Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry

Post-Op Instructions

If your child has an accident, please call our dentist’s office ASAP. If it is an after-hours emergency, our pager number will be given on the voicemail. The pager number is for true dental emergencies only, such as severe traumas or swellings. Please do not call this number for general dental questions, questions about an appointment, etc. In addition, this number is only for active patients on our records. If you have not been seen by Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry, then you should contact the nearest ER, and then call our office during regular business hours to schedule a follow-up appointment.

Kids looking at the camera smiling

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, gently rinse the tooth. (Do not scrub or brush the area or the tooth itself.) Replace the tooth in the socket if possible. If this is not impossible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or a clean wet cloth and come to the office immediately. If a permanent tooth is fractured, please bring in any pieces you can find. We should clarify that Dr. Scott L. Weinstein only re-implants adult, permanent teeth. Baby teeth are never re-implanted, and they are now the property of the tooth fairy.


Please keep in mind that children are not always accommodating to the busy schedules of adults. This can be exacerbated by an emergency. Please accept our apologies in advance should an emergency occur during your child’s appointment. Keep in mind that we will provide you the same, high-quality care should your child ever need emergency treatment.

Care of the Mouth after Numbing

It is difficult for a child to recognize the side effects of local anesthesia. They may chew on their cheek, lip, or tongue and this can lead to swelling and bleeding. Please keep an eye on your child for at least two hours following their appointment with local anesthesia.

Care of the Mouth after Numbing

Your child has had one or more teeth “wiggled” out. Following the removal, please take note of the following:


  • The gauze needs to stay in place with biting pressure for 30 minutes. This will help the area clot and start healing.

  • You may give your child the appropriate children’s dose of pain medication, such as children’s Tylenol or Motrin. Do NOT give them aspirin. Your child should only need medication for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If pain persists beyond 48 hours, please contact our office at 704-850-9251. It is very rare that a child needs a narcotic pain medication following a dental procedure.

  • Have your child eat soft, bland foods for the first couple of days — nothing sharp, crunchy, or too hot or cold which can irritate the sensitive site. Encourage plenty of liquids — water, soups, juices, etc.
  • In the two days following treatment, children should NOT spit or drink through a straw or “sippy” cup. This kind of force can inhibit clot formation and bleeding can start again.

  • Limit and supervise your child’s activity the day of their procedure.

  • You may see minor swelling or oozing of blood or pus (if there was an abscess). If this occurs, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for as long as needed. Alternate in the 24 hours following the tooth removal. Do not place ice directly at the site.

  • Your child’s cheek, lip, and tongue will be numb for approximately 1-2 hours. Please be very careful that your child does not bite their cheeks or pick at this area. As this area “wakes up” and regains feeling, it may feel funny. A self-inflicted bite injury is the most common post-op complication. The mouth heals up faster than almost any part of the human body. Even if they have bitten their cheek, it should heal up well within a week to 10 days. Please keep an eye on your child!

If you have any questions or should any complications arise, please call the office at 704-850-9251.

Care of Sealants

Sealants cover the grooves on the biting surface of a tooth. They do not cover the sides and between teeth, and so a sealant cannot prevent all forms of decay. Even with sealants, it is still important to maintain good oral hygiene and monitor your child’s carbohydrate consumption. Sealants are not a full solution to cavity prevention and if your child chews on ice or hard candy, their teeth may fracture.

Little boy happily getting dental care he needs

Soreness Following a Cleaning

There may be some residual pain or bleeding after a dental cleaning. It is not because your child has been hurt. Sometimes to remove buildup, and if their hygiene has not been good, their gums can be tender afterward. A lukewarm saltwater rinse or children’s Tylenol or Motrin can help. Even if your child states that they are sore, it is still very important that they don’t stop brushing or flossing. This will only make the problem worse.

Post-Sedation Instructions

  • ACTIVITY: Supervised activity for the remainder of the day. No sports or travel, just allow your child to rest, watch movies, read or play video games.

  • THE TRIP HOME: If possible, please have two adults with your child so that one can drive while the other watches your child. Be sure your child’s chin doesn’t droop on the way home.

  • DRINKING/EATING AFTER THE APPOINTMENT: Keep to soft foods for 24 hours, such as mashed potatoes, soup, pudding, applesauce, etc. Please remember that children dehydrate significantly faster than adults and to make sure they take in enough fluids.

  • TEMPERATURE ELEVATION: Your child’s temperature may be elevated to 102 F for the first 24 hours after treatment. Whatever your child normally takes for pain (such as Tylenol and Motrin) should be appropriate to lower their temperature, unless recommended otherwise by Dr. Weinstein. If their temperature reaches 103 or higher, please contact our office or your child’s physician.

  • EXTRACTIONS: If your child has had teeth removed, a small amount of bleeding is normal. Do NOT let your child spit or use straws/sippy cups for the first 48 hours. This will cause more bleeding and disrupt the healing process. Remember that a small amount of blood can mix with saliva and make it look like there is a lot of blood. When your child brushes, allow the excess water/toothpaste to dribble out of their mouth for the first 2 days, rather than forcefully spitting. Do not brush the extraction site itself.

  • BRUSHING/FLOSSING: Parents or children should still brush/floss all areas of their mouth, except where teeth have been extracted. If your child has a dental crown, some cement may ooze as it sets and hardens over the first 24 hours. Maintain proper hygiene to keep this material from sticking to the gums.

Please contact our office if you have any problems relating to your child’s treatment or for more information on post-op dental surgery instructions in Charlotte, North Carolina.