You and Dr. Nierode may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems with loss of space, to avoid this complication, in most cases, Dr. Nierode will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth with a space maintainer. 

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. A child should bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and have the child bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not allow your chid to rinse vigorously or suck on straws. For a smoothie or milkshake, have your child drink it with a spoon instead. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After a tooth is extracted there may be some pain and some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Ibuprofen is appropriate for a child following a tooth extraction. 

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. A child can eat normally as soon as they are comfortable. Please have your child avoid sharp, spicy, or very crunchy foods for approximately 5 days. 

It is important to resume your chid’s normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days your child should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If your child experiences heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to a medication, call our office immediately.