Post-Op Care/Instructions

Numbness

  • The mouth will be numb approximately 2-4 hours. 
  • Lower jaw numbness involves the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissues.
  • Upper Jaw numbness involves teeth, lip and surrounding tissues. 
  • Most children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. Watch your child closely. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
  • It is often wise to keep your child on a soft diet until anesthesia wears off. 

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

Extractions

  • The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off. 
  • Put pressure on gauze for 15-20 minutes or until bleeding stops.
  • Avoid spitting and rinsing for 2-3 hours.
  • Reduce activity level for 3-4 hours.
  • Diet: Do not drink a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day. Do not drink through a straw. Cold, soft foods are ideal the first day. When your child is feeling better the consistency of foods can progress as tolerated. Until healing is more established, avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, rice, and popcorn that may get lodged in the surgical area should be avoided. 
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.
  • Brush gently around extraction site. 
  • If child experiences pain or discomfort give acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) as directed. Do not give Aspirin.
  • Antibiotics: Your child may or may not require antibiotics post extraction. Each situation is different and in many cases, after extraction, antibiotics are not required. If antibiotics were given, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and to finish the course as instructed.  Although it may appear that your child’s infection has subsided after a few days of antibiotic use, the course must be completed to fully eradicate the infection and avoid other associated problems, such as long term bacterial resistance to antibiotics. 
  • Bleeding – Do not be concerned if bleeding continues for a few hours. Place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs please call our office. 
  • Swelling - Slight swelling and inflammation may occur for the next 2 days. If swelling occurs, ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling and/or bruising. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm/moist compresses (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling occurs after 48 hours, please call our office. 
  • Fever - A slight fever (temperature to 100.5°F) is not uncommon the first 48 hours after surgery. If a higher fever develops or the fever persists, call our office.

Sealants

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child’s dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.

Cleaning

Although rare in children, a thorough cleaning can 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. 

If tenderness or discomfort arises we recommend the following for 2-3 days:

  • A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  • 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.

Trauma

  • Please keep area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth or tooth brush will help. 
  • Watch for changes, darkening of traumatized teeth, swelling, increased mobility, draining. This could be an indication of dying nerve or infection, please call the office if any of the above is noted. 
  • Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours post trauma to keep the swelling under control.
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold or too sweet.
  • 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.

Back to Top