As parents, we never want to see our child experience any pain or discomfort. After any dental procedure we want parents to feel confident in their ability to offer the best level of care at home as possible. Fortunately, Dr. Justin and Dr. Sage at Sprout Dentistry for Kids are here to ensure you have all the information you need to put your mind at ease and help you monitor and aid your child’s progress at home to get them back to their normal selves. If at any time you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our office for further assistance.
In the event that local anesthetic is used during the procedure, it takes time for the effects to wear off completely. While your child’s lips, tongue, gums, and cheeks may feel numb, fuzzy, or tingly for several hours, please reassure them that the feeling is only temporary. It is during this timeframe that you will need to closely monitor your child to make sure they do not bite down or suck on these areas, as it can lead to swelling, bleeding, or macerated tissue.
However, if it does, do not be alarmed. Simply keep the area clean with gauze or a damp cloth, have them rinse with warm saltwater, if possible, and provide a cold compress to reduce swelling. You may even give them children’s ibuprofen should discomfort exist.
If they become upset because of their inability to feel these areas of their mouth, offer something cold to suck on like a popsicle. It is important that you watch your child closely when providing your child with any food before the effects of the anesthetic are completely gone so as to prevent lip injury due to accidental biting or sucking.
It is not uncommon for your child’s extraction site to bleed a little the day their tooth is removed. In the days following their procedure, there may be minor bleeding when performing routine tasks such as brushing, eating, or sleeping. When this occurs, find a piece of clean gauze or cloth and have your child bite down for 3-5 minutes. If the bleeding does not subside within the allotted amount of time, call our office.
Since we want a blood clot to form in the area of the extraction site, it is best if your child avoids sucking on a straw or spitting, as this can dislodge the clot and create a dry socket. You should also make sure they are not chewing on anything hard or crunchy for several days and try to avoid foods like nuts or seeds that can get lodged in the healing tissue. Make sure to keep the area around the extraction site clean by gently brushing around it twice daily and encourage your child to gently rinse their mouth with warm saltwater, as this can speed up recovery. If necessary, don’t hesitate to offer ibuprofen to help with pain and discomfort.
When a child receives a crown, they may have received local anesthetic prior to its placement. Make sure to follow the instructions provided that detail how to handle feelings of numbness and accidental injuries that can occur while your child’s mouth is still numb from the anesthetic.
Before the crown is placed, it is normal for there to be minimal bleeding and irritation, especially around the gums, due to the steps it takes to prepare the tooth for crown placement. Once Dr. Justin or Dr. Sage place the dental crown over your child’s tooth and they are sent home, make sure it remains clean. Your child will need to brush and floss regularly to encourage faster healing. When flossing, please be sure to remove the floss by sliding it out from in-between the teeth rather than pulling it back up out of the contact point of the teeth to prevent dislodging the crown. It is also recommended that hard, crunchy, and sticky foods be avoided to prevent the crown from possibly dislodging.
Fortunately, this type of procedure doesn’t require an extensive recovery period. The best type of care you can provide to your child in the days following pulp therapy is to offer soft foods for a few days. This reduces the likeliness of there to be discomfort or pain.
One of the great advantages of providing tooth-colored fillings instead of traditional amalgam is that they do not wear as easily. If your child is set to receive a tooth-colored filling, you can take comfort in knowing that the procedure itself is minimal and pain-free. If providing a local anesthetic in the beginning, your child may feel minor discomfort afterward, but it will most likely be from the numb or tingly sensation from the local anesthetic and not pain from the actual tooth itself. If your little one feels pain while chewing or express sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods/beverages, call our office to schedule an appointment.
After performing a laser frenuloplasty or frenectomy, it is common for there to be swelling for 1-3 days. In the hour after your child’s surgery, the anesthesia will be continuing to wear off, so do your best to keep their hands away from their mouth. Depending on the age of your child, it is likely there will be some discomfort in the days following their procedure, specifically days 2 and 3. A cold compress for toddlers or older children may be helpful to reduce swelling and discomfort, and if your child is over 6 pounds, you can give them Tylenol every six hours, if necessary. Only if your child is 6 months or older should they receive ibuprofen, Motrin, or Advil.
Don’t be surprised if your little one has difficulty sleeping, is displaying changes in behavior, or is exhibiting changes in their nursing pattern within the first 72 hours. After 3 days, this should begin to improve.
Apart from helping to manage discomfort and swelling, you will also need to perform stretches to allow the removal sites to return to normal. Some helpful tips to accomplish this include: