Post-op Instructions – Pediatric Dentistry
Following your child’s filling appointment if an anesthetic has been used, the lips, tongue and cheek may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. Children can very easily bite their lips or tongue while being numb.
It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after the filling appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Over the counter Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Tylenol work well to alleviate the tenderness. Once the numbness is completely worn off, if your child feels that the filled teeth come in contact prior to the rest of the teeth contact our office for an adjustment.
Your child may chew with composite (tooth colored) fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office. If you chose the silver fillings instruct your child not to eat on that side for the next eight hours since silver fillings take longer to achieve their complete set strength.
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Advice your child to bite on the provided gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. You may have to do this several times. If bleeding still persists, biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze may help control the oozing from the surgical site. Tea has an ingredient that promotes blood clotting.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Make sure your child does not rinse vigorously or suck on straws. Avoid hard and chewy foods and do not brush the teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit strenuous activity for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
Failure to comply with the above instructions will result in dislodgement of the clot and severe throbbing pain at the extraction site, since the bone is now exposed to the oral environment. After the tooth is extracted your child may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Give pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to give them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
It is important to resume normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your child’s teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days your child will feel fine and can resume normal activities. If your child has heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.
Following your child’s cleaning appointment, a topical form of fluoride will be applied onto teeth either in the form of gels or foams. It may be delivered using fluoride trays or may be simply painted onto teeth.
In order to increase the bio-availability of fluoride ions and increase its uptake, advice your child not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after application. Also avoid milk and milk products for the rest of the day since calcium in the milk will bind to the fluoride and decrease its bio-availability.
Your child has been fitted with a space maintainer in order to maintain the space following extraction of the baby tooth, to allow the permanent tooth to take its place.
The space maintainer has been cemented in place with permanent cement. Your child can resume normal function after an hour following cementation.
In a few years when the permanent tooth is trying to make its way through and you see the white cusp of the tooth through the gum tissue, contact the office for an appointment to remove the space maintainer.
If the spacer maintainer for some reason becomes loose before the permanent tooth makes its way through, contact the office for recementation of the spacer maintainer.
Pulp therapy / Pulpotomy
Your child’s tooth required pulp therapy since the decay had progressed to involve the nerve or pulp tissue inside the
Due to the use of a local anesthetic your child’s lips, tongue and cheek will be numb for several hours. Advice your child not to eat on the affected side till the numbness is gone, which may be a couple of hours. Your child may have some pain and tenderness on the treated tooth. Give the prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics as directed by your dentist.
Observe the tooth for any gum boil or swelling. If a swelling develops contact our office immediately.