How to Care for Your Child After a Tooth Extraction

If you and your child follow directions carefully, then a tooth extraction should not be a big deal.

Pediatric Dentist St Louis

Although it’s quite routine in the dental world, having a tooth extracted is not routine for your child. A lot of anxiety can go into having a tooth pulled. If your child has to have a tooth pulled, there are a number of ways to make the aftermath of the tooth loss much less painful for both you and your child so that there aren’t any residual problems.

Until the Numbness Wears Off

The amount of time that your child’s mouth will still be numb past the procedure depends on the amount and type of anesthesia that was used. To keep them from biting their cheeks or tongue, don’t allow them to eat anything. Your child should attempt to eat only liquid foods and drink until the numbness wears off.

It’s also important that you don’t let them use a straw because they can develop a condition called a “dry socket,” which is intensely painful.

Calm the Bleeding

After the tooth is gone, a blood clot should form that allows the gum to heal. In the meantime, you will want to keep the site of the missing tooth impacted with gauze for at least 45 minutes after leaving the office. If you notice the extraction site bleeding, dampen a gauze pad and put it into the open space. Once placed, you will want your child to bite down softly. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should call your pediatric dentist.

Keep Inflammation Down

If your child is experiencing pain and swelling, then apply cold compresses for twenty minutes at a time. Once the twenty minutes are up, give them a twenty-minute break and then apply for another 20 minutes. Make sure that they don’t apply ice directly to their skin.

Increase Foods as Tolerated

After the numbness from the procedure has worn off, some children might experience nausea from the anesthesia, so food consumption should be treated delicately. Make sure to introduce foods slowly. Start with soft foods for the first 24 hours, such as apple sauce or clear broth. After that, take it day by day by introducing foods that require chewing only as tolerated.

Return to Oral Care

Don’t allow your child to brush their teeth anywhere near the extraction site for 24 hours after the extraction. For the first 24 hours, you will want them to rinse with warm salt water to promote healing. Once the first 24 hours have passed, your child may return to good oral habits, including brushing. Just make sure to be cautious around the extraction site.

Having a tooth pulled can be a traumatic experience for your youngster. To minimize the potential that it will be more difficult than it has to be, make sure to practice safe oral care habits and common sense. Keep a close eye on the extraction site and make sure that it is kept clean and infection-free. If you and your child follow directions carefully, then a tooth extraction should not be a big deal, and your child should be back to normal within a few days.

Updated: January 31, 2024

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