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Post Operative Care and Emergencies

Post Operative Care

Care of the Mouth after Local Anesthetic

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 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.

Please do not hesitate to call Cherry Creek 303-377-1148 or Aurora 303-537-0234 if there are any questions.

Extraction Post Operative Care
1. Your child has had 1 or more teeth "wiggled" out.

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

3. Give your child the appropriate dose of children's Tylenol, Motrin or Advil when you take the gauze out (NO aspirin). Your child should only need this for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If pain persists beyond 48 hours, please call our office.

4. Your child should eat only soft, bland food for the first couple days- nothing sharp, crunchy or too hot or cold because the area may be a sensitive. Encourage plenty of liquids (water, soups, juices, etc.). Let your child determine when a regular diet can be reintroduced.

5. NO spitting or drinking through a straw or "sippy" cup. The force can start the bleeding again.

6. A clean mouth heals faster. Gentle brushing around the extraction site can be started immediately along with warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon to a glass of water) to aid with any discomfort.

7. Activity may need to be limited. Sometimes a nap is a good idea.

8. Swelling after an extraction is not uncommon and should not cause alarm. If this occurs, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed in the 24 hours following tooth removal.

9. Your child's cheek, lip and tongue will be numb for approximately 1-2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite at his/her cheek or pick at this area. As this area "wakes up" it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. Please keep on eye on your child!

General Anesthesia Post - Operative Care

1. Stock up on clear foods and drinks such as broth, apple juice, Gatorade, popsicles and Jell-O

2. Your child’s appetite should return in 12-24 hours.  When your child is ready, begin with foods that are bland, such as noodles and mashed potatoes

3. Plan quiet activities, your child may be uncoordinated or confused up to 24 hours; therefore it is advised to limit their activities during this brief time.

4. Children may behave differently after surgery, young children may be cranky and demanding requiring more attention for most children this is temporary, be understanding, setting gentle limits, if your child’s behavior worries or concerns you, don’t hesitate to contact us in Aurora 303 537-0234 or Cherry Creek 303 377-1148.



Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge trapped food or debris.

DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth. If face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and see a dentist as soon as possible

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the top (crown), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert it in its socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk or water. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY ! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.

Broken Brace and Wires

If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protruding portion with cotton balls,gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, Do NOT remove it. Take the child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don't usually require emergency attention.

Other Emergency Conditions

Possible Broken Jaw : If a fractured jaw is suspected, try to keep the jaws from moving by using a towel, tie, or handkerchief, then take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room
Bleeding After Baby Tooth Falls Out : Fold and pack a clean gauze or cloth over the bleeding area. Have the child bite on the gauze with pressure for 15 minutes. This may be repeated once; if bleeding persists, see a dentist.
Cold/Canker Sores : Many children occasionally suffer from "cold" or "canker" sores. Usually over-the-counter preparations give relief. Because some serious diseases may begin as sores, it is important to have a dental evaluation if these sores persist.

Broken Tooth

Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Immediate dental attention is necessary.

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