It may seem unlikely or unnatural for children to require tooth extractions, but it happens for a variety of reasons. If your child has teeth that are severely damaged due to injury or decayed due to significant dental health issues, extraction may prevent future infection, overcrowding, and discomfort.
Impacted wisdom teeth may also lead to tooth extractions for some children. If your little one is heading in for an extraction, this guide will tell you what to expect in the aftermath.
Are Pediatric Tooth Extractions Painful?
Most children recover from tooth extractions within a few days. They may experience mild to moderate pain and some swelling, which is typically treated over the counter with ibuprofen. You can also place ice packs on the sides of the jaw to help numb away the pain and reduce inflammation naturally.
Your pediatric dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection as the extraction site heals. You can ask your dentist if that is necessary for your child if they don’t mention it during the consultation prior to the extraction procedure.
When Can My Child Eat After a Tooth Extraction?
In most cases, your child can eat once the anesthesia wears off and they have full sensation back in their mouth. If your little one shows signs of pain or distress immediately after the tooth extraction, you may want to wait a couple more hours before trying food again.
Most children can eat after a tooth extraction with mild discomfort. As long as you’re offering the right foods and drinks, your little one can nourish their bodies while recovering with a full belly.
What Can My Child Eat After a Tooth Extraction?
For the first 24 hours following a pediatric tooth extraction, only offer your child soft foods that are easy to swallow with minimal chewing. Start with liquids while the numbness from anesthesia wears off. How long that takes depends on the type and amount of anesthesia your child received as well as their body’s reaction to it.
The more nutrient-dense your child’s food during the first 24 hours of recovery, the better. Some good options include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed veggies and fruits
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
Of course, you can treat your child to some ice cream without hard pieces. Popsicles are great because they taste great and are cold enough to help numb away any pain felt during the first day of recovery.
In most cases, you can start reintroducing solid foods the second day of recovery. Start slowly with soft solid foods and work your way toward a more routine diet. Every child is different, so pay attention to how they feel after eating foods of different consistencies until they’re back to consuming the foods they love.
What to Avoid After a Pediatric Tooth Extraction
Avoid hot soups and drinks the first day or two after a pediatric tooth extraction. If you offer soup, make sure to cool it down before your child takes the first bite. You also don’t want your child to suck drinks through straws. Ask your dentist about any further restrictions for your child.
Do you need to discuss a potential tooth extraction with a qualified pediatric dentist? Call our office today at 908-735-6300 to or contact us to schedule a consultation and initial cleaning. We can help you determine the right treatments for your child, including answering all of your questions about extractions.