Common Post Operative Instructions
During the semi-annual cleaning your child will typically have a fluoride varnish placed...
You may see a white coating on your child's teeth, and your child may feel that sticky substance coating their teeth after the spectacular cleaning! That is fluoride varnish! We call them "vitamins" for the teeth which works best if it stays undisturbed for four to six hours. So for that period we recommend no brushing of teeth, nothing hot to drink, and avoiding any hard, crunchy, or sticky substances to eat.
Just had a cavity treated? Odds are your child was administered some local anesthesia...
For any procedure that requires anesthesia, a topical anesthetic gel is always used pre-injection. Most of the time the injection can be given without the child actually being aware that it was administered, or relatively painlessly. As you may know your child's teeth, tongue, lips, and cheeks will be numb or "asleep" for two to three hours. Curious children can be prone to experimenting and biting their lips, especially if it is their first time getting numb. Watch your child closely to ensure they don't suck, scratch, or even chew themselves. It is probably a good idea to keep them on a soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.
Did your child just have a tooth extracted?
If so, the area where the tooth was extracted will be numb for approximately two to three hours. Please make sure that your child doesn't harm themselves by biting or sucking their lips, tongue, and cheeks. To ensure no problems with bleeding, your child doesn't have to brush their teeth that evening , and should avoid drinking from a straw or spitting for the rest of the day. These actions may dislodge the healing clot. Drinking from a regular cup is best, and if your child feels like spitting just have it come out the side and wipe it with a napkin. Avoid hot and spicy foods: something cold and soft would be more soothing.
Some bleeding is normal but we've taken steps to minimize this by putting Gel foam (a coagulant) into the extraction socket and having your child bite on gauze until the bleeding stops. It may be necessary to change the gauze once or twice at home depending on the level of bleeding observed. Sometimes saliva mixes with a little blood, giving the illusion of more bleeding than actually occurring.
Over the counter pain medication (Children's Tylenol or Motrin) may be taken as needed. Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity the day of the extraction.