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Post-Procedure Dental Care

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After a Dental Cleaning

The amount and level of post-procedure care needed for your child after dental treatment depends on what kind of treatment was performed. Emphasizing good oral hygiene at home is the foundation for prevention. Parental supervision (especially at younger ages) is essential to make sure it’s being do

After Fluoride

Try not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes.  Generally, your child can have some water but it cannot be warm or hot, as it can melt the fluoride. Even though we offer fun, unique fluoride flavors, some patients may still complain of the taste and texture.  Reassure them it’s only temporary and let them know fluoride is important to help their teeth stay strong and healthy. 

 

After Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

As effective as SDF is, it is important to remember the root cause of cavity and to work on great oral hygiene practices at home by brushing and flossing. Any discoloration on soft tissues (tongue, gums, lips) are temporary and should resolve in a few days to weeks.

 

Fluoride varnish is usually placed after SDF application so try not to let your child eat or drink for 30 minutes.

After Sealants

No precautions are necessary but we recommend patients to avoid any sticky or chewy foods for 24 hours.

After Fillings/Crowns

Try not to eat any sticky or chewy foods for 24 hours.  It can be normal to feel some discomfort afterwards, but it’s important to try to see if your child is progressively improving. Utilizing Tylenol and ibuprofen at the correct dosages specified to your child’s weight can be a way to alleviate discomfort. Also, when your child bites down it may feel a little strange at first, but it is something your child will quickly get used to. 

After Tooth Extractions

There are 7 important aspects to aftercare for extractions

  1. Pain level - manage pain with Tylenol based on your child’s weight.  If your child’s pain is severe, increases, or persists for more than 24 hours, please contact our office. 

  2. Bleeding - your child will be cleared from the office after making sure they aren’t actively bleeding. If you are at home and your child starts to bleed from the extraction site, place pressure on the extraction site with clean gauze or paper towel. Also, you can have your child bite on a cold moist tea bag. If still not resolving, please call the office.

  3. Diet - keep your child on a soft food diet for a day or two. Soft foods are foods that don’t have to be chewed. Avoid nuts, crunchy foods or seed-like foods as well that are hard.

  4. Avoid spitting or straws - this can induce pressure that can pull the blood clot from the extraction site.

  5. Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods - they can irritate the blood clot and delay healing.

  6. Remember your child received local anesthesia - their soft tissues around the extraction site are going to feel strange on a child. Let your child know their lips are temporarily frozen and it can feel big, but it will wake up soon. Some kids get more upset about the sensation of local anesthesia versus actually getting their tooth removed.

  7. Try not to eat any sticky or chewy foods for 24 hours.  It can be normal to feel some discomfort afterwards, but it’s important to try to see if your child is progressively improving. Utilizing Tylenol and ibuprofen at the correct dosages specified to your child’s weight can be a way to alleviate discomfort. Also, when your child bites down it may feel a little strange at first, but it is something your child will quickly get used to. 

After Nitrous Oxide (“Laughing Gas”)

The most common side effect from nitrous is nausea and vomiting. After a procedure where nitrous is utilized at our office, your child will be given 100% oxygen, which will reverse the effects of nitrous on his/her body.  We will make sure your child isn’t nauseous before oxygen is taken off and we will monitor until he/she is ready to go home. Most children feel normal afterwards. Other kids might feel a little bit tired. Try to avoid sports or other activities immediately following the procedure.

After Local Anesthesia (“Numbing”)

If you have ever been numb from local anesthesia, you may know it’s not always the most comfortable situation. Imagine that sensation on a young child. Some children will say their lip/tongue feels big or may say it is hurting, but it is most likely the strange feeling of local anesthesia. Some kids will bite, pick, suck, or scratch their lips, gums, or tongue out of frustration, but watch your child closely to prevent your child from hurting himself/herself.  Often the effects and sensation of local anesthesia last 2-3 hours, but this can vary from person to person.  

After Sedation

Our office will do a thorough evaluation of your child after his/her procedure to make sure standardized requirements for safety are met before going home. It is important to remember that even though your child has been cleared to leave the office after sedation, the sedation medications are likely still active. Watching your child is extremely important for safety.

Monitor, monitor, monitor!  

Please watch your child. You’ll be surprised how normal your child is acting when they leave, but please continue to watch them.  Some of these medications can stay in their system for over 24 hours.

 

Proper Airway Protection

Your child’s nose and mouth are the opening to the "tubing" that goes to his/her lungs.  Imagine a hose with water that is being pinched. The water cannot pass because that hose is pinched off. If your child’s chin is touching their chest or tilted down towards their chest, it is just like that pinched hose. Please keep your child’s chin up and away from the chest to slightly elevated to make sure your child is breathing well. If your child feels nausea or vomiting after sedation, then please contact the office ASAP.

Eating and Drinking

Always start with clear fluids, such water or apple juice. You want to be able to hold up the drink and be able to read a newspaper through it. This way we can get your child hydrated. You can progressively move to solids if your child can tolerate it. Rushing to solids right away may irritate your child’s stomach and can induce nausea or vomiting. An example of progression to solids would be: water, jello, yogurt, mashed potatoes, pasta. A sugar-free popsicle is a great option for a sweet treat afterwards!

Activity

Your child might feel great, but try to have them take it easy for the remainder of the day. Read lots of books with them or let them enjoy TV/movie time. It’s also a great time for some cuddles with your kiddo! Take it in, they aren’t getting any smaller.

Two adults

We ask for two adults to bring the child home. One adult to drive the car and one adult to sit in the back with your child to monitor their recovery on the way home.

Sleep

Your child will probably feel groggy afterwards and may want to take a nap. Dr. Dina recommends a slightly reclined position where the child is still sitting up some and not fully laid back and making sure to protect that airway as described above. Try not to let your child sleep for extended periods of time.

Oral Hygiene

Let’s work together at home to make sure this is the last of the cavities for your child. Reinforcing good oral hygiene at home is the best way to avoid these situations again.

We are here for you!

Dr. Dina will always call to follow up to make sure you and your child are doing well and to answer any questions.  Please do not hesitate to contact the office with any questions–we are here to help you!