Fortunately, dental surgeries—even emergency dental work—have short recovery times. Children especially find it easy to bounce back after a dental procedure, because their bodies heal quickly. However, your child will need some help and guidance in the time immediately after the surgery to ensure that he or she heals properly. These tips will help you care for your child at this time.
Stay With Your Child in the Recovery Room
Immediately following the surgery, your child will spend some time in a recovery room while nurses check vital signs and ensure that he or she is recovering appropriately. The best thing you can do for your child at this time is to stay there and provide comfort and reassurance. Your child may have questions or concerns. Hold your child's hand and reassure your child that you will stay there until it's time to leave.
Instruct Your Child to Rest At Home
Once you're told that your child can leave, take your child back to the house. Your child should not return to school or daycare on the day of the surgery. Have your child rest at home. Your child may be experiencing feelings of tiredness, or even dizziness and nausea. Much of this is because of the anesthesia. Have your child engage in quiet, sitting-down activities, or encourage your child to nap.
Limit Eating and Drinking
Your child's mouth and throat may be numb after the procedure, and when the numbness wears off, his or her gums and throat may be sore. Eating immediately after the procedure is not recommended because of the numbness, and if your child drinks, it should be done with caution.
Once your child is able to eat, have him or her eat soft foods for the first several hours. Apple sauce, ice cream and pudding are soft foods that many children enjoy eating and will take pleasure from having, which may even make your child feel better about the procedure.
Help Your Child Manage the Pain
Give your child acetaminophen to help him or her manage the pain. Follow all dosage recommendations on the box, unless your child's dentist gives you different instructions.
On the day after the surgery, your child should be more or less back to normal. If your child feels well enough, he or she should be allowed to return to daycare or school. However, If your child is still experiencing severe pain, vomiting or dizziness the day after the procedure, contact the dentist for further guidance.