Post-Treatment Care

The following are general guidelines for your child’s post-treatment dental care.  These instructions are for informational purposes only and must not be considered medical advice.  For specific questions regarding any post-treatment care for your child, please contact our office.

Nitrous Oxide

Recovery from nitrous oxide is rapid. Your child may return to normal activities unless otherwise instructed.

Local Anesthesia

Your child's mouth will be numb for approximately 2-4 hours. Make sure your child does not bite, scratch, or injure the cheek, lips or tongue during this time.  Avoid eating solid foods until all sensation has returned to normal.

Tooth Extraction
  • Pain control: Because some discomfort is expected, the dentist may recommend Children's Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based on your child’s age and weight.  For moderate to severe pain, alternating these medications every 4 hours may be recommended. Do NOT give aspirin.
  • Bleeding: Bite down on the gauze provided against the extraction site for at least 30 minutes after the procedure.  If bleeding continues for more than two hours, contact our office.
  • Diet: Do NOT use a straw. Encourage non-carbonated liquids to help avoid dehydration. Cold soft foods (ex. ice cream, gelatin, pudding, yogurt) are ideal the first day. Soft food diet is recommended for 5 days after the procedure (ex. macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, applesauce).  Avoid hard, crunchy foods such as nuts, chips and popcorn.
  • Daily Activities: Avoid physical exercise and exertion for the remainder of the day. On the following day, you may return to normal activities as tolerated.
  • Oral Hygiene: Teeth may be brushed and flossed gently, but avoid stimulating the surgical site. Do your best to clean teeth within the bounds of comfort. Do not use mouthwash. On the day following the procedure, you may gently rinse with warm salt water after meals (1/2 teaspoon with 1 cup water).
  • Do not disturb the surgical site. Do not stretch the lips or cheeks to look at the area or probe the area with fingers or other objects.
  • Swelling: Slight swelling and inflammation may occur for the next two days. Ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm/moist compresses (10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling occurs after 48 hours, call our office.
  • Avoid eating sticky candies and crunching on ice.
  • Your bite may feel high, sticky or slippery for the first few days, this is normal.  If your bite still feels "off" after one week, call our office.
  • Sealants are not a replacement for tooth brushing and flossing. Cavities can still occur if good oral hygiene and diet recommendations are not followed.
White Fillings
  • Teeth that have fillings can still get new cavities. It is VERY important to practice good oral hygiene and diet recommendations.
  • Fillings can occasionally fracture or fall out. Use caution when biting down on hard or sticky foods.
  • Fillings that are very deep and close to the nerve may need additional future treatment including baby root canal or extractions. Call our office if any sensitivity, pain or swelling develops.
  • Avoid sticky candies which can damage the crown.
  • If the crown becomes loose or falls off, call the office immediately. Place any crowns that fall out in a clean bag or container and bring to the office.
  • Good oral hygiene is important to prevent inflammation (redness) around the gums.
Baby Root Canals
  • Because some discomfort is expected, the dentist may recommend Children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed after the procedure.
  • Sometimes infection can still develop even after a baby root canal is done.  Call our office if you notice a bump on the gums or if your child experiences any dental pain.
Space Maintainers
  • Avoid sticky candies which can damage the space maintainer.
  • Gently brush and floss around the space maintainer every day to prevent inflammation (redness) around the gums.
  • If the space maintainer becomes loose or falls off, call our office. Place the space maintainer in a clean bag or container and bring to the office.