Helping Relieve Post-Procedural Pain

How to help a child experiencing dental painUnfortunately, not every trip to the dentist ends with a good job and a new toothbrush.  Sometimes it is necessary to have different dental treatments, such as filling a cavity or pulling a tooth.  While the dentist will do everything to ease your child’s discomfort during the procedure, many children will experience lingering pain or discomfort after they return home.  In order to help alleviate the pain here are several things that you can do:

One of the best things to do is to give your child a children’s painkiller, such as Children’s Tylenol with Ibuprofen or Children’s Motrin.  With continued dosage (according to the manufacturer’s recommendation) you can help minimize the amount of pain that is felt by your child.

If the child continues to feel pain, or if there is any swelling, you can help your child by placing ice packs or cold cloths on the child’s cheeks.  Just be sure to not place the ice bag in direct contact with the skin.  (It is recommended that you wrap it in a towel before placing it on the cheek.) Alternate the ice with 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off.

Another common occurrence is for the child to experience bleeding (especially after an extraction).  If bleeding is possible, your dentist should supply you with some gauze that your child can bite down on in order to help staunch any bleeding at home.  Have your child bite the gauze for 20 minutes.

In general, with a sore mouth, eating can also be a painful experience.  You can help your children by providing them with liquid or soft foods that they don’t have to chew.  An extra bonus is liquid or soft COLD foods, which will help numb the mouth.

If the pain, discomfort, or swelling lasts longer than a few days (or gets worse), call your dentist to inform him/her of the situation.  After describing the symptoms the dentist will know whether or not the child should return for a follow-up visit.  Your dentist can also get a prescription for stronger painkillers when needed.

By following these steps you can help your child quickly recover from their dental procedure and return to their daily activities pain-free.