Managing relationships with children

Psychology and Pharmacology

Parents should understand that our office is small and intimate, with natural lighting and happy music. Our office is designed to be transparent and child-friendly, including an open-bay layout that allows children to remain in the presence of other children.  We deliberately avoid the use of TV screens & video games. This not only promotes a more intimate atmosphere of human-to-human caring, but also demonstrates our values that technology and entertainment are not substitutes for basic & responsible human behavior. In the treatment area, we maintain a strict no-cell phone policy for everyone - including doctors, dental staff, children, and parents.

We recognize that some parents and children are fearful or anxious of dental visits.  One characteristic that separates our team from others is our success managing many fearful children through age-appropriate, psychology-based techniques. We go to great lengths to avoid the use of sedatives and hypnotic drugs. This higher standard of care stems directly from our values for safety, and whole-person wellness.  By constructively guiding patients through clinical situations, we aim to foster the development of long-term communication skills and emotional self-control, while reducing drug-related risks. This practice culture resembles what is known as “Positive Parenting,” where we communicate with children clearly and fairly, and establish rewards and consequences that guide behavior. Even with young children, our tone is happy, respectful, and fair - but not coddling or pampering. We accomplish our approach through a variety of psychologic and communication techniques endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, including:

  • desensitization
  • modelling
  • operant conditioning

For patients with special behavioral or sensory considerations, our team is happy to discuss options for a safe behavior-management strategy.  Not every parenting style is a perfect match for the services and values of our office, and honest communication is important to help uncover options, and help families find the offices that can best meet their parenting style.  

Sedation and General Anesthesia 

In very exceptional situations, it may be agreed upon that sedative medications are an appropriate aid in treatment. Dr. Gavin Uchida is a board-certified pediatric dentist, with advanced training in performing these procedures safely. If necessary, Dr Gavin is able to offer patients general anesthesia services, due to his positions on the medical staff of Shriner’s Hospital for Children, and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. Following either of these pharmacologic methods, Dr Gavin prefers to return to the long-term educational and psychologic process of helping patients learn self-control and age appropriate communication skills. 

Sedation and General Anesthesia are options of last-resort, and Blue Whale will help families investigate all alternatives, and clearly understand all risks and benefits prior to undergoing such procedures.  



Appointment Center

808-735-BLUE (2583)

(we return missed calls promptly, so please call and leave a voice message)

Office Hours

By appointment, including: EVENINGS & WEEKENDS


Kaimuki Office
3660 Waialae Ave.
Suite 201
Honolulu, HI 96816

Waimea Office
64-5191 Kinohou St.
Waimea, HI 96743