Did you know children with poor oral health miss more skill and get lower grades than kids who don’t? That’s right; your child’s oral health could impact their entire future.
One in five children between ages 5 and 11 have at least one untreated, decayed tooth.
Leaving that decayed tooth without treatment could lead to more serious problems in the future. As a result, your child might need painful oral surgery, which can get costly.
Don’t wait! Instead, consider scheduling a tooth extraction procedure for your child. Tooth extraction is ideal if:
- A tooth is infected or decayed
- Your child develops gum disease
- Their teeth are crowded
- Teeth are damaged from a trauma
If you decide on this option, make sure to prepare your child for oral surgery, first. Here are 10 tips to help you and your child prepare for their tooth extraction!
1. Ask About the Anesthesia
First, make sure to speak with your child’s dentist. They’ll walk you through the procedure and help you understand the process. While you talk to them, ask about the difference between local and general anesthesia.
Anesthesia is a medication used to numb your child’s pain. With general anesthesia, they’ll remain unconscious throughout the procedure. The anesthesia is provided through an IV or by having your child inhale vapors through a mask.
If you decide to use general anesthesia, your child won’t remember the procedure.
Anesthesia is used to:
- Relieve anxiety
- Minimize pain before and after a procedure
- Relax the muscles (so patients remain still)
- Block out memories of the procedure
Local anesthesia, on the other hand, is applied to a specific area. It’s usually applied through a shot, spray, or ointment to numb the pain. With local anesthesia, your child remains conscious, which is ideal for minor outpatient procedures.
The side effects between the two can differ. Make sure to speak with your child’s dentist or Oral Surgeon to determine which is best for your child.
2. Speak With Your Child
Before you schedule the child tooth extraction procedure, speak with your son or daughter. Give them as much information as you’re comfortable with before the procedure. You can also have your child speak with the dentist or oral surgeon, as they’ll likely have experience explaining the procedure to younger minds.
During this conversation, make sure to stress the importance of oral hygiene and care. The dentist or oral surgeon can also stress this point to make sure your child takes proper care of their teeth.
Otherwise, you might need to schedule another child tooth extraction in the near future.
Then, involve your child in the decision regarding their anesthesia.
Giving them a choice can help prepare your child for oral surgery. It can make them more comfortable by giving them a sense of control regarding their body.
3. Focus on the Positives
Before the procedure, make sure to focus on the positives.
Some younger children will feel more concerned about the tooth fairy than the procedure itself. Let your child know that they can keep their tooth after the procedure if they’re well behaved.
Before the procedure, consider taking your child’s favorite toy along for the journey. This can help them feel relaxed before and after anesthesia is administered. When they come around, your child can find comfort in their familiar toy.
Listening to music or watching a beloved movie before the procedure can help when preparing for a tooth extraction for your child, too.
Putting your child at ease before the procedure can help ensure the process continues smoothly.
4. Discourage Straws
Your child’s newly exposed socket will remain sensitive for about 24 hours following the extraction.
Make sure your child doesn’t use a straw during this time frame. Otherwise, they could lose the healthy blood clot.
Suction can cause the clot to dislodge as well, which could lead to bleeding.
5. Stick to Soft Food
The day of your child’s tooth extraction, make sure they only eat soft foods that require little chewing. The socket and surrounding area will remain sensitive for a little while. Softer foods will help them avoid discomfort and pain.
Try serving your child yogurt, apple sauce, scrambled eggs, or soup for the 24 hours after the extraction.
You’ll also want to make sure the food isn’t too hot or too cold.
6. Use Ice Packs
After the tooth extraction, your child’s teeth might begin to swell.
You can ease your child’s pain and reduce the swelling by using an ice pack. Make sure the ice is wrapped in a thin towel or cloth. Only have them apply the ice for 15-minute intervals.
Then, have them reapply the ice every two to three hours.
7. Add a Saltwater Rinse
After the 24-hour mark, let your child use a warm saltwater rinse. This will clean their exposed socket. To create the rinse yourself, combine eight ounces of water with one teaspoon of salt.
Then, have your child swish the saltwater gently within their mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
8. Go Hands-Free
Make sure your child doesn’t touch the exposed area. Instead, you want to keep it clean. This will ensure germs aren’t introduced to the area, which could prolong the healing process.
9. Continue Brushing
Make sure your child keeps brushing twice a day, for at least two minutes. Even though their mouth will feel sensitive after the extraction, it’s important to brush to prevent future tooth decay.
10. Speak With Other Parents
If you’re still nervous about your child’s tooth extraction, talk to parents who have gone through this experience themselves. Make sure to speak to them away from your child, in case certain stories cause your child to feel apprehensive about the procedure.
Friends, family members, and other parents can give you tips to support your child through the process.
Feel free to ask any questions so you can find some peace of mind before the procedure.
Pulling Teeth: 10 Tips for Child Tooth Extraction Prep
Preparing your child for oral surgery doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth. Instead, use these 10 child tooth extraction preps tips to prepare yourself and your child.
Looking for more mom tips? Check the Parenting section of the blog today for more helpful guides!