Post-Op Instructions

Local Anesthesia

We used local anesthesia for your child’s dental treatment. This makes the lips, cheek and sometimes the tongue numb on the side that was treated.  Children do not always understand this numbing feeling and may chew or bite on this area.  This can cause trauma to the tissues.  Have your child bite on a piece of gauze to prevent injury until the numbness goes away.  Watch your child very closely for the next couple of hours following the appointment to ensure they do not accidentally harm themselves.

After Care Instructions For general anesthesia

Sleep/Activity– Your child may be very sleepy on the way home.  When you arrive home they may want to sleep for two or three hours, or may be irritable or even over-tired until the effects of anesthesia war off (usually 4-6 hours).  Limit physical activities for the remainder of the day.  Most children will come home and nap.  Keep your child’s head and chest slightly elevated on a pillow.  It is normal for a child’s body to feel warm and appear flushed until the effects of the medication wear off.  Your child will probably go to bed at the normal hour, and be back to his or herself by the next morning.

Pain– It is very common for your child to be sore.  The gum tissue may be tender after treatment.  We recommend Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen), as directed on the bottle for weight and age.  If extractions were performed, please use Acetaminophen if needed for pain. 

Diet– Many children who wake from anesthesia will feel nauseous.  Drink plenty of clear liquids such as broth or soup, apple juice and Gatorade and when hungry eat soft foods like Jell-O, or applesauce or crackers.  Avoid all milk products or greasy foods.

Oral Hygiene– It is okay to brush your child’s teeth the evening of their surgery.  Brush gently with a soft bristle toothbrush, avoiding extraction sites.  Wait until the next day to floss.

Extractions– Usually with extractions,  we will place gel foam in the socket. The gel foam will help form a blood clot to prevent your child from swallowing blood and getting an upset stomach.  Do not be alarmed if the gel foam falls out or if your child swallows or spits it out.  By the time you see your child after surgery, the gel foam will have already done its job.  Even with gel foam being placed, your child may have blood on his/her pillow the next morning.  If your child has excessive bleeding after tooth extractions, fold two gauze pads into fourths and apply biting pressure for one half hour.  If the bleeding continues, have your child bite on a wet tea bag.  The tannic acid in the tea is an excellent coagulant.  If you cannot control the bleeding, don’t hesitate to call.

We recommend a post-op check within two to three weeks to check healing and oral hygiene.  If you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to call us at Pediatric Dentistry of Mullica Hill Phone Number 856-842-5400.