Many procedures can be performed with the use of local anesthesia, commonly referred to as “freezing”. Local anesthesia numbs the area where the work will be performed, and typically will wear off within a few hours. After placing topical anesthetic to desensitize the injection site, a syringe of the local anesthesia is administered.
Care of the mouth after local anesthetics
If the procedure was done in the lower jaw, the tongue, teeth, lip, and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep. If it was done in the upper jaw, the lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
Children often don’t understand the effects of local anesthesia and might chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue or cheek. These reactions can cause minor irritation or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
Monitor your child closely for about two hours following the appointment, and keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off. Please do not hesitate to call our office with any questions.
Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what is commonly called “laughing gas” to relax the child for the treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. The blend is given through a small breathing mask placed over the child’s nose. The gas allows them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.
The Canadian Dental Association recognizes this technique as safe and effective for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, non-addictive, easily taken, and with normal breathing, quickly eliminated from the body.
Prior to your child’s appointment
- Please inform of us of any change to your child’s health or medical condition.
- Tell us of any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child, as it could limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
- Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.