Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 8-01-2020
It can be hard enough for parents to manage children’s oral hygiene routine, and even harder when your child is suffering any oral pain following extraction of one of their teeth. Normally, baby teeth sprout and then fall out on their own, and are replaced by adult teeth as a child grows.
In some cases, a baby tooth may be stubborn and refuse to fall out on its own. In situations like this, children may require the tooth to be extracted. If an adult tooth is trying to grow in and the baby tooth hasn’t fallen out to make space for the new adult tooth, then the dentist is left with no choice but to forcefully extract the pesky baby tooth.
Following the extraction of a baby tooth, the empty socket may be sensitive and painful for a few days, even if the tooth did not require any significant effort to pull out. It’s no surprise that if your child is experiencing pain after tooth extraction, they’ll be hesitant to brush anywhere near there.
Although they are experiencing pain, it’s important that children continue to brush around the area of the extracted tooth and clean all other areas of their mouth. The pain and tenderness associated with tooth extraction are temporary and with time the sensitivity in the mouth will disappear, but in the meantime, there are a few aftercare tips that can help your child maintain good oral hygiene.
What is tooth removal?
If a tooth has been damaged or is decaying, the dentist will always try to save the tooth by using a filling, a crown, or a bridge, because the original root of a tooth is much stronger than any new implant. However, in some circumstances, a damaged or decaying tooth may do more harm by staying in the mouth and will need to be extracted.
A tooth may also have to be removed if there is severe gum disease, damage or trauma to the tooth, a baby tooth which won’t fall out, or crowded teeth. Tooth extraction involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. Tooth extractions can be classified into two categories, which include:
- Simple extractions
These are when a tooth can be seen inside of the mouth, it can be extracted simply by loosening the tooth using a device called an elevator and then removing it using forceps.
- Surgical extractions
These are required when a tooth cannot be seen inside of the mouth, for example, if it has not erupted or has been broken at the gum line, a surgical method of extraction would be required. A surgical incision will need to be made to remove the broken or unerupted tooth from the mouth.
Encouraging Good Oral Hygiene With 3 Easy Techniques
Children can be unpredictable and should never be underestimated. They have minds of their own and are always open to trying new things. That’s why introducing children to good oral hygiene practices at an early age will help prepare them for lifelong positive habits.
Encouraging children to brush despite tenderness and pain in their mouth is a task on its own, in some cases requiring more than just encouragement. These three tips can help keep your child brushing following a tooth extraction.
- Follow the dentist’s instructions
The instructions provided by the dentist following tooth extraction are meant to help aid the healing process and to ensure that the sensitive area exposed to extraction does not become infected or damaged in any way.
It is important to follow all instructions provided by the dentist for aftercare, and hopefully, there will be minimal pain involved. After a tooth has been extracted, the dentist will recommend that you avoid giving your child any hot foods for a couple of hours until the numbness wears off and to offer them only soft foods for the first day following the procedure.
Although your child is encouraged to brush their teeth even after extraction, they must be careful not to brush the area of extraction for at least 4-5 days, but rather keep the extraction area clean using salt water rinses. Ice packs can also be used to help reduce any swelling in the mouth and provide some ease.
- Positive reinforcement
Rewarding your child for appropriate behaviour is a great way to keep them motivated, especially when it comes to things they may dislike or try to avoid, such as brushing their teeth following a tooth extraction.
You can offer your child a small reward if they do a good job brushing their teeth after the extraction of their tooth or creating a small prize bin from which they can select a gift for every few successful brushes.
It is no easy task to undergo a tooth extraction, so let your child know that they did a great job while at the dentist’s and are continuing to be very brave.
- Be persistent
When your child brushes their teeth after an extraction, it can be painful, so encouraging and sometimes helping them is necessary. If the pain is too much, let them take a break and then resume brushing a little later.
Try using any pattern of brushing and waiting to see if they need help to get the job done. The pain associated with tooth extraction is temporary and the tenderness and sensitivity should wear away within a few days. However, if the pain does not go away or begins to get worse, it’s important to follow-up with your dentist to make sure there isn’t any infection.
You and your family’s teeth are precious and it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Extracting your pearly whites is only done when damage or decay becomes irreparable or a baby tooth won’t fall out to allow an adult tooth to come in.
Whatever the reason, we know tooth extractions can be intimidating but here at Milltown Dental, our team of dental professionals can provide expert tooth extraction services for all ages.
To learn more about tooth extraction for children, call Milltown Dental at (905) 878-8528 or contact us here.