Did your child just have dental surgery?

Did your child just have dental surgery? Do you have questions about his or her recovery? These post-operative instructions can help guide you. Also, please do not hesitate to call our office with any concerns (780-428-7761).

Activity: your child should refrain from engaging in vigorous physical activity for the next 24 hours. I encourage parents to keep their child on the couch, in front of a TV, or busy with books/video games during this time. If your child is feeling nauseas, be cautious with TV or video games as these activities can exacerbate nausea and vomiting.

Hydration: please keep your child well hydrated over the next 24 hours. Start basic – clear fluids. This will aid in your child’s recovery and prevent dehydration.

Diet: your child’s stomach will likely be unsettled from the general anesthetic. Again, start basic – clear fluids, popsicles and broth. As your child’s stomach improves (over the next 3-6 hours), you can gradually increase the richness of the diet to include dairy, eggs and grease.

Oral Hygiene: avoid brushing or flossing your child’s teeth for the next 24 hours. Your child’s mouth is healing, and aggressive brushing or tangy toothpaste will likely make him or her upset.

 Pain Control: your child received pain medication similar to Advil through his or her IV. This, in addition to local anesthesia (described below), will keep your child comfortable in the immediate post-operative period. Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) are typically adequate for pain control into the evening. Please follow the recommendations on the side of the bottle to ensure that you are dosing these medications appropriately.

Swelling: swelling and redness of the gums and face is normal after dental surgery. This will typically resolve in 48 to 72 hours following treatment. Ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling and/or bruising.

 Local Anesthetic/Freezing: if local anesthesia was used during your child’s surgery, the “freezing” sensation will last 2-3 hours following the surgery. Be sure that your child does not accidentally bite or chew his or her lip, tongue and cheek. If your child is hungry during this time, offer foods that do not require your child to chew.

White Filling(s): white fillings can result in a certain amount of sensitivity to cold, hot and/or pressure 24 to 48 hours after placement.

Amalgam Filling(s): keep your child’s diet soft for the next 24 hours. Your child should avoid foods that are hard or crunchy such as popcorn, nuts or seeds. Flossing should be done carefully, making sure to pull the floss out from between the teeth instead of moving it up and down.

Stainless Steel Crown(s): keep your child’s diet soft for the next 24 hours. Furthermore, avoid foods that are sticky such as bubble gum, toffee, fruit rolls or sticky candies. Flossing should be done carefully, making sure to pull the floss out from between the teeth instead of moving it up and down. Bleeding, gum redness and tenderness around the crowns is completely normal and should resolve in 48 to 72 hours. If a crown becomes loose or falls off, please phone the office as soon as possible to schedule an emergency appointment. Please save the crown and bring it with you to the appointment.

Extraction(s): stitches were placed to control bleeding in the immediate post-operative period. These stitches will dissolve typically in 5 days but may fall out tonight. This is OK. If bleeding is heavy, have your child bite down on the gauze for at least 10 minutes directly over the extraction site(s). Change the gauze as often as necessary. If you run out of gauze, a damp washcloth can also be used instead. Light bleeding is normal for up to 24 hours. Your child should avoid using straws and sucking or spitting for 3 days after surgery, as this could increase bleeding and delay healing. Keep your child’s diet soft for the next 5 days and gradually increase the firmness of the foods as tolerated.

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