After Your Visit

After Your Pediatric Visit

If your child has visited Haas Dental Associates and you have questions regarding the care of the recent treatment, this section is for you. If you’d like more information than is covered here, please contact us and we’ll help.

Care of the mouth after local anesthetic

Your child has had local anesthetic for their dental procedure:

  • 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. Please 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. Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

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 in the area of trauma. Signs of infection can be redness, swelling, or a bump (gum boil) that may resemble a canker sore. If you suspect infection, please call our office immediately so that the child may 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.
  • Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

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 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.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact the office if there are any questions.

Care of Sealants

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child’s dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

Oral discomfort after a cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a “rough cleaning”, but to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene.

We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed:

A warm salt water rinse 2 – 3 times per day (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water);
For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.

Pediatric Sedation

Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, they will not be unconscious, hence the term “conscious sedation”.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will utilize the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.

After the sedation appointment

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

Outpatient General Anesthesia (O.R.)

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks.

Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment.

The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

After the O.R. appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Operative Instructions” and an emergency contact number if needed.

After Your Orthodontic Visit

Orthodontic Do’s & Don’ts

Although orthodontic treatment is a team effort between the doctor, patient, and orthodontic staff, the “Captain” of the team is the patient. The patient is ultimately the person who will determine how their treatment will progress and whether it will finish within the estimated time. When patients are having orthodontic treatment, it is very important that they follow the directions of the doctor and our orthodontic staff. Wearing and caring for braces requires great cooperation on the part of the patient.

Here is a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for orthodontic patients:

DO:

    • Brush and floss as directed by the doctor
    • Continue to see the dentist for cleanings while wearing your braces
    • Keep your appointments as scheduled to stay on track
    • Call us immediately if something is broken, poking or hurting you
    • Wear your appliances as much as the doctor wants you to
    • Change your elastics as often as the doctor tells you to
    • Wear your mouthguard when playing sports
    • Wear your retainer faithfully after your braces come off

DON’T:

      • Chew gum or eat sticky or hard candies, or sticky foods like Fruit Roll-Ups
      • Bite into hard or very crusty foods like apples, pizza crusts, bagels, etc.
      • Drink soda or other sugary drinks (plain water is the very best thing you can drink)
      • Bite on pens, Legos, or anything that is not food
      • Miss your appointments-it just adds time onto your treatment
      • Forget to brush and floss as often as you can
      • Ignore something that is broken or loose in your mouth—let us know asap!!
      • Play sports without wearing a mouthguard! Just ask us for one anytime

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