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Post-Op Care


Boy Smiling - Pediatric Dentistry in Norfolk, CT

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic

  • If the procedure was in the lower jaw the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb.
  • If the procedure was in the upper jaw the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb.
  • 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 they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
  • Monitor your child closely for approximately three hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

  • Please keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process.
  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp) and may require treatment.
  • If swelling should occur, our office needs to see the patient as soon as possible. Ice should be applied during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Watch for infection (pimple) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed call the office so the patient can be seen as soon as possible.
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.
  • If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

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Care of the Mouth After Extractions

  • Do not scratch , chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while numb. The child should be watched closely so they do not injure their lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively.
  • Do not drink carbonated beverages (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Do not eat foods with seeds, avoid chips, pretzels, etc...
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

Bleeding - Some bleeding is normal. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place a folded cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a damp tea bag. Repeat if necessary.

  • Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for several hours after the extraction.

Pain - For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of Sealants

Sealants form a thin covering in the pits and fissures on the chewing surface of a tooth. They keep out food and plaque thus decreasing the risk of decay.

Your child should refrain from eating hard candy or ice which may fracture the sealant. Sealants will be checked at each recare visit to assure they are still in place.

Good oral hygiene and nutrition are very important in preventing decay in areas that are not protected by sealants.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably may produce some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a "rough cleaning" but, to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed:

  1. A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  2. For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed by the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.

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