POST-OP CARE

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthesia | Care of the Mouth after Extractions | Care of Sealants

 

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthesia

Your child has received a local anesthetic for his/her dental procedure:

  • If the procedure was in the lower jaw, the teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.  Sometimes the tongue will also be numb.
  • If the procedure was in the upper jaw, the teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.

Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek.  These actions can cause minor irritations or can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.  Please watch and stay close with your child 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.  Children who receive a local anesthetic for the first time may also complain of pain in the area because they are unable to correctly verbalize the numb sensation.  Please rest assured that your child is not in pain.  In most cases, your child will forget about the “pain” once the anesthetic has worn off. 

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions or concerns.

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Care of the Mouth after Extractions

  • Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while the tissues are still numb.  Your child should be watched closely for approximately two hours after the appointment so he/she does not injure the lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthetic wears off.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction site.
  • Do not drink carbonated beverages (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Maintain a soft diet for one to two days or until your child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively.
  • Brush gently in the area.  The cleaner the area is kept, the faster it heals.
  • Bleeding – some bleeding is expected.  If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, apply pressure by biting on cotton gauze for fifteen minutes.  This can also be accomplished with a wet tea bag.  Repeat as needed.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.
  • Pain – For discomfort, use Children’s Tylenol or Motrin as directed for the age of your child.  If a medicine was prescribed, follow the instructions on the bottle.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions or concerns.

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Care of Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings placed over the grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth.  Sealants help to keep out food, plaque, and bacteria from burrowing in the deep grooves of molars and causing tooth decay.  They do not protect smooth surfaces of teeth; therefore, brushing, flossing, eating a balanced nutrition, limiting snacking, and regular dental visits are essential to a bright and healthy smile. 

Your child should refrain from chewing ice and hard or sticky candies, which tend to fracture or the pull sealants off.  Routine dental visits are necessary in order for the dentist to verify that the sealants are intact and recommend re-application or repair. 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay.  With proper care, sealants can last for many years!

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