Post-Op Instructions

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, longue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue. Please watch your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is our recommendation to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Nitrous Oxide or Laughing Gas:
It is normal for your child to be irritable and/or sleepy following laughing gas. Please supervise any activity for the remainder of the day. If your child is returning to school please make sure your child’s teacher is aware of the effects.

Dental Sealants, Fillings, or Crowns:
Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods for the next 3 days. This includes (but is not limited to): ice, hard candy, sticky candy, popcorn kernels, fruit leathers, etc. Proper brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash should be resumed 2 times per day.

The gauze needs to stay in place with biting pressure for 15-30 minutes. This will reduce the amount of bleeding.

Give your child the appropriate dose of children’s Tylenol, Motrin or Advil as directed for the age of the child. Avoid Aspirin. If pain persists beyond 48 hours, please call our office. 

Allow your child to begin eating only soft foods (mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, jello, applesauce, etc) for the first 24 hours. Please avoid sharp, crunchy foods because the area maybe sensitive. Encourage plenty of liquids (water, soups, etc). You can transition to a regular diet as the gum tissue begins to heal.

NO spitting or drinking through a straw or “sippy” cup for 24 hours. The force can start the bleeding again.

Keep fingers away from the extraction area.

Activity may need to be limited. Please avoid strenuous exercise immediately after the extraction. Sometimes a nap is a good idea.

Your child’s cheek, lip and tongue will be numb for approximately 2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or scratch this area. As this area “wakes up” it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. Please monitor your child closely.

Fluoride Varnish:
You child does not need to brush, floss, or rinse the evening of the fluoride application. Please make sure your child resumes regular oral hygiene the next morning. Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods for the remainder of the day.

BOHP  American Board of Pediatric Dentistry UNC School of Dentistry NCAPD AAPD
Chapel Hill Pediatric Dentistry
205 Sage Rd., Suite # 202
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 929.0489

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