young children may be anxious, fearful, and/or uncooperative
during the oral screening, which can make the process
challenging. The following guidance may help health
professionals manage young children during the screening.
- Express concern. Ask the child how she is feeling
or whether she is comfortable.
- Give specific directions. Use direct and specific
requests (e.g., “please open your mouth now,”
“turn this way”).
- Praise all cooperative behaviors. Compliment
a child who is sitting still and cooperating.
- Use positive suggestions. Positive suggestions
(e.g., “Today we are going to clean your teeth
with a magic toothbrush”) have been shown
to decrease resistant behaviors.
- Keep cool. Do not show anger in response to a
child who is upset.