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CaringSmiles 4u | Post-Operative Care in Indianapolis

                Juanita R. Taylor, DDS

                                        4615 Lafayette Rd.  Suite B
                                     Indianapolis, IN 46254

317-968-9700

Post-Operative Care
 

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthesia

If your child has had local anesthetic for their 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, tongue, or cheek.  These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling, bruising, lacerations 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 anesthetic has worn off.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions or concerns or especially if the child bites his/her lip.  

 

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

mouth_care_after_trauma.png

Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process.

  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be the indication of a dying nerve (pulp).

  • If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice or popsicles should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.

  • Watch for infection (gum blisters) in the area of trauma. If the infection is noticed – call the office so the patient can be seen as soon as possible.

  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. You may want to avoid using the injured tooth for biting or tearing. Avoid hard foods like apples and carrots and use your uninjured teeth to chew.

  • Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.

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

  • Pain: a liquid pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol is recommended to control discomfort.

  • Habits: a difficult matter to try to not suck any objects or fingers. Further pressure on the injured tooth will likely delay healing.

  • Mouthcare: excellent oral hygiene is needed to facilitate the healing process. Run your toothbrush under warm water to make the bristles softer for gentle brushing.

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

What can happen to an injured tooth:

  1. Change color – yellow, dark gray or brown

  2. Loss of Sensation – feeling dull; tooth nerve has died

  3. Abscess – infected, draining pulp from the end of the tooth root

  4. Mobility – tooth begins to wiggle or move

 

 

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

mouth_care_after_extrac.png

  • Do 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 bite his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively.
  • Do not drink a carbonated beverage for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw as it may dislodge the blood clot and cause bleeding.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.
  • Bleeding – Some bleeding is to be expected and pink saliva is normal; bright red coloration indicates actively bleeding.  If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes.  Repeat if necessary.
  • Maintain a soft diet for one to two days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.
  • Pain – For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Ibuprofen as directed for the age of the child.  If a medicine is prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.
  • Sports – try to avoid further injury to the damaged tooth/teeth within the next few weeks.  If you have a sports mouth guard, please wear it! If you do not have one, one is recommended to be fabricated for you.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact the office if there are any questions.

 

 

Care of Sealants

care_of_sealants.pngBy forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay.  Since, the covering is only over biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant.  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, sticky candy, which tend to fracture the sealant.  If the sealant is fractured, decay is more likely to occur in the area of the fractured sealant.  Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for the dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay.  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 number of times sugar-rich foods 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

cleaning.pngA 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 the cleaning was performed:

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

2) For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.

 

 

Oral Care After a Tooth Restoration or Filling

after_fillings.pngYou will possibly be numb following your tooth restoration.  Numbness may last for up to 2 hours following the procedure. Please take care as to not bite or chew on your lip or cheek as a painful sore may develop and require several weeks of healing time.  It is recommended to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for any discomfort that you may experience. It is normal to experience some discomfort as you will have had an injection and your mouth will have been open for an extended period of time.  A soft diet is recommended for the next 1-2 days.  You may want to wait to eat until your numbness wears off to minimize any trauma to the soft tissue surrounding your teeth.

Resins (white fillings) have a tendency to stain, especially with red sauces, wine, tea, coffee, and smoking.  Please exercise good hygiene with resins to minimize the staining that may occur.  This is important for the resins that may be placed on the anterior teeth.

 

Oral Care Following a Frenectomy

You will be numb following your frenectomy.  Numbness may last for up to 2 hours following the procedure. Please take care as to not bite or chew on your lip or cheek as a painful sore may develop and require several weeks of healing time.  It is recommended to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for any discomfort that you may experience. It is normal to experience some discomfort as you will have had an injection and your mouth will have been open for an extended period of time.  A soft diet is recommended for the next 1-2 days.  You may want to wait to eat until your numbness wears off to minimize any trauma to the soft tissue. Warm salt water rinses will help soothe irritated areas. Certain exercises will be discussed and demonstrated following your procedure to reduce the risk of re-attachment. For upper lip, movement up and down and side to side several times throughout the day until lesson has healed will decrease the chance of re-attachment. The tongue is a muscle and needs to be strengthened after a lingual frenectomy. Therefore, it should be moved in all directions until the one month re-evaluation.

 

Oral Care Following a Gingivectomy

You will be numb following your gingivectomy.  Numbness may last for up to 2 hours following the procedure. Please take care as to not bite or chew on your lip or cheek as a painful sore may develop and require several weeks of healing time.  It is recommended to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for any discomfort that you may experience. It is normal to experience some discomfort as you will have had an injection and your mouth will have been open for an extended period of time.  A soft diet is recommended for the next 1-2 days.  You may want to wait to eat until your numbness wears off to minimize any trauma to the soft tissue. Warm salt water rinses will help soothe irritated areas. Gentle brushing to the area is recommended to keep the area clean so it will heal faster.

 

Care After Sedation

Your child will remain drowsy for a short period of time after the appointment. A short nap is recommended.

Please follow these instructions to help your child today.

1. Limit oral intake to fluids for the first few hours. This stage does not include milk. Begin with water and follow with sweet liquids such as sports drinks, clear juice and soda as tolerated. Small sips of 7up or something similar helps calm the stomach. If teeth were extracted, do not use a straw. Broth can also be given in small amounts.

2. NO SOLID FOOD should be given until your child can walk steadily. In this case, milk is considered a solid food. In this stage, soft food can be consumed as tolerated, such as scrambled eggs, apple sauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soups. After soft foods are tolerated, a small portion of toast, crackers, rice, etc. can be given. If your child is not hungry, do not force him/her to eat, but encourage as much liquid as tolerated.

3. DO NOT allow your child to sleep for more than 1 hour at a time. Wake him/her up for about 5 minutes each hour and give him/her small amounts of liquid. Let your child cry for a little if he/she wishes. Crying helps wear off the effect of the medication.

4. Keep sharp furniture and lamp cords away from the child’s sleeping area. Do not place your child on a high bed or couch as he/she may wake suddenly, try to get up and fall.

5. Make sure your child does not bite, chew or suck the inside of the cheek or lip. Some areas of the mouth may remain numb 2 hours after the work has been finished.

6. Give proper amounts of baby aspirin, Children’s Tylenol or Children Motrin if you feel your child is uncomfortable from the dental treatment. Remember, some soreness is to be expected the first day or two. For some children, a fever of up to 101 degree Fahrenheit may develop for the first 12 hours. Children’s Tylenol Elixir every 3 to 4 hours with plenty of liquids will tend to alleviate this condition as well as treat any postoperative discomfort.

7. It is advised that you not allow your child to play outside today. Her/his balance may not be back one hundred percent.

8. Reassure your child that you are “proud” for his/her achievement of getting the dental treatment completed. Reinforce that having their dental treatment done is a positive event.