Post-Op Care

Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm


Boy during dental exam at Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry in Charlottesville, Waynesboro and Crozet, VA

Sealants are placed to fill in the deep grooves of molars where bacteria and food get trapped. Sealants can significantly reduce the risk of cavities on permanent molars by protecting these vulnerable grooves.

After sealants are placed, your child may notice a slightly bitter taste which will go away with water and normal eating. Sealants may temporarily cause a slight difference in the bite (your child may mention this); however, within a few days it should feel back to normal.

There are no restrictions after sealants are placed. Your child may eat, drink, and brush their teeth normally. Your child should, however, avoid eating ice or chomping on hard candy as this can fracture sealants.

Space Maintainers (Metal Spacer)

A space maintainer is placed to hold space so the permanent (adult) teeth will come into the mouth in the proper position.

After a space maintainer is placed, your child could experience soreness for a few days. You may give your child over-the-counter medicine, such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil according to your child's age and weight.

Please minimize the amount of sticky foods your child eats (like gum, candy, and fruit snacks) since this may cause the space maintainer to become dislodged. It is also important to keep your child’s teeth and the space maintainer as clean as possible. If the space maintainer becomes loose, dislodged, or broken, please save the appliance, and call us for an appointment.

Local Anesthesia (Numbing)

Many of the dental procedures we perform, such as fillings, extractions, and stainless steel crowns, require that your child receive a local anesthetic so that they are comfortable during the procedure.

Your child’s mouth will generally be numb for about 2 hours after a procedure. Until the numbness wears off, please monitor your child closely following their dental procedure to make sure they do not bite their tongues, lips, or cheeks. It is also best to avoid eating until the numbness wears off.

Please note that some children become very upset and complain of “pain" when they realize their mouth feels different. Please do not be alarmed! Many children are unfamiliar with this sensation and associate this with pain. Reassure your child that the "funny feeling" will go away in a couple hours.


Your child may have some sensitivity or discomfort on or around the tooth for a day or two after a filling. You may give your child over-the-counter medicine, such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil according to your child's age and weight.


Bleeding and oozing is normal after a tooth has been extracted. Have your child bite down on gauze (which we will provide) on the extraction site for 20-30 minutes. This will maintain a good blood clot. Do not keep checking under the gauze, as this will prolong the bleeding. Keep in mind that oral bleeding represents a little blood and a lot of saliva.

If the extraction site is still pooling blood after the first 20-30 minutes, then replace with new gauze and maintain pressure for another 20-30 minutes. Repeat a third time, if needed.

Please limit the amount of activity in which your child engages following an extraction as this may cause the site to begin bleeding again. Should bleeding start again, simply place more gauze and have your child hold it in place with firm pressure for 20 minutes.

Please encourage your child to eat a soft diet for 1-2 days, and avoid hard foods such as chips for 2 days as these may become trapped in the healing tissues. Additionally, avoid drinking from a straw or consuming hot beverages for 1-2 days.

Do not rinse or brush teeth the evening of an extraction. The following day, resume normal brushing and flossing; however, stay away from the socket with toothbrush, tongue, and/or fingers for a few days. Additionally, 2 days following the extraction, your child may rinse with salt water several times per day.

Some discomfort may occur after the anesthetic wears off. Over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil may be used according to your child's age and weight.

Stainless Steel Crowns (Silver Caps)

When preparing your child’s tooth for a crown, it is necessary to fit the crown closely to the gum tissue. After the stainless steel crown is placed, the gum tissue surrounding the tooth may appear to be bleeding and/or bruised. This is normal and will usually subside within one week.

As the anesthetic wears off, your child may experience some sensitivity around the gumline where the new crown has been placed. Over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil may be used according to your child's age and weight.

Although the area where the crown has been placed may be sensitive, regular brushing and flossing will help heal the gums and keep it healthy. A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times a day can be included in the brushing and flossing regime to help reduce the soreness around the gums.

If your child’s bite feels funny to them after the crown is placed, allow a few days for the crown to settle in and their bite should return to normal. If it does not, please call our office.

Please avoid sticky foods as this may dislodge your child’s crown. If your child’s crown does come off, please save the crown and call the office so it may be re-cemented.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an FDA-approved antibacterial liquid used to treat tooth sensitivity and help stop decay. While the ideal way to treat teeth with decay is by removing the decay and placing a restoration, this alternative treatment allows us to stop decay with less invasive methods. This is particularly beneficial for young children who may not be able to cooperate enough for traditional treatment and would otherwise need sedation or general anesthesia to render dental treatment.

Treatment with SDF will not eliminate the need for dental fillings or crowns to repair function or aesthetics, but is effective at prevention of further decay. SDF may require repeated application.

The affected area will permanently stain black; however, healthy tooth structure will not stain. Stained tooth structure can be replaced with a filling or crown in the future.

After SDF application, your child may notice a metallic taste, but that will go away rapidly. Please avoid eating/drinking for 1 hour and avoid brushing those teeth until the next morning.

Nitrous Oxide ("Laughing Gas")

Nitrous Oxide may be used to help relax your child and relieve anxiety and in certain situations diminish a overactive gag reflex. Your child will remain awake while Nitrous Oxide is administered. After the procedure is complete, we will have your child breathe in pure oxygen in order to clear the Nitrous Oxide from their body. Then they should be fine to resume normal activities with no lingering side-effects of the Nitrous Oxide.

Oral and IV Sedation

Not Currently Offered

General Anesthesia

Not Currently Offered


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