Speedway Pediatric Dentistry Post-Operative Instructions

Extraction

Mild pain, swelling and bleeding are normal following a dental extraction for 48-72 hrs. If any of these symptoms persist or are inhibiting normal function, please call for an evaluation.

Instructions

Avoid strenuous activity, foods that can be crunched into smaller pieces (chips/cookies/etc), salty/spicy foods, keep child from picking at extraction site and areas that were anesthetized (lips/cheeks)

Symptom

What to do?

Pain

Ibuprofen and Tylenol are best for managing discomfort following extractions. Follow instructions for use based on your child’s weight.

Bleeding

Have child bite on damp towel/gauze for 5 minutes. If it continues, try biting on wet tea bag.

Swelling

Mild swelling around the injection site or extraction socket can be aided by cold compression for 15 min intervals. Increasing swelling should be consulting with dentist.

Space Maintainers

(spacer, band and loop, distal shoe, lower lingual holding arch, Nance)

Space maintainers are typically made to hold the space left by primary teeth (“baby teeth”) until their adult successor is ready to erupt. Failure to hold this space can result in crowding, impaction, loss of function and early loss of additional teeth. It is also important to regularly follow up with your dentist when you have a spacer because removal of these appliances at the correct time is critical.

Instructions

Avoid eating sticky or hard foods and candies. Keep child from picking at the device. It can take several weeks for your child to get used to eating and speaking with this new appliance.

Symptom

What to do?

Spacer feels loose or comes off

Place spacer in a bag and call immediately to have recemented or a new one made

Spacer is pushing into the gum tissue, causing pain or swelling

Please call to schedule for removal

You can see adult tooth breaking through gums

Please call to schedule for removal

Oral Hygiene

Two of the most influential factors on the health of your children’s teeth are hygiene and diet. Perfect hygiene can be overpowered by diets full of cavity causing snacks (candy, fruit snacks, chewy bars, chips) and drinks sipped daily (bottles at night, sweet tea, all sodas/energy drinks/sports drinks, milks). Vice versa, even “healthy” foods contain food for the bacteria that cause cavities and good oral hygiene protects the mouth against harm.

Question and Resposnse

How often should we brush and floss?

At least 2 times a day, ideally after the first meal of the day and the last thing before bed. However, if you sip on beverages throughout the day at school or work, some hygiene would be beneficial throughout the day.

When should my child start brushing their own teeth?

Most children do not develop the manual dexterity (fine motor skills) required to properly brush and floss until about 8-9 years old. Although important for them to gain their independence by brushing, areas to monitor are the tops and cheek side of back teeth and along the gums of front teeth. Until a child can routinely reach these areas, they should be assisted by an adult.

When should we start flossing?

As soon as the teeth are in contact, flossing is the best way to remove debris/bacteria from between the teeth. This can happen as soon as the teeth have erupted in some children.

How much toothpaste should we use?

Only a rice size smear of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended on children <3 years old. A pea size is recommended on 3-6 year-olds.

Fillings

  • Cavities are traumatizing to teeth and require time to heal after being treated. Sometimes (even though we have fixed the tooth) the original cavity, a secondary cavity or the trauma from fixing them can result in the tooth dying. This can happen quickly (weeks) or slowly (months-years) but is always a possibility. Without proper hygiene, diet and maintenance, they will fail.
  • There are no materials that we have available in dentistry that are as strong as natural tooth in resisting decay from bacteria. If our fillings are placed in the same environment as a tooth, without changes in diet or hygiene, they will fail.
Instructions

Keep child from chewing/picking at areas that have been anesthetized (lips/cheeks)

Symptom

What to do?

Sensitivity to hot/cold and/or while eating

This is normal for several weeks following placement of a filling. Try scheduled Ibuprofen or Tylenol before calling the office

Severe pain while chewing, interfering with normal eating habits

Have child bite on firm object and release. If this causes pain; tooth may have traumatic occlusion or open tubules that require appointment to resolve

Red bump or swelling, significant pain on chewing or spontaneous pain (wakes them up at night)

This tooth is likely necrotic (dead) and may have an infection that requires extraction or a root canal. Please call for evaluation.

Crowns

  • Any tooth requiring a crown has been severely compromised by either cavities, trauma or development. There is always a possibility a tooth requiring a crown may die. This can happen quickly (weeks) or slowly (months-years). Without proper hygiene, diet and maintenance, they will fail.
  • If the tooth had a “baby root canal” (pulpotomy), that means the bacteria has already started the process of killing the tooth and the likelihood of it lasting to normal exfoliation is lower. Even with perfect technique, 2/10 of these teeth will likely need to be extracted at some point in the future.
Instructions for stainless steel crowns (“silver”):

Keep child from chewing/picking at areas that have been anesthetized (lips/cheeks). Avoid eating sticky foods.

Additional information for resin crowns (“tooth colored”):

These crowns are not as strong as natural tooth. They will chip and break if your child bites into hard foods and with minimal trauma.

Symptom

What to do?

Bite feels off

Stainless steel crowns cannot be adjusted. It can take several weeks for your child to naturally correct their bite

Sensitivity to hot/cold and/or while eating

This is normal for several weeks following placement of a crown. Try scheduled Ibuprofen or Tylenol before calling the office

Red bump or swelling, pain on chewing or spontaneous pain (wakes them up at night)
This tooth is likely necrotic (dead) and has an infection and must be extracted or have a root canal. Please call for evaluation.
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