Post-Op Instructions

Our dentists and team are committed to educating our patients and their parents about their dental care in Herndon, Virginia. Because of this, we have provided post-op instructions so that you can help your child to heal after treatment or a dental accident.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

Experiencing a dental emergency or trauma can be a stressful experience for both child and parent. To help your family cope after a dental trauma, we ask that you adhere to the following instructions:

  • Keep the traumatized area clean. A soft washcloth can help aid the healing process.
  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth, as this can be indicative of a damaged or dying nerve in the tooth pulp.
  • If swelling reoccurs, it is important that you contact our office as soon as possible for an assessment. To keep swelling to a minimum, ice should be administered to the injured area for the first 24 hours.
  • Watch for infection (gum boils) in the traumatized area. If you notice that there is an infection, call the office so your child can be seen for care.
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days after the incident or until your child feels comfortable eating normally.
  • Avoid letting your child eat sweets after the incident.
  • Avoid letting your child consume extremely hot or cold food or beverages.
  • If antibiotics or pain medicine are prescribed, please follow the prescription as directed.
  • Call our office if you have any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

After a tooth extraction, it is important that you and your child adhere to the following instructions:

  • After the extraction, your child’s mouth will be numb. Make sure he or she does not scratch, chew, bite or suck on the lips, tongue or cheeks while they are numb. Watch your child closely so they do not injure themselves before the anesthetic wears off.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not let your child spit often.
  • Do not let your child drink carbonated beverages, like soda, for the rest of the day.
  • Do not allow your child to drink through a straw.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the area of extraction.
  • Maintain a soft diet for a couple of days or until your child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after extraction.

Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal. If there is unusual or prolonged bleeding, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction site and have your child bite down or hold it in place for 15 minutes. This can also be achieved with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary.

Pain: If your child is uncomfortable, use Children’s TYLENOL®, Advil or MOTRIN® as directed. If medication was prescribed, follow the assigned directions.

Call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Care of Sealants

Dental sealants are a great way to cover the natural grooves and pits of the teeth. They help keep plaque, food and other debris from settling into the teeth, thus decreasing your child’s risk of developing decay. The sealant can only sit on the biting surface of the tooth and therefore cannot coat the entire tooth. As such, it is extremely important to help your child maintain good oral hygiene to prevent decay next to the sealants or in areas that of the tooth that are not protected by dental sealant.

After getting a dental sealant, your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tends to fracture the sealant. In order to help your child maintain good oral health and check that their sealants are still in place, it is important that you maintain regular dental appointments.

Dental sealants are recognized by the American Dental Association® as an important tool in preventing tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can help your child keep their teeth healthy. There are many other preventive treatments that our team may recommend your child follow to establish a lifetime of oral health, including fluoride treatments, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the intake of sugary foods. When these tips are followed, the risk of dental decay can be reduced or eliminated.

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

After a thorough dental cleaning, it is normal to experience some bleeding, swelling, tenderness or mild discomfort. Experiencing these symptoms is not due to a “rough cleaning” but is actually due to tender or inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. To aid in your child’s care after the dental cleaning, we recommend following these tips for a few days after care:

  • Use a warm saltwater rinse several times per day (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water).
  • If your child is uncomfortable, use Children’s TYLENOL, Advil or MOTRIN as directed.
  • Call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

If you have any additional questions or need clarification, do not hesitate to call GoSmiles Dentistry at 703-689-3900.