How do I care for my child after a dental operation or visit?

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Calming an Anxious Child

Wondering what to do, or how to help you child after local anesthetic, trauma, or an extraction? Discover professional tips below:

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic

  • 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.
  • 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.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

  • 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 an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).
  • If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If 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.
  • 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.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

  • 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 injure 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 (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.
  • Bleeding – Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary.
  • Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, 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 Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

St.Johns County Loves Our Dental Office

We're Proud To Have The Best Pediatric Dentist Rating Possible

Rachel L.
Rachel L.
05:11 15 Oct 22
Dr. Laura has seen both of my girls since their first appointments. My oldest is 11, and she’s always seen Dr. Laura. She is amazing! She is kind, gentle, considerate and knowledgeable. We are thankful for her and all the staff. The office is run so smoothly. This is truly a wonderful place to take children for dentistry.
J
J
13:25 23 Aug 22
I CANNOT say enough good things about this place. We’ve been going almost 2 years now and it’s such a pleasant experience every time. Had a couple non-routine visits, chipped tooth today for example, and they do everything they can to help you, explain to you the situation, potential problems. But also assure you that things are probably fine, just keep an eye, etc. They don’t push procedures at all like regular dentists, they explain what can be done, and then explain when certain things aren’t necessary. They are not money hungry at all, excellent dentists, excellent hygienists/assistants. I will definitely keep bringing my kids here and keep recommending this place.
Jess R.
Jess R.
13:19 10 Aug 22
We love St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry! The lobby is adorable and the staff is amazing. Once you are in the back, the kids feel safe, comfortable and entertained while their exam is happening. Thank you for being awesome!
Patricia P.
Patricia P.
12:25 02 May 22
I'm coming here for years we love this little dentist office. Steph is amazing and kind. Almost as if they become family after so long. The dentist patient and caring and will work with your child and whatever their needs may be. Highly recommend. They have TVs in the back for the kids to watch and headphones to watch a movie while they're waiting.
Margarita R.
Margarita R.
15:09 03 Apr 22
Absolutely amazing office! My kids loved it! Every staff member were soo sweet and helpful but Shout out to Dennisse and Sara and Dr. Perry, who literally made my kids feel comfortable to the point where they can't wait to come back! I live northside of Jacksonville but they are worth the drive!
Zelia F.
Zelia F.
15:27 29 May 19
I absolutely love this place. My daughter, now 2 1/2 has been going since she was 1. The waiting room keeps the kids busy and engaged. I have never waited really for my appointment either. The dental chairs have movies with headphones for the kids to watch movies of their choice which keeps them for being scared and the dentists are amazing. And once the kids are done with their visit they get to choose a prize. We recently went and Dr. Susie convinced my toddler to give up her paci. She then kept it and called me the next week to see if the wean went well if she could discard of the paci. Talk about personal touch. My 6m is already scheduled for his 1 yr visit. Love this place!
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