Post-Op Care

Post Operative Instructions

Children need a lot of care and supervision after being given local anesthetic because they may chew or suck the numb lip, tongue or cheek which can later cause pain and discomfort. The numbness from the anesthetic can usually last up to two hours. The following are things to keep in mind after your child has been given local anesthesia: Your child should have no solids and should be on a liquid diet until the anesthesia wears out. If your child does bite their lip it will be very painful. It will usually turn white and swell looking the worst at day 3. Avoid salty, spicy, or hard foods and drinks like orange juice or soda since they can irritate the lip. Tylenol or Motrin can dull the pain (please use as directed). Your child should stay on a soft/bland diet for about a week. If a crown has been placed on any of your child's teeth they should not be allowed to eat sticky, chewy, or hard candy of any kind as it may cause the crown to fall out. The gums may be tender after the anesthesia wears off and Tylenol or Motrin may be used for pain. The gum tissue may bleed slightly around the crown for a day or two when brushing.

After Sedation Instructions

Sedation usually takes four to six hours to wear off and during that time your child may accidentally bite and/or chew their lips, cheeks, or tongue so they need to be watched constantly. Most of the children will sleep for up to four hours after they go home. Check on your child every fifteen minutes or so while sleeping to make sure that their chin is up from the chest and that breathing is not obstructed and do not leave them unattended (a responsible adult should remain in the same room with them until they have completely recovered). Also, make sure to administer small amounts of clear liquids often in order to avoid dehydration. Sometimes after the sedation a child can become very hyperactive and/or irritable. This does not last long and will go away in about thirty to sixty minutes. The most common side effect of sedation is nausea. To avoid nausea start with a liquid diet and slowly progress to soft foods. Avoid fatty foods such as hamburgers because this may make the nausea worse. Your child should be able to eat one to two hours after leaving the office or the hospital, depending on the procedure performed and the anesthesia used. Please follow the instructions given to you after the treatment and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

After Extractions Instructions

Please follow the instructions below for the remainder of the day: No heavy spitting. Do not rinse your child's mouth for several hours. Afterwards have them gently rinse with water. Do not allow your child to drink very hot or cold beverages until the numbness goes down. Do not allow your child to drink any beverage containing carbonation. Do not allow your child to drink out of a straw (preferably a week). If your child smokes do not allow them to smoke (preferably a week). Do not allow your child to touch the socket with their fingers and tongue. Use children's Motrin or Tylenol for any discomfort (please follow the instructions as directed on the label). If pain begins to diminish but elevates after three to five days please contact our office. You should expect some bleeding following tooth extraction. Your child should bite firmly on the gauze given to them for thirty to forty-five minutes to stop the bleeding. If sustained bleeding occurs have your child bite down firmly on another piece of gauze (or a damp washcloth) over the socket for ten to fifteen minutes. Repeat as many times as necessary since the extraction site is expected to ooze for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Bleeding may be increased with strenuous activity (i.e. playing in soccer game) or by drinking warm liquids. If the socket continues to bleed profusely after two hours please contact our office for further instructions. Use old pajamas, sheets, and pillowcase because the drool may be tinged red the first night following extraction. Continue to brush your child's teeth as usual and clean the extraction site by gently brushing it with the rest of your child’s teeth.

After Sealants Instructions

After a sealant has been applied to one or more of your child's teeth, in order to help insure the sealant's life, please follow the instructions below: Do not allow your child to chew ice cubes. Finely chopped ice is fine, but the cubes can cause the sealant to chip or come off the tooth/teeth. Do not allow your child to eat hard, sticky or chewy candy of any kind. Sugarless gum can be chewed. The sealant will protect the chewing surface of the tooth from decay, but your child must have good brushing and flossing habits which help protect the sides and in between the teeth so good oral hygiene is always important.