Dental Sedation: Aftercare for Your Child
Preparing your child for dental surgery can be nerve-racking, but it helps to focus on the fact that the procedure will improve his or her health. Try to avoid worrisome thoughts and turn your attention to more important aspects, such as post-operative care.
While your dentist will provide specific aftercare instructions for your child before the procedure, it’s important to be familiar with the process so you feel comfortable from the very beginning.
How will your child be sedated? The most common types of sedation are:
•Inhalation sedation: Nitrous oxide is the most common form of inhalation sedation. This option is often used for minor dental procedures.
•Oral sedation: Used mostly in patients who have a fear of the dentist. Oral sedation helps the patient relax while the dentist is working.
•Intravenous or IV sedation: IV sedation is the deepest sedation available. It is usually only used for intensive procedures.
What are the effects of anesthesia?
Though children have been known to recover faster from exposure to anesthesia than adults, there are certain effects that may last awhile. As adults, we understand the need for surgery and the use of anesthesia. Your child doesn't, so be prepared for the first effect – crankiness!
Children may lack hand-eye coordination and seem less alert. Vomiting or nausea is a possible side effect and can last up to a day. If an air pipe is inserted during surgery, your child might also experience a sore throat and tender nose. High fever is also a possibility.
How do I help my child recover from anesthesia?
Sleeping it off is the best way to take care of his or her fatigue and wooziness. While your child is sleeping, his or her body is working hard to overcome the lingering effects, and hopefully, they will wake up feeling better!
An appropriate diet helps ease the pain of eating, and limiting your child to liquids the first day is a good idea. Until complete recovery (or until your dentist advises) offer your child soft foods like bread, pudding, well-cooked vegetables, canned fruits, Jell-O and applesauce.