By Brianne Jones, RDH
Some dental procedures use anesthetic to reduce pain for your child. As the anesthetic wears off, typically over 2-3 hours, your child will notice a tingling sensation in the mouth, tongue and/or cheek areas. Monitor your child during this time to ensure that he or she does not bite, chew, or scratch at these numbed areas.
Avoid feeding your child solid food until the numbness has subsided. Good choices include soft snacks such as Jell-o, frozen yogurt, milkshakes and/or smoothies. It is best to spoon these snacks instead of using a straw. Also, avoid acidic food and drinks including tomato based foods, sauces, and citric juices while there is an open wound.
If your child bites his or her cheek, tongue or lip, there may be swelling which can worsen for up to five days. This is typically seen in a child under the age of 8. A soft scab may form that looks like a yellowish white plaque or a large traumatic ulcer. This is a normal part of the healing process and this lesion should heal during the next 10-14 days.
Clean the area well, brush teeth as normal, and be gentle around the affected area. You may give your child children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) for pain and apply Orabase over the swollen areas.
Overall, try to watch your kiddos closely for the few hours following treatment to avoid any complications or lip/cheek biting,