Growing Smiles

Kelli Henderson dds (785) 856-5600
1425 Wakarusa Drive, Suite D
Lawrence, KS 66049

Post-Op Instructions

Dr. Henderson and the rest of the Growing Smiles team know that oral healthcare does not stop when your child leaves the office. If your child has any immediate concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 785.856.5600.

  1. Cleanings
  2. Fillings/Restorations
  3. Sedations (Conscious & IV)
  4. Extractions
  5. Space Maintainers
  6. Sealants

Cleanings

If your child becomes ill after having a cleaning (including diarrhea and vomiting), please be aware that he/she may be feeling the effects of the fluoride treatment administered during his/her treatment. Children often swallow a small amount of fluoride during the procedure causing mild stomach irritation. Please avoid heavy foods or excessive fluid intake. Sometimes a glass of milk can help neutralize the fluoride.

Fillings/Restorations

Please be aware that your child’s lip, gums, and cheeks may be numb from the procedure for up to 1 hour after treatment. Make sure that your child does not chew on or poke any part of the lip, gums or cheek. If your child experiences any pain, please consider giving him/her an OTC medicine such as Tylenol, Motrin or Advil. If pain persists for more than 24 to 48 hours after the procedure, please contact our office. Swelling is common after a filling or other restoration (like a crown or pulpotomy). Keep the area around the gums clean and free of food particles. If swelling continues for more than 24 to 48 hours or gets progressively worse, please contact the office at 785.856.5600.

Oral Conscious & IV Sedation

If your child has recently been seen by Dr. Henderson for a sedation and dental treatment, please refer to the instructions below. Although Dr. Henderson will go over these post-operative instructions with you, some things to remember are:

  • Sometimes the medicine will make your child feel "sleepy," "woozy," and/or "cranky" for up to 8 hours after their appointment. Although this is a normal reaction, please remember to monitor your child during this time.
  • Feeding your child too quickly, or feeding them heavy foods immediately after a sedation may result in vomiting. It is important to monitor your child during this time.
  • Your child may be numb from the anesthetic for up to 4 hours after the appointment. Eating too soon may result in injury to the soft tissues of the mouth such as the cheek or tongue.
  • When your child is ready to eat food, please make sure that you only give them soft foods. Start with apple juice and then progress to yogurt or applesauce to gauge their response.
  • It is best that your child rest for the remainder of the day. Watching videos or reading at home is an excellent idea. Your child may resume normal activity the day after their appointment if they feel able. Some children may not feel up to normal play and may seem "hung over" from the medications. Encourage clear liquids to help clear the medication from their system. Remember, your child is not as awake as they think they are, avoid swimming, biking or vigorous activity for the remainder of the day.
  • Please call Growing Smiles at 785.856.5600 if you have any questions or concerns after your appointment. We know it is a stressful event for the parents and it is often difficult to remember all the instructions, so don't hesitate to call with questions or concerns.

Extractions

Be sure that your child does 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 the extraction area or the lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia (injection) wears off.

Take care not to rinse the mouth out for several hours, drink carbonated beverages (such as Coke or Sprite) or use a straw to drink any type of liquid.

Bleeding or Pain

An extraction is commonly followed by swelling and bleeding. For approximately one hour after the extraction, keep pressure on the opening to alleviate bleeding. Dr. Henderson will provide you with gauze and pack it in the area. If the site continues to bleed for a prolonged period of time, compression on the area using wet gauze or biting on a tea bag will cause the bleed to subside. To minimize pain, follow a soft foods diet and take an OTC pain reliever such as Advil, Motrin or Tylenol, to alleviate discomfort.

Swelling

For swelling, place insulated ice packs on the affected areas for 24 hours after the procedure. After this initial 24 hour period, apply warm compresses. If swelling or bleeding continues or the swelling gets progressively worse, please call us at 785.856.5600 to schedule an emergency appointment.

Space Maintainers

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is expected following placement of a space maintainer. Be sure to brush adequately around the area. Follow a soft foods diet and take an OTC pain reliever such as Advil, Motrin or Tylenol, to alleviate discomfort.

Came Loose or Totally Removed

Please save it (if possible) and contact us at 785.856.5600 to schedule an appointment.

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 Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 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!