The Patient Experience

 

Before and After Your Visit

 

Before your Appointment

 

You do not need to be at Little Tooth Co. for long to know that we use kid-friendly language and use examples that all children can understand.  We often replace words which can potentially scare children with friendlier versions.

 

For Example:

Shot / Needle– These words can quickly turn a happy cooperative child into a child that is fearful. We either say nothing at all or say that we are using “sleepy drops” to help the “sugar bugs” fall asleep. We explain that it may feel “cold” and “tingly” next to the tooth.

 

Drill–  We use the term “whistle toothbrush”, because of the loud whistling noise and water that “helps us brush the sugar bugs out”

 

Pulling, or Extracting a tooth– We often replace this by explaining that we have to “help wiggle your tooth out because the tooth fairy wants it back”

 

Laughing Gas–  We call this “ice-cream air” because of its sweet smell. We work with kid’s imaginations by allowing them to pick whatever flavor they want. We also explain that the air will make them feel “floaty
or tickly.”

 

 

After your Appointment

 

Post Extraction Tips

Have your child bite on the provided gauze until bleeding is controlled, which may take up to 30 minutes

 

Your child's cheek, lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the procedure.

 

No sippy cups, bottles, straws and pacifiers for the first 24 hours after the procedure. No rinsing or spitting for the first 24 hours after the procedure. The sucking and swishing actions can cause prolonged bleeding and impede healing.

 

Avoid salty, spicy, acidic or crunchy foods for the first 24 hours as this may irritate the extraction site. Cold and/or soft foods are a great choice for two or three days (i.e. ice cream, applesauce, mac and cheese, etc.)

 

Swelling after an extraction is not uncommon and need not cause alarm. Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed in the 24 hours following tooth removal.

 

Administer Children's Tylenol or Motrin for any discomfort.

 

Do not allow your child to participate in strenuous activity for the first 24 hours as this may increase bleeding from the extraction site

 

A small amount of oozing is normal and may mix with your child's own saliva; however, if bleeding becomes heavy have your child bite on a gauze or tea bag for15 minutes.

 

If bleeding continues or is not controlled, or if you have any questions or concerns, call Dr. Jean You immediately at 919-303-2873.

 

Post Local Anesthesia Tips

The local anesthesia “sleepy drops” used may make your child’s lip, cheek, and tongue numb for up to 3 hours. Watch that your child does not bite, suck, or pinch any part of their mouth.  Maintain a soft diet (for example: yogurt, pudding) to help prevent injury.

 

Signs/Symptoms that your child may have injured their mouth:

Red, white, yellow, or dark discoloration.

Swelling both inside and outside of the mouth.

Difficulty eating/drinking, or speaking.

Pain and discomfort.

 

What to do if you feel that your child has injured their mouth:

 An ice pack will help reduce swelling.

An over the counter pain medication such as Children’s Motrin or Children’s Tylenol will help with pain.

Be careful to follow the directions on the bottle. Continue to give your child the medication only until they are able to eat/drink comfortably.

Warm salt water rinses will help with healing.

Avoid hot or spicy foods.

Continue to brush your child’s teeth to maintain a clean oral environment.

Encourage your child to drink water to stay hydrated.

It will take several weeks for complete healing to occur.

 

Space Maintainers

When baby teeth are lost prematurely, a space maintainer can help prevent the teeth from shifting. They can help prevent space loss so that the adult teeth have room to come in normally. These appliances are cemented into your child’s mouth. At your routine checkups, we will evaluate the space maintainer, and we will let you know when is the right time to remove it.

 

Children usually adapt very quickly to their space maintainers, and after a short period, they forget it is there.  It is important to brush and keep the area around the space maintainer clean, just as you would any other tooth.

 

To prevent the space maintainer from coming loose, avoid foods that are sticky such as gum, caramel, and laughy-taffy.  Foods like this can loosen the band or pull the appliance off. Also, please remind your child not to play with it, push on it with their tongue, or try to pull it out of their mouth. If the space maintainer comes loose or if your child tells you something has changed, then make an appointment so we can evaluate it.

Read Dr. Jean’s Top 5 Tips for Healthy Start

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