Post Operative Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off.

Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.

Your child can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. They should avoid chewing on the side of their mouth where the procedure was performed so as to not irritate the area and also ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets.

Your child will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in the tooth. If your child complains of an increased amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) you should call us immediately.

A stainless-steel crown is cemented onto the tooth with a dental cement containing fluoride that can take about 12 hours to achieve its final set. It can be expected for the gum tissue around the crown to be red, and or irritated for up to several days. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, or Baby Anbesol can be applied around the gum line. Children’s Advil or Tylenol can be used if the pain does not go away.

A soft diet for the rest of the day after crown placement is suggested. Additionally, crowns may come off if your child eats sticky candies, chewing gum, lollipops, etc. Please instruct your child to avoid these as long as your child has any crowns on his/her teeth. If the crown is on a baby tooth, it will fall out with the tooth when the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.

After the anesthesia wears off your child’s teeth will likely be sensitive. Your child should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days. After that initial period, their treated teeth will feel as good as new and they should continue their normal hygiene plan to ensure that their fillings last for a long time.

After this procedure your child’s gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should have your child rinse their mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but your child should brush gently so as to not further irritate the area. If your child experiences any swelling or stiffness in the area, you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Tell your child to avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If your child continues to experience pain or swelling after a few days give us a call.

After the surgery your child will need to rest. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call our office.

While your child should rest when they return home, do not let them lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Have them prop their head up on a pillow when lying down. The dentist will prescribe your child pain medication, which should be taken as directed. You can also use an ice pack to assist with the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

Your child will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • Other foods you can eat without chewing

When drinking, make sure your child does not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. If your child experiences prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or you suspect the extraction site is healing properly call our office to schedule a follow up.