Post Op Care

Our instructions and info for Post Operative Care.


Your child will probably be sleepy or acting groggy today due to receiving a sedative. Don't be surprised if your child wa nts to take a nap for the rest of the day. Activities should be limited to watching TV, playing quietly with toys inside and resting.

Your child should not return to school or daycare today, he/she needs to be under close parental supervision. If work related obligations necessitate that your child return to school/daycare, please inform the teacher/caregiver that your child is to be monitored closely.

Do not plan or permit activities for your child after treatment. Your child’s activities should be limited & supervised today. This means no running, bicycle riding, roller skating, swinging on a swing, swimming at the pool or playing at the playground.

Local Anesthetic (“Novocaine”)

Your child has been given an injection of local anesthetic to numb his/her teeth in order for us to work on them. Your child’s mouth (tooth, lip & tongue) will be sleeping for approximately 2 to 3 hours. It is imperative that you watch your child and have him/her bite on the cotton roll provided to prevent damage to his/her oral cavity. If your child is not biting on the cotton roll, he/she may bite the tongue, cheek, lip, causing serious damage or profound pain later on.

If your child falls asleep you may remove the cotton roll to prevent him/her from swallowing and choking on it.

Some children become very upset (even crying hysterically) and complain of excruciating pain when they realize their mouth feels “different”. PLEASE do not be alarmed! Many children are unfamiliar with the numb sensation and associate this with pain. Reassure your child that the “funny feeling” will go away in approximately 2 hours.


Your child has received a dental cleaning which included the application of fluoride. The fluoride is applied to the teeth after the cleaning in an effort to prevent cavities from developing. Because of this, it is important that you not allow your child to eat or drink anything for 20 minutes, to enable the fluoride to “soak in”. The application of fluoride is recommended every 6 months.


Shaving of enamel is indicated in the following situations: (1) to prevent a very small cavity from enlarging (2) to correct an ectopic eruption (3) to correct mild crowding (interceptive orthodontics).


A sealant has been placed on one or more of your child’s teeth in an effort to prevent him/her from developing a cavity on the top surface of the tooth. Your child must avoid eating ice or chewing on hard sticky candies, which can dislodge or chip the sealant, rendering it ineffective. Please also be advised that sealants do not protect the surfaces in-between teeth, so your child must still floss to prevent this type of cavity from developing between the teeth.


Most children usually adapt and adjust very well to new dental work. However, if some fillings are a bit deep, due to the extent of the decay, they may complain of some discomfort. Do not be alarmed! Sometimes it takes a few weeks for the tooth to settle down and feel comfortable. Your child has received a white (composite) colored filling.

Stainless Steel Crown (Cap)

If your child has received a crown/cap, the gum tissue surrounding the tooth may appear to be bleeding. This is normal! When preparing your child’s tooth for a crown, it is necessary to fit the crown closely to the gum tissue, resulting in some hemorrhaging and bruising of the tissue. Following placement of the crowns, some parents will notice a purple or gray color around the gums; this is also normal and will subside.

Please do not allow your child to eat sticky or caramel type candy, as this may dislodge your child’s crown. This applies for as long as the crown is in your child’s mouth.

If your child’s crown does come off, please save the crown and call the office, so it may be re-cemented.

Pulpotomy (Nerve Treatment)

Please note that children seldom complain of pain after this procedure is performed. When your child receives a nerve treatment, it is usually not necessary to prescribe pain medication. Children that do experience discomfort, usually do fine with Tylenol or Ibuprofen (follow directions on the bottle).


You may resume brushing tonight, brushing gently in the site of the extraction.

Starting tomorrow, you may use salt water rise to keep the extraction site clean. Simply place 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt in a warm cup of water – stir and then have your child swish by mouth 3 to 6 times daily, or at least after each meal or snack.

If your child is too young to swish, simply dip a wash cloth in the mixture and swab the extraction site well, after each feeding. This area should heal up in approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

Space Maintaner (Brace)

If your child has received a space maintainer, do not allow him/her to eat ANY sticky, gooey or caramel type candies. These types of items frequently dislodge the spacer and require the appliance be re-cemented. To avoid such problems, please prohibit your child from eating such items. Please note that some children may find the appliance uncomfortable at first, but will get adjusted to it with time.


If your child appears to be in any pain or discomfort, give Tylenol, following the instructions on the back of the bottle. If the doctor feels that your child will need a medication stronger, one will be prescribed. Please note that most children, even with extensive work, do very well post-operatively with regular Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Do not hesitate to call the doctor if you have any questions regarding medication.

What to Eat

Your child should have his/her diet limited to soft foods for 2 hours following the dental procedure, to prevent biting the lip or tongue, while numb. The following are acceptable: milk shake, ice cream, pudding, Jell-O, soup, mashed potatoes, noodles, yogurt or any other foods of this consistency.

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