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Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic 

Your child has had local anesthetic for his/her dental procedure:

  • If the procedure was in the lower jaw… the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
  • If the procedure was in the upper jaw… the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.

Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.  Please monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Extraction Post-op Instructions 

  1. The gauze needs to stay in place with biting pressure for 30 minutes. This will reduce the amount of bleeding.
  2. He/she should eat only soft foods for the day, nothing sharp, crunchy, too hot or cold because the area may be sensitive.
  3. Encourage drinking plenty of liquids (water, soups, juices, etc.). Let your child determine when a regular diet can be reintroduced.
  4. NO spitting or drinking through a straw or “sippy” cup. The force can start the bleeding again.
  5. A clean mouth heals faster. Gentle brushing around the extraction site can be started immediately along with warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon to a glass of water) to aid with any discomfort.
  6. Activity may need to be limited. Sometimes a nap is a good idea.
  7. Swelling after an extraction is not uncommon and should not cause alarm. If this occurs, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed in the 24 hours following tooth removal.
  8. Your child’s cheek, lip and tongue will be numb for approximately 1-2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or pick at this area. As this area “wakes up” it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. Please keep on eye on your child!


Care of Sealants 

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay.  Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant.  Brushing, flossing, using a fluoride rinse and making good nutrition choices are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy.  This tends to fracture the sealant. Normal retention of a sealant is up to four years. Our policy is to replace sealants that become displaced in the first 18 months at no charge. 

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay.  When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.  A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich and sticky foods are eaten.  If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated! 

Post-Sedation Instructions 

It is important for your child’s safety that you follow these instructions carefully! Failure to follow these instructions could result in unnecessary complications.

  • ACTIVITIES: Do NOT plan or permit activities for your child after treatment. Allow your child to rest. Closely supervise any activity for the    remainder of the day. When sleeping, encourage your child to lie on his/her side or stomach.
  • DRINKING or EATING after TREATMENT: After treatment, we ask that you give your child fluids. They have not had anything to eat or drink for some time and we want to make sure that they stay hydrated. We ask that you start with clear liquids. Small drinks taken repeatedly are preferable to taking large amounts at one time. We ask that you wait until your childs mouth is no longer numb before starting foods. Start with soft foods (mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup, pudding, jello, ice cream, etc.)
  • EXTRACTIONS: If your child had teeth removed, a small amount of bleeding is normal. Do NOT let your child spit, as this will cause more bleeding. In order to not disturb the blood clot, do NOT use a straw to drink for the first 24 hours. Also, remember that a small amount of blood mixed in with a lot of spit in the mouth looks like a lot of blood.
  • SEEK ADVICE: If any of the following problems arise, call Charleston Pediatric Dentistry, or if the office cannot be reached, call the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:
    — If vomiting persists beyond four (4) hours
    — If the temperature remains elevated beyond 24 hours or goes above 101°F.
    — If there is any difficulty breathing or coloration of the skin is poor.
    — If any other matter causes you concern.