After Care Instructions

Patient instructions decorative image

General Guidelines for all procedures:

Be sure your child carefully follows all guidelines provided by our office, and, most importantly, practices good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If your child is experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

Instructions following Preventive Services

  • Following a Prophy (Cleaning)

    Your child may experience some tenderness for a day or two. If this persists, you may have them rinse with warm salt water 2-3 times per day. For discomfort you may also give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.

  • Following Sealants

    • Your child may mention that the bite feels different. This is normal and will subside over the next few days as the excess material wears off, leaving only what is needed in the deepest grooves.
    • Have your child avoid hard or sticky foods such as gummies, skittles, popcorn, hard candy, ice, etc. (these can accelerate the wearing down of sealants)
    • Sealants do not protect the surface in-between the teeth so your child must still floss to prevent cavities developing in between.
    • Sealants naturally wear down in 3-5 years and will need to be replaced.

  • Following Placement of a Space Maintainer

    • The purpose of your child's space maintainer is to keep the space needed for a permanent tooth that has yet to erupt. It will be left in place up to the time when the new permanent tooth is seen breaking through the gum tissues.
    • Having a space maintainer does not mean that your child will never need braces. However, space maintainers can prevent increased crowding. It is important that your child avoid foods that are sticky or gooey. These foods can bend the wires and can get stuck in the bands, causing the appliance to break or become loose.
    • Your child should avoid playing or poking at the wire.
    • Over time the retainer can loosen or fall out (if it falls out please place in ziplock bag) and notify us.
    • Please have your child avoid chewing for 2 hours and we recommend a soft diet for 2 days.  Your child can have cold liquids, or yogurt, or smoothie right away.

Instructions following Restorative Services

  • Following Local Anesthetic (Numbness)

    • Your child has been given a local anesthetic to numb the treated tooth. Your child's mouth (tooth, lip, and tongue) will be numb for approximately 2 - 3 hours.
    • It is imperative that you watch your child during this time so that he/she does not chew on their tongue or lips as it can cause significant injury to oral tissue.
    • Your child can only have cold liquids and soft diet (e.g. pudding, yogurt)
    • Please Do Not Be Alarmed! Many children are unfamiliar with the numbing sensation and may associate it with pain.
    • Please reassure your child that the "funny feeling" will go away in approximately 2-3 hours.

  • Following Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment

    • Any dark discoloration caused by SDF is permanent until the tooth is restored or exfoliates itself.
    • Any staining/discoloration to your child's skin will resolve in 2-14 days.
    • Inadvertent contact with silver diamine fluoride can cause mucosal lesions or irritation which will resolve in 48 hours.

  • Following Temporary Filling or Glass Ionomer Placement

    • Please have your child avoid chewing for 2 hours and we recommend a soft diet for 2 days. Your child can have cold liquids, or yogurt, or smoothie right away.
    • The temporary filling is intended to be temporary and will fracture over time. It will need to be replaced with a proper restoration when appropriate.

  • Following Composite Filling Placement

    • Sensitivity, swelling or irritation at the gum line where the filling is placed is normal.
    • Some fillings are deep due to the extent of the decay, your child may complain of some discomfort.
    • Do Not Be Alarmed! Sometimes it takes a few weeks for the tooth to settle down and feel comfortable.
    • If your child complains of pain or discomfort as the anesthetic wears off, you may alleviate the symptoms with Motrin or Tylenol (dose appropriately according to their weight).
    • Daily brushing and flossing is essential to prevent new decay beneath the filling.

  • Following Placement of a Crown

    • This is generally placed as a protective covering for a tooth that has had a large amount of structure lost due to decay or fracture. The crown may feel bulky to your child initially, but after a day or two it is not noticeable.
    • Please have your child brush and floss the crown like any other tooth.
    • The gum tissue around the treatment area may be sore, irritated or may bleed- THIS IS NORMAL!
    • Administering Motrin or Tylenol (according to their weight) before the numbness wears off can reduce discomfort.
    • Do not allow your child to eat sticky, chewy or hard candy, or chew on ice; this can cause the crown to loosen or come out. If a crown DOES become loose or falls out completely, please call the office for an appointment, save the crown if possible.

  • Following Extraction

    • Using sterile gauze, apply pressure to extraction site for 15-20 minutes or until bleeding stops. Please have your child avoid spitting and rinsing for 2-3 hours and reduce activity level for 3-4 hours.
    • Have your child brush gently tonight (bleeding may occur).
    • Cold, soft foods are an ideal choice the first day after an extraction. When your child is feeling better, the consistency of foods can progress as tolerated until healing is more established.
    • Avoid giving your child foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn that may get lodged in the surgical area.