Our dentists primary goal is to SAVE teeth, but there are instances when an extraction is required. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed or have broken in such a way that they cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Other teeth may have such advanced periodontal disease where extraction is the only option – fortunately, this is a rare finding among children.
In some cases, the removal of a tooth or teeth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. These problems can apply to early loss of baby teeth as well.
To avoid these complications, speak to our pediatric dentists. Your child may need a space maintainer or additional treatment.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, some bleeding and oozing is to be expected for several hours. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad or moistened tea bag over the area and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to stop the bleeding.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot so avoid spitting, rinsing vigorously, sucking on straws, or smoking for the first 24 hours after the extraction. Also limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
Your child’s mouth will be numb for approximately two to four hours. Avoid chewing during this time to prevent accidental biting and injury to the numb area. Watch to see that your child does not bite, scratch, or injure the cheek, lips, or tongue during this time. If this should occur, your child may get a swollen lip or cheek.
After the tooth is extracted your child may feel some discomfort and experience some swelling. If swelling occurs, ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off ) to decrease swelling and/or bruising. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm/moist compresses (10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling occurs after 48 hours, call our office.
Because some discomfort is expected, you may give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) before the numbness wears off. Do NOT give aspirin to your child. Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child’s age/weight. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
After all bleeding has stopped, your child may drink cool non-carbonated liquids but should NOT use a straw. Encourage fluids to help avoid dehydration. Cold soft foods (e.g., ice cream, gelatin, Instant Breakfast®, pudding, yogurt) are ideal the first day. By the second day, consistency of foods can progress as tolerated. Until healing is more established, avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn that may get lodged in the surgical areas
Keeping the mouth clean is essential. Teeth should be brushed and flossed gently, but avoid aggressive brushing of the surgical site. Soreness and swelling may not permit brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean the teeth within the bounds of comfort.