are floating in a pool. He or she will be awake, responsive and will breath on their own without assistance. It is easily administered and quickly eliminated from the body by breathing 100% oxygen when the procedure is finished. There are no lingering effects to the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen; all nitrous oxide is completely out of your child’s system by the time the appointment is over.

At Giving Tree Pediatric Dentistry we know that not all children are alike! Some children may not need or benefit from the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen; although many do. Dr. Tannen has undergone comprehensive training to administer “laughing gas” in a save environment for your child.


We ask that your child does not eat or drink for 1-2 hours prior to treatment. If your child does eat prior to his/her dental appointment we ask that they not have a heavy meal such as pizza or dairy products. Also please let us know about nay respiratory conditions that may make breathing through the nose difficult. Also let us know if your child is taking any medications.

As always if you have any questions please contact us. We are here to make mom and dad comfortable as well!

Protective Stabilization

For children who cannot tolerate treatment due to psychological or emotional issues and/or mental, physical or medical special healthcare needs; advanced behavior guidance techniques may be considered. One example of this is protective stabilization.

Very young children and some special needs patients are unable to understand the need for dental treatment. This technique is used to protect them from harming themselves. This technique is only used when absolutely necessary. I do not use any form of physical restrain unless absolutely necessary for the safety of the child. My main goal is to keep our patients comfortable in order to reinforce a positive experience. Parental consent is always obtained prior to using this technique. The stabilizer is the same one used in pediatric emergency rooms when stitches need to be placed on young children.