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Post Operative Care

Local Anesthetic and Fillings

  • If your child needed local anesthetic for a procedure, then his/her tooth, lip, cheek, and tongue may be numb for at least an hour after the appointment. Please discourage touching, sucking or chewing of the numb areas. Have your child bite on the cotton roll provided as long as possible. We ask that you make sure the cotton roll is partially visible from your child's mouth so you know where it is at all times (to prevent swallowing or aspiration). If accidental biting occurs, the area may swell up for 1-2 days and possibly take a week to heal. The area that was bitten may appear yellow while healing.

  • A milkshake or smoothie may be helpful after the appointment while the anesthetic wears off. Once the anesthetic wears off (in about 1 hour) it is safe to eat. After the appointment, your child can usually go back to school—please let the teacher know to watch for biting of the numb area. Give Tylenol or Motrin as needed. Most times it is not necessary, but it may help the transition while the anesthetic wears off. The gums in the area of treatment might be red and sore for a few days, so encourage your child to keep the area clean with gentle brushing and flossing.

  • If nitrous oxide was administered your child may feel "floaty" or "tingly" during the procedure. At the end of treatment, they will breathe 100% oxygen for 5 minutes. There should be no effects of the nitrous oxide by the time they leave the office.



  • Your child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off. 

  • Put pressure on gauze for 15-20 minutes or until bleeding stops.

  • Avoid spitting and rinsing for 2-3 hours.

  • Reduce activity level for 2 days.

  • Diet: Do not drink a carbonated beverage for the remainder of the day. Do not drink through a straw for 5 days. Cold, soft foods are ideal the first day. When your child is feeling better the consistency of foods can progress as tolerated. Until healing is more established, avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, rice, and popcorn that may get lodged in the surgical area should be avoided. 

  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

  • Brush gently around extraction site. 

  • Place a dark towel over your child's pillow so that if he/she drools will not be scared by the sight of blood mixed with saliva.

  • A collagen matrix material that aids in clotting is usually placed in the extraction socket site, it will disolve on it's own, however it can sometimes come out.  As long as the area is not bleeding, there is no need for concern.

  • If your child experiences pain or discomfort give acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) as directed. Do not give Aspirin.

  • Antibiotics: Your child may or may not require antibiotics post extraction. Each situation is different and in many cases, after extraction, antibiotics are not required. If antibiotics were given, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and to finish the course as instructed.  Although it may appear that your child’s infection has subsided after a few days of antibiotic use, the course must be completed to fully eradicate the infection and avoid other associated problems, such as long term bacterial resistance to antibiotics. 

  • Bleeding: Do not be concerned if bleeding continues for a few hours. Place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for 15 minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs please call our office. 



  • Sealants are a protective coating that will cover the biting surface of the molars that help prevent the adherence of food particles and plaque in the pits and grooves.

  • After sealants are placed, your child may notice a slightly bitter taste which will go away with water and normal eating. Sealants may temporarily cause a slight difference in the bite, and your child may mention this. Within a few days it should feel back to normal.

  • Your child may eat and drink right away after the appointment.  Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant.

  • Over time the sealant may show some normal wearing, more so with children who grind their teeth or chew gum frequently. Dr. Dail will always assess your child's sealants at each checkup and will repair if necessary.



Although rare in children, a thorough cleaning can produce some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a “rough cleaning” but, to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. 

If tenderness or discomfort arises we recommend the following for 2-3 days:

  • A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)

  • For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed by the age of the child.


Space Maintainers

This appliance is meant to hold space so the permanent (adult) teeth will come into the mouth in the proper position. In order for the appliance to work properly, please follow these instructions:

  • The appliance should stay cemented firmly in place. If it becomes loose, dislodged or broken, please save the appliance, and call the office for an appointment.

  • Minimize the amount of sticky foods or candy your child eats (gummy bears, taffy, caramels, gum, etc.) since this may cause the appliance to become dislodged.

  • It is important to keep your child's teeth and appliance as clean as possible. Make sure all food is cleared from the surfaces of the bands after brushing.

  • Loose appliances must be re-cemented as soon as possible to prevent breakage or decay underneath.


Composite Crowns

Composite crowns can fracture or become disoldged when accidents or improper eating occurs.  These crowns are not as durable as metal and require more care by the child.

  • Regular cleaning is needed to maintain their appearance and prevent gum irritation.

  • Avoid stick or hard foods suc has taffy, beef/turkey jerky, hard candy, carrots, apples and nuts.

  • You may cut up harder foods into bite sizes and have your child use the back teeth to chew them.

  • Avoid chewing on hard toys, nail biting, or clothes fasteners (like zippers).



  • Please keep area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth or tooth brush will help. 

  • Watch for changes, darkening of traumatized teeth, swelling, increased mobility, draining. This could be an indication of dying nerve or infection, please call the office if any of the above is noted. 

  • Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours post trauma to keep the swelling under control.

  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.

  • Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold or too sweet.

  • If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.



  • Do not eat for one hour and do not brush your teeth for 24 hours after treatment.



Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.


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