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Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Treatment in Children

  1. Numbness:  If your child is numb watch closely as he or she can pinch or bite the cheek, lip or tongue.  Your child may eat or drink food that doesn’t require chewing until the numbness wears off.  Pudding, ice cream, broth, and yogurt are popular choices.  The numbness will last approximately 2 hours from the start of the dental appointment.
  2. Fillings:  The gums near the tooth or teeth treated can be sore.  Teeth are sometimes sensitive after white fillings are placed.  A soft diet and chewing on the opposite side of the mouth can help.
  3. Extractions:  Have your child bite on cotton gauze (given in your post-op kit) for about 20 minutes to stop the bleeding.  If bleeding continues, apply pressure for another 10- 20 minutes.  Avoid giving sharp items such as chips for 3- 4 days after the extraction as they can poke the extraction area.  On the day of the procedure do not allow straws, carbonated beverages, or spitting as these items can disturb the extraction area and cause undue pain.
  4. Sealants:  Once sealants are placed, your child may resume normal eating and drinking. The sealants placed today are guaranteed by this office for 3 years if your child attends his or her check-up and cleaning appointments every 6 months. Your child should avoid hard candies and chewing ice to prevent fractures of his or her sealants.  Your child should avoid sticky candies that could pull out sealants.  Sealants do not prevent all decay therefore flossing is still needed to protect the sides of your child’s teeth.
  5. Discomfort:  Your may give your child ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) in the appropriate dose every 4- 6 hours as needed for pain.  Most find that only one dose is needed as children tend to recover more quickly than adults after dental work.  If your ind that your child has bitten his or her tongue, cheek, or lip while numb keep the area clean and allow rinses with salt water for discomfort.

Want to learn more? See White Fillings.