Is your child preparing to have a tooth removed? Although they may be thinking more about the actual procedure, you’re probably focused on what to expect once the procedure is complete. Since it is necessary they undergo some downtime following this type of dental surgery, here are four ways you can take better care of them and ensure a swift and successful recovery after your child’s tooth extraction.
Monitor Their Bleeding
It’s normal for the extraction site to bleed after a tooth is removed. Although they will have gauze packing the surgical site following the procedure, additional bleeding can occur once it is removed. Should this happen, replace it with damp, clean gauze and have your child gently bite down to hold it in place for half an hour. If you are unable to stop the bleeding after this timeframe, call your pediatric dentist for further instructions.
Avoid Dry Sockets
Placing gauze over the surgical site is necessary so a blood clot can form. This should remain in place until the extraction area fully heals. Should it become dislodged, your child can experience much pain and the potential for infection. You’ll need to keep your child from using a straw to consume any beverages, rinsing vigorously, or engaging in physical activity for at least 24 hours after their surgery.
Ensure They’re Eating Soft Foods
They may want a juicy cheeseburger or something hard and crunchy, but to minimize additional discomfort and avoid a dry socket, make sure they’re drinking liquids and eating soft foods the first full day of recovery. Hot beverages should be avoided during this time as well as using a straw. It is best if they avoid chewing on the side of their mouth where the extraction occurred to let this area heal more thoroughly. After the initial 24 hours, they can begin to eat solid foods but only if they’re not experiencing any discomfort.
Be Mindful of Their Oral Hygiene Routine
Keeping their oral cavity clean is essential, but you’ll need to be careful when helping them brush and floss their teeth. For the first 24 hours, there is no need to clean near the extraction site. However, the following day, it’s recommended that your child begin to brush their teeth as normal. They will still need to be careful but can gently rinse their mouth with warm salt water to minimize the risk of infection and encourage faster healing.
Recovering from a tooth extraction may not be the most ideal way for you and your child to spend time together. But as long as you follow these tips and those provided to you by your child’s dentist, you can expect they’ll be back to their normal routine in no time.
About the Author
Dr. Donna Barefield leads a team of expert dental professionals at her practice in Duncanville. Providing comprehensive services to children and teenagers, she is trained and equipped to provide complex care should it be necessary. If your child needs to have a tooth extracted, our team will be here to not only ensure their safety and comfort in-house, but we’ll provide you with the necessary details to guarantee their recovery is a success while at home. Contact us via the website or by calling (972) 298-7560 to find out how we can help you.