Post Operative Care
Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic
Your child has had local anesthetic for their dental procedure. As experts in pediatric dentistry we want to provide you with some information about caring for your child's mouth after local anesthesia. Here are some common things that can occur after the visit.
Lower jaw treatment: lower lips, teeth, cheek, and tongue may be "numb" or fat feeling. Upper jaw treatment: upper lip, teeth, cheek and roof of the mouth may feel "numb" or fat feeling.
Children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and often report "pain." That can be the fat feeling or tingling as the numbness is wearing off. Often children may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or severe tissue damage that can lead to swelling and pain. In most cases, even with severe tissue damage, the patient will heal normally over the next couple of days. Please monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.
Care of the Mouth after Extraction
It is important to have your child not scratch, suck, chew, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they are numb. Your child should be watched closely so they do not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
|•||Keep their fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.|
|•||Do not rinse their mouth for several hours.|
|•||Do not let them spit excessively.|
|•||Do not give them a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.|
|•||Do not let them drink through a straw, it can pull out the clot.|
|•||Watch for excessive bleeding.|
Some bleeding can be expected. If unusual bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze, wet paper towel, or wash cloth firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. A tea bag can also aid in clotting. Repeat if necessary.
Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until your child feels comfortable eating normally again.
Avoid strenuous sports or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.
The pain from extraction is due to the breakage of bone. Most children's bones are not affected by an extraction procedure, so the pain is generally minimal after the tooth is removed. We recommend for mild to moderate discomfort using Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, follow the directions on the bottle.
Care of Sealants
Sealants are a thin protective coating placed in grooves of teeth. They are placed where patients have difficulty brushing and prevent plaque and food from sticking into the grooves which decrease the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only in the groves of the biting surface, the rest of the tooth is still vulnerable to decay. Good oral hygiene is still very important in preventing decay because sealants will only protect the most vulnerable part of the tooth.
Your child should not eat ice or hard candy, which can fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order to be certain the sealants remain in place.
Sealants have an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. They can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth when maintained correctly. A total oral health program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting sugary snacks. If these steps are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!
Care after a Stainless Steel Crown
Children often complain about a crown feeling tight for the first couple of days. Please avoid eating anything for 1 hour after your crown placing appointment for the cement to setup.
WARNING – Foods that are sticky can loosen crowns and even make them come off! Examples of foods to avoid are: Fruit snacks, fruit leather, tootsie rolls, gum, jolly ranchers, laffy taffy, licorice etc.
In the event your child's crown comes off please give our office a call and make an appointment within one week. If at all possible, please bring the crown to the appointment. If they swallow it, please do not retrieve it from the bathroom. Remember to properly brush and floss the crown as you would any of your child's other teeth.
WARNING: Floss crowns by pulling out from the side, not by pulling upward along the side of the tooth!
Oral Discomfort after a Cleaning
Dental Prophylaxis or "dental cleaning" can cause some bleeding and swelling causing mild discomfort. This is not due to a "rough cleaning" but, to tender and inflamed gums from less than perfect home oral hygiene. If there is mild discomfort after your child's cleaning with our specialists in pediatric dentistry, we recommend:
1.) A warm salt water rinse 2 – 3 times per day (1 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water)
2.) Over the counter Children's Tylenol, Advil (ibuprofen) as directed for the age of the child.
Puget Sound Children's Dentistry provides pediatric dentistry and serves young patients from the areas of Marysville, Monroe, Lake Stevens and Stanwood.