After extractions of teeth many patients have questions concerning care after the procedure. The following information will give you general guidelines for after-extraction care.
Bleeding - Bleeding will be in the first 15-30 minutes after the tooth extraction. Oozing of blood from the extraction site can continue for 3 to 6 hours post-extraction. Placing direct pressure on the extraction site for a continuous 10-15 minutes with gauze, washcloth, or tissue paper can control a majority of normal bleeding.
Pain - Some patients may have pain with dental extraction. If and how much pain each individual child may have depends on several factors. All patients who have dental extraction will have the extraction area numbed with local anesthetic before the extraction. This local anesthetic will last 1 to 3 hours after the tooth extraction. To help with the potential pain, each child should have an age/weight appropriate dose of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) before the numbness wears-off. Once the numbness wears off, the ibuprofen should be continued for the next 24 to 48 hours as needed for pain. Children under 100 pounds in weight are best treated with liquid children's ibuprofen (read packaging for dosage) and those over 100 pounds can take up to 600 mg of adult ibuprofen tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain. Use of aspirin is discouraged.
Diet - It is recommended to have a soft/liquid diet for the first 6 to 12 hours after dental extraction. Drinking through straws is discouraged. Cold foods, i.e., popsicles, milk-shakes, crushed ice, may feel the best during this first 6 to 12 hours.
Oral Hygiene - Brushing and flossing are encouraged as normal except in the immediate extraction site area for 3 days. In the extraction are just use a moistened washcloth to cleanse the teeth and gum tissue. Mouth rinses, i.e., Scope, Listerine, or salt water are fine, but try to keep them to a minimum as frequent rinsing may lead to continued bleeding.
Packing/Stitches/Healing - Sometimes packing is placed in the extraction site to aid with bleeding control. This packing will dissolve by itself or will fall out. If stitches are placed, your child may need to return to have them removed. The office staff or dentist will inform you what needs to be done for stitches. Within 14 days almost all patients will be healed from extractions. Antibiotics are rarely needed for patients after extractions even when the patient has had a preexisting dental infection.
Questions or Concerns - Call if your child has: prolonged bleeding, pain after the first 48 hours, or an extraction site that won't heal after 14 days. If you have any questions or concerns about dental extractions, please do not hesitate to call