Sometimes a baby tooth needs a little help letting go and needs to be extracted to let the adult tooth come through. It’s usually a much more straightforward procedure than extracting an adult tooth because the roots are embedded in tissue and not bone. But the socket can still be tender for several days afterward. Here are some tips to help a child through the process. Note that these tips can be equally useful for adult recovery!
- Limit hot foods for several hours until the numbness wears off
- Keep food choices soft for the first 24 hours. Good choices are yogurt, pudding, pureed soups and, my favorite, ice cream.
- Avoid brushing the extraction site after the procedure. Rinsing with warm salt water may help with healing and keeping the area clean.
- Brush the other teeth. Use positive reinforcement to keep the child keep brushing, maybe even offering a small reward. Allow the child to brush the other areas of his/her mouth a little at a time if necessary.
The sensitivity from an extraction should fade within a few days. If it doesn’t, you may want to follow up with your dentist. Do the best you can to encourage your child to keep his or her mouth clean.
Author: Mike DeWan, DDS
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