patient resources

After Care/Post Operation

Oral Sedation After Care Instructions

Your child may be very sleepy on the way home, so be sure to strap him/her in with a seatbelt for the trip.

When you arrive home, your child may want to sleep for two or three hours, or they may just be irritable and over-tired until the effects of the sedative wear off (usually in 4-6 hrs).  Keep your child from doing physical activities, (for the day of the procedure) such as bike riding or even navigating stair.  Normal activities can resume the following day.  If they want to nap, keep their head and chest slightly elevated.

If they sleep they may be nauseate upon waking.  If they are hungry, start with clear broth or soup, apple juice, crackers, jell-O, or applesauce.  Avoid all milk products.

It is normal for your child’s body to feel warm and appear flushed until the effects of the sedative wear off.  They may also scratch their nose or face during this time, due to the itching sensation produced.

Your child will probably go to bed at their normal hour and by the next morning will be back to their normal self.

The gum tissue may be tender after treatment.  Children’s Motrin or Advil should take care of any discomfort.  


IV Sedation After Care Instructions

Pain– Expect your child to be sore.  We recommend Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen), as directed on the bottle for weight and age.

Extractions– Even with gel foam, (see next section) being placed, your child may have blood on his/her pillow the next morning.  If your child has excessive bleeding after tooth extraction surgery, fold two gauze pads into fourths and apply biting pressure for one half hour.  If the bleeding continues, have your child bite on a wet tea bag.  The tannic acid in the tea is an excellent coagulant.  If you cannot control the bleeding, don’t hesitate to call us.

Gel Foam– Usually with extractions, we will place gel foam.  The gel foam will help form a blood clot to prevent your child from swallowing blood and getting an upset stomach.  Do not be alarmed if the gel foam falls out or if your child swallows or spits it out.  By the time you see your child after surgery, the gel foam will have already done its job.

Diet– Many children who wake from anesthesia will feel nauseous.  If your child is hungry, start with clear broth or soup, apple juice, crackers, jell-O or applesauce.  Avoid milk products.  We recommend clear liquids for the first 1 hour – 7UP, Sprite, chicken broth- then a soft diet for the next 1 hour – mashed potatoes, Jell-O, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly.  After the first 2 hours, prepare meals according to appetite and toleration level.

Oral Hygiene– It is okay to brush your child’s teeth the evening of their surgery.  Brush gently with a soft bristle toothbrush, avoiding extraction sites.  Wait until the next day to floss.

Local Anesthesia– We used a local anesthesia (injections) for your child’s dental treatment.  This makes the lips, cheeks and sometimes the tongue numb on the side that was treated.  Children do not always understand this numbing feeling and may chew or suck on this area.  This can cause trauma to the tissues.  Have your child bite on a piece of gauze or a clean washcloth to prevent injury until the numbness leaves.  Watch your child very closely for approximately 2 hours following the appointment to ensure they do not accidentally harm themselves.

Sleep/Activity– Your child may be very sleepy on the way home.  When you arrive home they may want to sleep for two or three hours, or may be irritable or even over-tired until the effects of anesthesia war off (usually 4-6 hours).  Avoid physical activities, such as bike riding, climbing stairs, etc. for 24 hours.  Most children will come home and nap.  Keep your child’s head and chest slightly elevated on a pillow.  It is normal for a child’s body to feel warm and appear flushed until the effects of the medication wear off.  Your child will probably go to bed at the normal hour, and be back to his or herself by the next morning.

We recommend a post-op check within three weeks to check healing and oral hygiene.  The first year after surgery, we recommend preventative care appointments every four months to maintain fillings, crowns, and to prevent further decay.


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