Special Instructions

These instructions are meant to serve as reminders for caring for your child following a specific procedure.  If you have any questions remaining after reading through the instructions, don’t hesitate to call for further information.

Care of Mouth after Local Anesthetic
Care of Mouth after Trauma
Care of Mouth after Extractions
Caring for Sealants
Oral Discomfort after Cleaning

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic

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.

Children frequently 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 often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Care of the Mouth after Trauma

Please keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. A soft washcloth often works well during healing to aid the process. Watch for changes such as darkening of teeth, swelling of gum tissues, or spontaneous pain. Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid hard/sticky foods or foods that are extremely hot or cold. If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.

Care of the Mouth after Extractions

Your child should not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.

Caring for Sealants

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay.  Good oral hygiene and nutrition 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, which tend to fracture the sealant.  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 amount of sugar-rich foods that 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!

Oral Discomfort after a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces 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.  We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed: