Post-Op Instructions

Post-Op Instructions

  1. If you are having a medical emergency please dial 911 or go to
    your nearest emergency room
  2. If you have any questions please call our office. If it is after-hours,
    you can call our emergency phone number at 978 270-0100. This
    is for urgent calls only.

General Post-Operative Instructions after Local Anesthesia

Many of the pediatric dental procedures we perform such as fillings and
stainless steel crowns (silver caps), require that your child receive a local
anesthetic so that they are comfortable during the procedure. While we
are extremely cautious with the amount of local anesthesia we provide to
your child, many children have some level of numbness “left over” from
the procedure.

While this situation is a vey normal one, there are some
things that you as a parent should be aware of to ensure that you and
your child are comfortable after dental treatment has been completed.

  1. Your child may complain of an itch or “itchiness” of the lip, tongue
    or other areas where they received local anesthetic. This tingling is
    a normal feeling that occurs in many children as the local
    anesthetic wears-off.
  2. Watch out for cheek and lip biting in your child while the anesthetic
    is wearing off. The sensation of being numb causes many children
    to “explore” and they will often bite their tongues, lips and cheeks.
    And because their tongues, lips and cheeks are still numb, children
    can leave significant irritation or even bruising as they chew on a
    numb area of their mouth. If you see your child biting their lips, tongue or cheeks after a dental appointment, gently remind your
    child that they are numb, and their biting can still cause irritation.

General Discomfort After Pediatric Dental Treatment

While most sensitivity will subside, if you child is uncomfortable you can
give your child the medicine you normally give them for aches for a fever
(children’s ibuprofen or children’s Tylenol). If you are unsure of the
dosing for your child, or you are unsure which medicine to give your
child, please call the office or call your child’s pediatrician. Do not
give children aspirin.


In addition to the concerns about local anesthesia noted above, normally
there are no special instructions after your child has had a routine filling.
Make sure the child waits for the numbness to wear off entirely before
eating foods that involve chewing, parents should expect the child to
have some level of sensitivity or discomfort on or around the tooth for a
day or two following the filling.

The most frequent situations where children will report this sensitivity are usually are with cold drinks or cold
foods such as ice cream.

Stainless Steel Crowns (SSC)/Baby Root Canal

Because teeth that receive SSCs are often broken-down and require “baby
root canals”, there is a possibility more discomfort after this procedure
vs. what we would expect in a traditional filling. Please call the office If
your child seems to have extensive discomfort after a completed

Space Maintainers

Many children will report a feeling of “having something in their mouth”
after they have a space maintainer placed, and this sensation is normal,
and they also may tell you that they are having difficulty eating. This
complaint is also a normal one, and as with most dental appliances, your
child will get used to the space maintainer over time.

Your child also may report soreness or pressure with the space maintainer, and you can
give them children’s Tylenol or Advil (ibuprofen) as mentioned above
under “General Discomfort”. Children will space maintainers need to stay
away from sticky or chewy foods, ie, gum, carmels, gummy bears. A
space maintainer is just a smaller verison of braces as they need to be
treated with care.

Occasionally a space maintainer becomes loose. If your child tells you
that their space maintainer is loose, please call the office for an
appointment so we can evaluate the device.


Other than the post-op information about local anesthesia mentioned
above, children do very well after extractions. One of the more common
things a parent may see is bleeding from the extraction socket after the
procedure. Dr. Lindi and Dr. Rosalyn will check your child before they
leave the office to make sure they are not bleeding, but sometimes
children can bleed after a procedure – because they bite on the area, or if
they forget and eat a rough food and irritate the area.

After your child has had an extraction they should:

    1. Bite down on gauze (we will give you gauze) for 10 minutes to help
      with initial healing. Note that you may see red on the gauze when
      you remove it – this is normal.
    2. If your child’s extraction socket is bleeding, have the child bite
      down on gauze for 20 minutes and then check the area. If there is
      still light bleeding, have the child bite down on a tea bag, which
      almost always stops the bleeding. Please contact the office if it
      would make you comfortable. It is extremely unusual to have
      prolonged bleeding following a baby tooth extraction. Please call
      the office if your child is having prolonged bleeding.
    3. Maintain a soft-food diet for the first 24 hours, with no chips,
      hard-foods, or foods with rough edges. Soup (not too hot), yogurt

(not too cold) are good food choices for after an extraction.

    1. Have your child avoid heavy rinsing and spitting, as these actions
      can lead to bleeding. Please see item #2 in this list if bleeding
      does occur.


Sometimes when your child has had sealants placed, they may report
sensitivity in the areas where the sealants were placed, or they may tell
you that their bite feels “a little high.” Both of these situations are

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