After an extraction - what to do?


Make certain that your child continues to bite on the gauze pads for 15 to 20 minutes after leaving our office. The biting pressure on the gauze pad helps to stop the bleeding and allows better clotting. When the initial gauze becomes overly wet, use the extra gauze that we have provided. Fold one or two pads together into fourths and place them over the extraction site. Then have your child bite firmly.

A slight oozing of blood for a day is normal. If there is excessive bleeding, please moisten a dark tea bag and have your child bite down on the tea bag for 3-5 minutes until the oozing has subsided. You can also moisten gauze in the dark tea solution and then have your child bite down on the gauze. Tea leaves contain tannic acid which helps to stop the bleeding. Sometimes, a little blood mixed with saliva can appear to be excessive bleeding.

Have your child avoid rinsing his/her mouth for one day, and avoid spitting or using a straw because this may disturb the clot. Maintain a liquid diet for the first 4 hours and then a soft diet for the remainder of the day. Avoid hot foods. Give your child soft foods such as Jell-O, soups, pasta & noodles, eggs, yogurt, pudding, apple sauce, cheeses, mashed potatoes etc. Avoid foods such as rice, popcorn & nuts as these can get into the clot and slow the healing.

CAUTION: Your child’s lip, tongue, and cheek are numb. The numbness generally will last about 1-2 hours. Some normal swelling may occur because of treatment. Be watchful that your child does not accidentally bite his/her numb cheek, tongue, lip, or scratch around his/her nose. Biting can cause severe swelling of the lip, cheek, tongue, or face (See our page about Bitten Lips). This can happen very quickly so please watch your child very carefully for the first 1 - 2 hours after the appointment.

If there is any discomfort after the numbness wears off, give your child the appropriate dosage of Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Motrin (Ibuprofen).


Doctor Wang, Doctor Perea-Corkish, Doctor Gerodias and the other Doctors of Discovery Pediatric Dentistry make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any results to be obtained from use of the information on this page. We cannot diagnose or treat patients over the Internet. Information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical, and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist, and other necessary and qualified health care providers can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

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