Postoperative Care Instructions

After your child undergoes a dental procedure, there are things you can do at home to make sure they heal comfortably. We’ll go over all of these tips when you come to see us, but if your child (or you) need a little reminder, we’ve included them here for your convenience. If you have any questions about what to do or something doesn't feel right, don’t hesitate to call us.

 Care of the mouth after local anesthetic

  • Depending on the location of the procedure, the tongue (lower jaw), teeth (upper or lower jaw), lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep

  • Chewing, scratching, sucking, or playing with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek can cause irritation from minor to severe swelling and abrasions to the tissue

  • Monitor your child closely for approximately 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 the mouth after extractions 

  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours and avoid excessive spitting

  • Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze, a moistened washcloth, or tea bag firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary

  • Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again

  • Do not drink a carbonated beverage for the remainder of the day

  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction

  • Do not use a straw for 48 hours

 Nitrous Oxide

  If nitrous oxide & oxygen (laughing gas & oxygen) were administered, no after effects are anticipated but

  we recommend limited activity for the next few hours​. 

 Care for Dental Sealants

  • Prohibit your child from eating ice.

  • Say no to sticky, chewy, and sugary foods like caramel, taffy, and tough fruit chews like Starburst or roll-ups.

  • Encourage your child to maintain excellent daily oral hygiene.


 Care for Space Maintainers

  • Keep your child away from sticky, chewy, hard, or crunchy foods such as gum, caramels, Milk Duds, licorice, gummy bears, jelly beans, beef jerky, nuts, popcorn, ice, hard candies, jaw breakers, and corn on the cob.

  • Tell your child to avoid pulling on or poking the wire(s).

  • If your child's space maintainer comes loose or breaks, call our office so we can evaluate and decide whether the appliance needs to be reinforced or rebuilt.