Post-OP Dental Care

Care of the Mouth after Anesthesia

Following a procedure in which the lip, cheek or tongue are numb, avoid foods that involve chewing until the numbness goes away. If your child must eat, anything that can be swallowed without chewing is “safe”. Smoothies, milk shakes and yogurt are just a small example of "safe" foods that can be had while numb. You can resume a normal diet once the numbness is gone which should be within 2 to 3 hours after the appointment.

Do not allow your child to rub, scratch or pinch their face while numb as they will surely injure their skin. They may say "it itches" or "hurts", they are simply referring to the numb sensation and need to be assured that the area is "asleep" and will "wake-up" in a little while.

A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common after-treatment complication. Younger children are best served by being closely monitored for 2 to 3 hours after their appointment. Children do not always understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb area. These actions can cause minor to severe injury that can result with swelling and significant tissue damage. The more significant the injury, the more discomfort your child will experience. Rarely are antibiotics necessary. Management of the discomfort with an over-the-counter pain reliever already approved by your pediatrician will be beneficial. You may apply Vaseline / petroleum jelly to the area and healing should occur within 7 to 10 days without leaving any scar of the incident.