Post Operative Care
After Local Anesthesia (Numbing)
If treatment was in the lower jaw, the lip, tongue, teeth, and surrounding tissue (gums) will be numb. If it was in the upper jaw, the upper teeth and surrounding tissue (gums) will be numb. Children often do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, suck, scratch, or play with the numb cheek, lip, or tongue. This can cause minor irritations such as scratches or the irritations can be severe enough to cause swelling and bruising of the tissue. Please monitor your child closely for at least 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.
Care of Sealants
By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth (the areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant), good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important. Care is still necessary to prevent decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.
Your child should refrain from eating taffy 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.
The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important rote in the prevention of tooth decay. When property 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, dally 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!
Keep the area as clean as possible. A soft washcloth often works well. Ice should be used during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum. Maintain a soft diet for at least two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold. If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed and to complete the whole prescription. Watch for signs of infection (swelling or extreme redness) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed, call the office so we can see your child as soon as possible. Also watch for darkening of traumatized teeth.
Please do not rinse, spit, or drink through a straw. Keep the area clean. Keep fingers and tongue away from the area. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for thirty minutes. You can also use a moist tea bag. Repeat every thirty minutes until the area is no longer bleeding. Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid strenuous exercise and physical activity for the rest of the day after the extraction. For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.