Children's responses to sensory stimuli and their behavior in the dental office

Sagit Nissan*, Aviva Yochman, Sigalit Blumer, Johnny Kharouba, Benjamin Peretz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate children's behavior during dental examinations, their reactions to various selected sensory stimuli and the association between them. Study design: Sixty-three children (28 boys and 35 girls) aged 5-12 years (mean age 7.9 ± 1.6 years) participated in the study. Their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire while in the dentist's waiting room. The dentists evaluated the children's behavior in the dental office using Frankl's behavioral scale and noted the children's reactions to the sensory stimuli of touch, noise, smell and backward tilting of the examination chair. Results: Most of the children cooperated during the dental examination. Lack of cooperation was associated with adverse reactions to all selected sensory stimuli. There was also an association between resistance to brushing teeth and adverse reaction to touch. Children who reacted negatively to sensory stimuli during dental examinations were more likely to have needed advanced management techniques during past dental treatment. Conclusions: Children's behavior during dental examinations is known to be affected by many factors, including age, previous experiences, anxiety and fear and others. This investigation demonstrates that it is also associated with their reactions to various sensory stimuli.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Behavior
  • Children
  • Dentistry
  • Sensory stimuly


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