Post Operative Instructions

Your child should receive a dental cleaning that includes removal of all hard and soft deposits of plaque and tartar. This can be done with hand instruments, a polishing cup and home dental hygiene tools such as floss and proxy brushes. Unless otherwise instructed, we will also apply a fluoride varnish at the end of the cleaning appointment to remineralize teeth and protect against tooth decay. Your child should not experience discomfort from a standard dental cleaning. However, if large amount of tartar need to be removed or your child is experiencing gingivitis, they may experience some discomfort. Warm salt water rinses may be indicated for the first 24 hours. 8oz warm water and 1 teaspoon table salt.

We apply fluoride varnish after preventive dental cleanings. We ask that you do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after the fluoride varnish is applied. Avoid brushing or flossing for 4-6 hours. Do not eat crunchy foods or drink hot beverages for 4 hours. This varnish will leave a ‘sticky’ residue on teeth, and we recommend applying a light Chapstick to prevent your lips from sticking to your teeth.

After the application of Silver Diamine Fluoride(SDF), a covering of Fluoride varnish is applied to protect the application. Your child may experience a sour or bitter taste associated with the material. A Xylitol lollipop is a sugar free treat we use to assist with removing the unpleasant taste. Your child will receive this ‘treat’ after the application of the SDF. We ask that your child not bite or chew the treat. Do not eat or drink other foods or beverages for 30 minutes. The color change that occurs with the use of SDF may not occur immediately and should be more noticeable in the next few days. You may notice some staining of the gum tissue or lips after application and this should resolve within the first two weeks. Be sure to schedule your follow up appointment for the second application of SDF.

Sealants should appear as a white coating over the grooves of the teeth. As long as it stays put, this helps to prevent tooth decay in these cavity prone areas of the tooth. Avoid chewing on hard candies, ice, or objects that might crack or dislodge the material.

Your child will have anesthetic administered for a tooth extraction and can expect numbness in the gums or lips around the area where the tooth was extracted. Gauze should be placed after the extraction, and should remain in place for 20-30 minutes. Bite firmly on the gauze until bleeding has stopped. Your child can eat and drink after the bleeding has stopped, but avoid hard crunchy foods until the numbness is gone. This will prevent your child from biting their lips or tongue unknowingly. Begin with warm saltwater rinses (8oz water and 1 tsp table salt) 2-3 times/day for 2-3 days. Your child can have ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain or discomfort. Please call our office if bleeding or pain persists.

For most fillings, your child will receive anesthetic and will have some numbness around the teeth that were treated. We recommend that your child does not eat or chew on the side where the fillings have been placed until the numbness is gone. They may have soft foods and drinks until this occurs about one hour after their appointment. Sensitivity is rare but may occur and should not last longer than a day or two. Notify the office if sensitivity persists.

A Stainless Steel Crown, SSC is placed to fully cover a tooth and prevent further decay or breakdown of the tooth structure. It should be taken care of and maintained with brushing and flossing everyday. Your child’s tooth and the surrounding gum tissue, lips and tongue area around the tooth will be numb for 1-2 hours after the procedure. Your child should not chew hard foods until the numbness has resolved. Keeping the area clean around the SSC will help the gum tissue stay healthy. Your child may have some sensitivity for the first day or two that can be treated with over the counter children’s pain reliever. Avoid sticky chewy foods and candies, such as caramels, gummy bears, fruit snacks, and jolly ranchers to prevent dislodging or pulling the crown off the tooth.

Your child may have a deep cavity that requires a pulp or nerve treatment. The tooth and surrounding tissue will be numbed to prevent any pain with the procedure. The infected nerve will be exposed within the tooth and medicine is placed to assist with removing the infected nerve. A specialized cement is placed over the remaining nerve tissue to protect the remaining nerve tissue, and a stainless-steel crown will be placed over the whole tooth for additional protection. Do not eat or chew on the affected side until the numbness has subsided. Over the counter pain medications can be used for pain or discomfort as needed. Notify our office if pain persists after 24 hours or swelling around the area occurs.

Your child has had a space maintainer cemented to teeth to prevent space loss from early tooth loss. The space maintainer should stay in place until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt into the area. Daily Brushing and flossing around the space maintainer is needed to keep the teeth healthy and the space maintainer free of debris.

Your child has received a custom-made appliance to assist in the growth and development of the dental arches. You should receive specific instructions regarding wearing and expanding your appliance. A ‘key’ will be given to you and the turning process demonstrated to you before you leave the appointment. Please remember to turn the appliance on the schedule discussed with your dentist. If the appliance is not fitting correctly, please schedule an appointment to be seen. You should remove your appliances for eating and brush the appliances with a soft toothbrush daily to keep them free of debris.

Your child has received a custom-made appliance to assist in the growth and development of the dental arches. It will be cemented to existing teeth in the dental arch. Avoid sticky chewy foods and candies that would dislodge or loosen the appliance. Brush and floss daily around the teeth that the appliance is cemented around. You should receive instructions on the use of floss threaders and proxy brushes to prevent food from becoming impacted around the appliance.

You should receive customized instructions on how often the appliance should be expanded. Please send a picture to your dentist weekly to assist with monitoring your progress and make all follow up appointments!