John L. Wasdin, DMD
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

1501 Brampton Avenue, Statesboro, GA 30458

Phone: 912-871-6197

Post-Op Care page artwork for pediatric dentist Dr. John Wasdin


Girl getting a free toothbrush

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a "rough cleaning" but, to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed:

  1. A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  2. For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed by the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

  • Do not scratch , chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  • Do not spit excessively.
  • Do not drink a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

Bleeding - Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary.

  • Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.

Pain - For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of Sealants

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child's dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic

  • If the procedure was in the lower jaw the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
  • If the procedure was in the upper jaw the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
  • Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
  • Monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

After Stainless Steel Crown Preparation

  • Give Children's Tylenol, Motrin or Advil according to the directions on the bottle before the numbness wears off. Your child's gums may be sore because of irritation during the preparation of their tooth for the crown. Over the counter pain medicine usually controls any discomfort they may have.
  • Stay away from hard and sticky foods, because they could cause the crown to come off.
  • Do not allow your child to chew anything until the numbness wears off. This will prevent them from injuring their numb lips, cheeks or tongue and allow the cement for the crown to harden.
  • When flossing around the crown, move the floss between their teeth toward their gums, then pull the floss out from the side of the tooth. Do not pop the floss back up towards the top. The crown could be pulled off.
  • If your child feels like their bite is different after the numbness wears off; this is normal. It may take a day or two for them to get used to the new restoration.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

  • Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process.
  • Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).
  • If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed - call the office so the patient can be seen as-soon-as possible.
  • Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.
  • Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.
  • If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

General Anesthesia Post-Operative Instructions

Change in Health It is very important to let us know about any change in your child's health. This is especially important if swelling, persistent bleeding, vomiting, or any breathing type problems develop.

Medications Give your child only those medications that he/she takes routinely, such as antibiotics; and those prescribed by Dr. Wasdin or your physician. DO NOT give your child any other medications after treatment without checking with your doctors.

Breathing Your most important duty is to closely observe your child for any signs of breathing difficulty.

Getting Home The parent should be available to drive the patient home. The child should be carefully secured in a car seat or seat belt during transportation. DO NOT use a bus, if at all possible. Your child may feel a little dizzy or uncoordinated. Hold your child's hands while going up and down steps or riding elevators. DO NOT ALLOW ANY RUNNING.

Activity DO NOT plan or permit activities for the child after treatment. Allow the child to rest. Keep your child indoors and closely supervise any activity for the remainder of the day. Your child should not be left alone. Your child may be very sleepy after the treatment. Allow your child to sleep, but try to arouse him/her periodically. The best sleeping position for children is on their side without a pillow.

Care of Mouth You must closely watch and keep your child from chewing his/her lips, cheeks, or tongue.

Pain/Care of Teeth If your child complains of soreness, give Children's Tylenol, Motrin or Advil to relieve sore teeth and gums. If your child had teeth taken out and there is some bleeding, have the child bite on folded gauze or cloth. DO NOT let your child suck on a straw or rinse his/her mouth. Do continue to brush the teeth gently with a soft toothbrush daily.

Drinking or Eating After Treatment Encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids. Small sips taken repeatedly are preferable to taking large amounts. Soft food, not too hot, may be taken when desired. Club soda or ginger ale may be helpful in case of an upset stomach. If your child had some teeth taken out, avoid crunchy foods (i.e. chips, popcorn, nuts, etc.) for the next few days.

Temperature Elevation It is normal that a child's temperature may be elevated (98.6° - 100°F) for the first 24 hours after treatment. Tylenol every 3-4 hours and plenty of liquids will help alleviate this condition. If a fever persists beyond 24 hours please notify Dr. Wasdin.

Seek Advice

  • If there is any difficulty with breathing.
  • If vomiting persists beyond 4 hours.
  • If the temperature remains elevated beyond 24 hours.
  • If you notice any abnormal behavior persisting after treatment.
  • If any other matter causes you concern.