POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PEDIATRIC ORAL SURGERY
This will require special care and attention over the next few days. Please read and follow the instructions listed below. Please contact our office with any questions, concerns or if unusual symptoms develop.
- Numbness: Local anesthetic was used today and it is anticipated that your child’s mouth will be numb for the next 2-4 hours. Please supervise him/her carefully so as to avoid biting, scratching or inuring of the cheek, lips or tongue during this time.
- Bleeding: Bleeding was controlled before your child was discharged, however some occasional oozing (pink saliva) or light bleeding may occur. Hold dampened gauze with firm pressure against the surgical site until the bleeding has stopped. You may have to repeat this step or use additional gauze. Should bleeding continue for over 2 hours, contact our office.
- Surgical Site Care: Today do not disturb the surgical site, this includes avoiding stretching or pulling of the lips and cheeks to view the area. Do not rinse vigorously, use mouthwash or touch the area with fingers or other objects (no toothbrush on/over the surgical site). Beginning tomorrow, your child may rinse with warm salt water (½ teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) after meals.
- Stitches: Sutures (stitches) were placed to assist in the healing process of the surgical site. The sutures will dissolve and do not need to be removed OR need to be removed at your follow-up visit
- Daily Activities: Today avoid physical activity and exertion. Your child may return to normal activities as tolerated. Smoking is never good for one’s health and may interfere with the healing process following oral surgery.
- Diet: Once bleeding has stopped, your child may drink cool non-carbonated liquids but should NOT use a straw. Encourage plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Cold, soft foods (ice cream, jello, pudding, yogurt) are great for the first day. Tomorrow, food consistency can be increased as tolerated. Until healing is more established, avoid crunchy or hard foods including nuts, seeds and popcorn as it may get lodged in the surgical site(s).
- Oral Hygiene: A clean mouth is essential to the healing process. Today teeth may be gently brushed and flossed, but avoid the surgical site(s). Soreness and/or swelling my not permit brushing of all areas, but please encourage every effort to clean the teeth within the bounds of comfort.
- Pain: Some pain and/or discomfort is to be expected. You may give your child over the counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) before the numbness wears off. Do NOT give aspirin to your child. Follow the instructions listed on the bottle for dosing based on your child’s age and/or weight. If pain is not relived by one of these medications, a prescription my be needed. Take prescription pain medications with a small amount of food to avoid nausea.
Things To Watch For:
- Swelling: Slight swelling and inflammation may occur for the next two days. Ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on and then 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling and/or bruising. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm compresses (10 minutes on and then 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling occurs after 48 hours, call our office.
- Fever: A slight fever (temperature to 100.5 degrees F) is not uncommon the first 48 hours after surgery. If a higher fever develops or the fever persists, call our office.
- Dry Socket: Premature loss of the blood clot following the removal of a permanent tooth may result in a “dry socket.” This typically occurs on the 3rd-5th day after the extraction and is evidenced by a persistent throbbing pain in the jaw. Should this occur, call our office.