Caring for Your Child After Treatment

Questions about after-care treatment or need to book an appointment for your child? Contact us today online or by calling (434) 817-1817.

After Treatment Care Information

Treatments at Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville are always as gentle as can be, and often require little maintenance beyond keeping up with oral hygiene after your child receives treatment. Still, there are times when extra precautions should be taken to ensure optimal oral health and safety.

Below you’ll find information regarding treatments that will require some aftercare precautions and monitoring.

Is Your Child Suffering from a Dental Emergency?

If your child is experiencing unexpected discomfort, please do not hesitate to call our office at (434) 817-1817 or learn more about our dental emergency protocols.


Local Anesthesia

Many dental procedures require local anesthesia. This numbing medication allows dental treatments to be completed with minimal discomfort for your child. Depending on the treatment, your child may experience numbness in the following areas:

  • Teeth
  • Lips
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue

Local anesthesia usually lasts for one to two hours after leaving our office. Watch your child carefully to make sure he or she does not chew, suck, or play with the numb areas of their mouth.

Additionally, avoid letting your child chew or eat anything until all the numbness has worn off. This can cause swelling, bleeding, or even severe trauma.



After a tooth extraction, we’ll provide gauze for your child to bite down on at the extraction site. Your child should hold this in place for at least 30 minutes following the procedure.

If the bleeding stops and then restarts when you get home, give your child a new piece of gauze to bite down on. Allow your child to rest quietly for an additional 30 minutes during this time. Make sure they’re simply biting down on the gauze, not chewing it.

If your child’s extraction site is actively bleeding after several hours, check to see if there is bright blood dripping every 1-2 seconds from the extraction site. If you notice this, please contact our office immediately.

Cleaning the Extraction Site

Avoid brushing the extraction area with a toothbrush for several days. We will give you a small syringe to clean the extraction site with warm water when brushing the rest of your teeth. If your child is old enough, he or she may rinse or swish with a salt water rinse or mouthwash.



If you notice any swelling after a dental treatment, place an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables on the area for 10-20 minutes. You may give your child an over-the-counter pain medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed on the bottle) to help reduce the swelling.

Watch closely for signs of infection, such as:

  • Redness in the treatment area
  • Drainage in the treatment area
  • Fever

Contact us immediately if your child is having difficulty swallowing or breathing.


Stainless Steel Crowns

Your child’s gums will be sensitive for several days after placement of stainless steel crowns. If needed, you may administer an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (as directed on the bottle).

The gums may bleed when eating or brushing teeth for several days after treatment. Continue brushing even if the gums are bleeding or sore. This ensures food does not get trapped and cause an infection in the gums. To help make cleaning easier, you may administer a dose of pain medication 30 to 60 minutes before brushing your child’s teeth.

Foods to Avoid After a Stainless Steel Crown

Because stainless steel crowns are glued into place with a special cement, we recommend several simple dietary restrictions. Avoiding these foods will give the cement the best chance to hold the crown in place.

Please avoid sticky or chewy foods, such as:

  • Gum
  • Raisins
  • Fruit snacks
  • Caramel
  • Sticky candies


Space Maintainers

Space maintainers require careful attention. Make sure the appliance does not move when your child eats or brushes. If it does move, please contact us. Additionally, sticky foods such as gum, raisins, caramel, fruit snacks, and candies should be avoided as long as the space maintainer is in the mouth.

If you notice a permanent tooth coming in underneath the space maintainer, a dental appointment should be scheduled right away. The space maintainer will be removed so that it does not interfere with the permanent tooth’s eruption.


Sedation or General Anesthesia

The medications your child received may take 6-8 hours to completely wear off. We don’t recommend allowing your child to return to daycare or school. Instead, keep your child resting comfortably at home for the remainder of the day.

Offer your child plenty of fluids to drink. If your child is resting and falls back to sleep at home, wake your child every hour to encourage drinking. You may give over-the-counter pain medications as necessary.

Having an upset stomach after sedation or general anesthesia is not uncommon. To minimize the likelihood that your child experiences this, initially reintroduce food with a soft consistency.

Good foods to start with include:

  • Applesauce
  • Jello
  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Yogurt

You may advance the diet as your child tolerates or requests.

Question or concerns about how your child is responding to treatment or post-op care?

We’re here to answer your questions and put you at ease. Please call (434) 817-1817 or contact us online.

More Resources For Parents

Oral Hygiene at Home

Dental Emergencies


Tooth Development

The best way for your child’s smile to remain healthy is maintaining biannual cleanings & exams. Schedule your child’s appointment today!

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