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Hand Over Mouth Technique šŸ¤­

Hand Over mouth Technique in Pedodontics

Hand over mouth technique (HOME) is an aversive behavior modification technique used to modify a negative child’s behavior during his/her visit to a dental clinic.

The hand over mouth technique, also known as hand over nose and mouth, is a common technique used in children to help them calm down and regulate their breathing during times of distress or anxiety.

To perform this technique, a doctor or parent gently places their hand over the child’s mouth and nose, allowing the child to feel their breath and focus on the sensation of breathing. The child is instructed to take deep breaths in and out, which can help them slow down their breathing and regulate their emotions.

It’s important to note that this technique should be used with caution and only in appropriate situations. It’s not recommended for children who have respiratory issues or any medical conditions that could make it difficult for them to breathe.

Additionally, this technique should be used in conjunction with other calming techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and positive self-talk, to help children develop healthy coping mechanisms and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

First described by Dr. Envangeline Jordan in 1920.

Other names:

Aversion – Crammer (1973)

Emotional Surprise therapy – Lampshire

Hand over mouth airway restricted (HOMAR) – Levitas (1947)

Aversive conditioning – Lenchner & Wright (1975)


  1. Gain attention of child and enable communication with dentist
  2. Increase child’s confidence
  3. Remove inappropriate behavior to dental treatment
  4. Deliver quality dental care to the child safely


A child who is able to cooperate but exhibits unwanted behavior to dental treatment.


If this technique prevents child from breathing,

The child and dentist are emotionally involved

If the child is an immature child

Hand Over Mouth Technique

The dentist places his/her hand over child’s mouth and explains the kind of behavior which is expected from the child. The child is informed that the hand would be removed only after required behavior begins. As the child responds, the hand is removed. If after removal of hand, negative behavior is shown, the process is repeated.

Legal use of HOME Technique

Parents consent is must

HOMAR (Hand over mouth airway restricted) should not be used by the dentists


Hand over mouth and nose

Towel over mouth

Dry towel over mouth and nose

Wet towel over mouth and nose

Last updated on March 9th, 2023 at 16:42

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