It is increasingly common nowadays that children have a mouth full of cavities!
I kid you not: 20 out of 20 teeth sometimes do have a break out in “sugar monsters” and this leads to loads of pain and suffering- that I must add is unnecessary for children.
Sometimes parents opt for treatment under general anesthesia to help the child get over the pain much sooner and alleviate the possible psychological trauma of doing extensive complex dental work to a very young girl or boy on the chair.
I wanted to share my experience with parents post-surgery on what to do to help the healing.
Here are 4 Do’s to speed up the healing to that beautiful smile we want:
Take it easy:
On the day of the surgery, make your child rest at home, avoiding physical activity. Keep him/her engaged with an iPad, a movie, with siblings; try to stay away from any activity that would involve exhausting the child.
Feed him soft foods:
Stick to a soft food diet for the same day of the surgery. Opt for warm soup, yogurts, fruit smoothies, ice cream and mashed potatoes for the day of the surgery. This means the child eats calorie rich food that gives him/her energy and makes the mouth feel great at the same time. Trying to crunch on something hard, may lead to pain and discomfort. Above all it may dislodge a crown that has been recently placed if the child eats on it too soon.
Keep your child mouth clean:
By dinner time, after the child is settled, make sure you brush the child’s teeth very well before sending him to bed. Some parents are too hesitant to brush the teeth for risk of it bleeding. It is quiet natural for it to bleed right after the operation; however, our main aim is for the child to feel comfortable on the longer run. This happens when the gums heal very well around any of the dental work or crowns that were just placed.
Nutrition and Food:
It is important to load up on those great vitamins. They support the healing process. A child’s healthy nutrition would support healthy gums and a healthy mouth too!
Follow your child dentist’s after-care instructions to heal quickly without complication. However, you should contact your child dentist immediately if your child experience any of the following:
- Throbbing pain which doesn’t respond to medication
- Continued Bleeding even when you apply pressure
- A fever that lasts for more than 24 hours after surgery
In case your child did take a tooth out, here is what you need to do:
CARE OF THE MOUTH AFTER EXTRACTIONS
- 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 your child’s mouth for several hours.
- Do not drink soda for the remainder of the day.
- Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.
- A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day can help with the cleanliness of the mouth.
Bleeding – Some minor bleeding is to be expected. If it is unusual, place cotton gauze over the extraction area and bite down in place for fifteen minutes. Repeat if there is still oozing.
- Follow a soft diet for 1-2 days until your child feels comfortable eating normally again.
Pain – For discomfort use Children’s Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Advil, as directed for the age of your child.