Post Procedure Dental Care for Kids
Proper post-procedure dental care can ensure that your child has a smooth, painless, and uncomplicated recovery after a visit to the dentist. Today, we will be looking at post-operative care for a few of the most popular pediatric dental procedures.
Tenderness experienced after cleaning can easily be alleviated using warm salt water rinses. Fluoride treatments use acidulated fluoride that can be irritating to the stomach if swallowed. Since fluoride is applied topically, for maximum benefit, no eating or drinking is advised for at least half an hour.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a varnish used to arrest the progression of tooth decay in children. It feels sticky but your child should not eat or drink for at least an hour after placement or brush that night.
Since most frenectomies use specialized soft tissue lasers that vaporize oral tissue, there is minimal bleeding and discomfort (usually subsides within 24 hours), and healing is generally quick and uncomplicated. For breastfeeding babies, nursing immediately after the procedure will not interfere with healing. A series of tongue and/or lip exercises to assist healing and prevent reattachment will also be given as a part of post-op care.
Sealants are placed on the teeth without the use of local anesthesia and cover the grooves of back teeth. The avoidance of ice, hard candy, or sticky foods like candy or gum following application can ensure that your sealants remains intact for many years.
Post-operative pain and thermal sensitivity following a pulpotomy are significantly higher when compared to other procedures like fillings. This can be addressed using pain medication and warm salt water rinses and monitored for resolution.
Crown & Space Maintainers
The gums around the tooth may be sore and irritated for a few days and bleed when brushed, but your child must continue brushing and flossing as normal to keep their gums healthy. Painkillers can be used if needed. Because of how they are placed, the avoidance of sticky or chewy foods that can dislodge the crown or space maintainer is not recommended. Your child should avoid picking or pulling at the crown or space maintainer.
Fillings often require local anesthesia (an injection to the site of treatment). As such, your child’s lips, cheeks, and tongue may feel numb for about 2-4 hours after the procedure. It is important that your child doesn’t bite, scratch, or chew the cheek, lips, or tongue during this time as they may injure themselves and experience pain after the anesthetic has worn off. To avoid tongue biting, a soft food diet is recommended.
Immediately post-op, sticky, hard candies, and ice should be avoided and for front tooth fillings, any biting on them should be prohibited. Soreness in the treatment area and thermal sensitivity after a deep filling are normal and should decrease gradually with time or an over-the-counter painkiller used if needed.
If a filling feels "high" and does not allow the teeth to fit together properly, this may adjust by itself after a few days or if it persists, it may need to be adjusted by the dentist.
Sedation medications may take 6-8 hours to completely wear off. Your child can have water or apple juice two hours after leaving the office, not before (their lips can be wet with water if they are thirsty before that time). Eating too quickly after sedation, or consuming heavy foods immediately post-op, will likely cause vomiting. When allowed lots of water or clear liquids should be encouraged to flush the medication from their system.
If your child is having pain and fever, children’s Tylenol or Motrin can be given. If a fever over 100.5 F develops or if vomiting continues for more than eight hours, you should contact your dentist.
The medication will make your child feel very drowsy and napping after the procedure is expected. Children should be placed on their side and monitored. It is also best to limit your child to rest and only very light activities for the day as their coordination and balance will be poor for up to 6-8 hours post-op.
Contact the team at Pearly Smiles Pediatric dentistry, your #1 Kid’s dentist in Torrance California, for information regarding any dental procedure your child may need.