How to Prepare for Your Child’s Tooth Extraction
More often than not, your child’s baby teeth will come out naturally. Sometimes, however, a baby tooth must be extracted by a pediatric dentist when the adult tooth is ready to come in. If the baby tooth isn’t extracted, crowding and misalignment of the adult tooth could occur.
Here are some time to minimize any sensitivity and pain following the extraction.
The Day of the Extraction
Avoid Straws and Swishing
The socket that’s exposed by the extraction will be very sensitive for approximately 24 hours. There will be a healthy blood clot in the socket, and it’s important to make sure that the blood clot doesn’t become accidentally dislodged and cause more bleeding. One possible cause of dislodgement can be the suction that occurs if your child uses a straw during this 24-hour period. In addition, your child should avoid vigorously swishing any liquids, as this can also cause the clot to become dislodged.
Avoid Hard, Hot or Cold Food
Your child should only eat soft foods that require little or no chewing for the first 24 hours following the extraction. Food that can be eaten with a spoon or fork like yogurt, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, soup, scrambled eggs, or pancakes are great options. Additionally make sure their food isn’t too hot or cold, as your child’s gums will be very sensitive to temperature extremes.
The 6 Days Following Tooth Extraction
It’s important that your child not touch the newly exposed socket with their fingers or tongue. Touching the socket would slow down the healing process, cause bleeding or expose it to germs.
If your child’s cheeks are swollen during the days following the tooth extraction, try applying an ice pack every few hours for 15 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel or cloth and gently apply it to the swollen area.
Rinse with Saltwater
One day after the extraction, it’s a good idea to clean the exposed socket by having your child rinse gently with warm saltwater. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water. Your child should gently swish the saltwater in their mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. This will help clean not just the socket, but the entire mouth, and it will help ease any pain your child might be experiencing.
Keep Brushing and Flossing
Your child should brush more gently than usual, and they should definitely avoid brushing the exposed socket in order to avoid causing additional bleeding. They should also continue flossing normally while being careful to avoid the exposed socket.