Do’s & Don’ts of Post-Op Dental Care

Do’s & Don’ts of Post-Op Dental Care
Posted on 06/21/2019

Dr. Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates strives to bring the Sugar Land, Wharton, Rosenberg, and Richmond, TX areas the absolute best pediatric dental care. We hope to create a lifetime relationship between our patients and good oral hygiene. How do we do that? Great question! By providing our patients with all of the necessary information regarding pre-visit care, dental hygiene guidelines, and postoperative care.

While dental operations aren’t necessarily fun, sometimes they are unavoidable. Whether your child is going in for a simple filling, a tooth extraction, or a more complex procedure, it is important to be prepared and know what to do and what not to do once you and your child return home.

General Notes

Depending on the operation that your child needs, he or she may receive numbing agents to provide maximum comfort during the procedure. This numbing process will cause your child’s lip and cheek to feel ‘asleep’ for about two hours after treatment. As a main rule of thumb, your child should not eat, bite, or irritate the operated area of the mouth for the first few hours after the procedure. For more detailed do’s and don’ts regarding specific treatments, continue reading below.

Dental Crowns

- A stainless steel crown may cause slight bleeding to occur for about two to three days.


  • Keep crown areas clean in the days immediately following the operation.
  • Carefully brush or rub gums around the crown (cheek and tongue included) with cotton gauze dipped in salt water.
  • Floss gently to remove food particles.
  • Rinse child’s mouth with warm salt water for the first couple of days following treatment.
  • Continue routine brushing once healed.


  • Do not aggressively brush or touch irritated area with tongue. This will cause further inflammation and inhibit proper healing.
  • Avoid hard foods on the operated side of the mouth for the first few days - your crown should be given proper time to heal without irritating it with a hard bite (even if it is your child’s favorite food).


- If your child has had a composite (white) or alloy (silver) filling, the filling will be hard and your child may chew on it as long as his or her lip and cheek are no longer asleep.


  • Discover the amount of time it takes for your child’s specific filling to set.
  • Avoid food and beverages until the anesthetic wears off.
  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the filling after anesthetic wears off.
  • Take pain medication if prescribed and needed.
  • Contact us if the filling is uncomfortable or you’re having any issues.


  • Eat extremely hot or cold foods. The teeth and filling will be very sensitive to temperatures post-operation.
  • Eat hard, sticky, or chewy foods for a few days post operation. This can cause a filling to pop out, and your child will have to restart the entire process.

Tooth Extractions

-Discomfort and pain near the extracted tooth is normal for the first two to three days post operation.


  • Have your child bite onto a gauze near the extracted tooth for 30 minutes after treatment, replacing it if necessary. (Slight oozing and staining of saliva is normal and can be expected for at least one day post operation.)
  • Contact Dr. Larry Caldwell’s office if heavy bleeding continues.
  • Five to seven days after the extraction call our Sugar Land and Wharton, TX
  • practice to schedule an appointment to have sutures removed.
  • Only consume soft foods for the first two days after extraction.
  • Have your child rinse his or her mouth gently with warm salt water after meals and before bed.


  • Don’t ingest food or liquids for the first two hours after extraction.
  • Don’t eat hard, chewy, or sticky foods.
  • Do not use a straw to drink liquids.
  • Don’t vigorously brush, floss, or rinse the extracted tooth area for at least 24 hours.
Getting Started with a Pediatric Dentist

Getting Started with a Pediatric Dentist

The pediatric dentists of Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates are here to provide you the absolute best service. Reach out to our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office today if you have any questions regarding post-operative instructions or to request an appointment.