Patient Education

Before your Appointment

You do not need to be at Kangaroo Smiles for long to know that we use kid-friendly language and use examples that all kids can understand.  We often replace words which can potentially scare children with friendlier ones. For Example:

Shot / Needle– These words can quickly turn a happy cooperative child into a child that is fearful. We either say nothing at all or that we are using “sleepy drops” to help the sugar bugs fall asleep. We explain that they may feel “cold” and “hard” next to the tooth.

Drill–  We use the term “water whistle”, because of the loud whistling noise and water that “helps the sugar bugs come out”

Pulling, or Extracting a tooth– We often replace this by explaining that we have to “help wiggle your tooth out because the tooth fairy wants it back”

Laughing Gas –  We call this “ice cream air” because of its sweet smell. We work with kid’s imaginations by allowing them to pick whatever flavor they want. We also explain that the air will make them feel “floaty or tickly”.

After having a dental extraction, it is important to remember a few things to help keep your child comfortable.

  1. Avoid straws, sippy cups, or “sucking” motions
  2. Popsicles or anything cold will help reduce any discomfort
  3. Maintain a soft diet, for example: soup, Jello, pudding
  4. An over the counter pain medication can be given for pain
  5. Continue to brush your child’s teeth like normal. The cleaner their mouth, the faster the healing.
When baby teeth are lost before they are supposed to naturally come out, a space maintainer can help prevent the teeth from shifting. They can help prevent space lose so the adult teeth have room to come in normally.

These appliances are cemented into your child’s mouth. At your routine checkups, we will evaluate the space maintainer, and we will let you know when is the right time to remove it.

Children usually adapt very quickly to their space maintainers, and after a short period, they forget it is there.  It’s important to brush and keep the area around the space maintainer clean, just as you would any other tooth.

To prevent the space maintainer from coming loose, avoid foods that are sticky such as gum, caramel, and laughy taffy.  Foods like this can loosen the band or pull the appliance off. Also, please remind your child not to play with it, push on it with their tongue, or try to pull it out of their mouth. If the space maintainer comes loose or if your child tells you something has changed, then make an appointment so we can evaluate it.

The local anesthesia “sleepy drops” used will make your child’s lip, cheek, and tongue numb for about 3 hours. Watch that your child does not bite, suck, or pinch any part of their mouth.  Maintain a soft diet (for example: jello, pudding) to help prevent injury.

Signs/Symptoms that your child may have injured their mouth:

  • Red, white, yellow, or dark discoloration.
  • Swelling both inside and outside of the mouth.
  • Difficulty eating/drinking, or speaking.
  • Pain and discomfort.

What to do if you feel that your child has injured their mouth:

  • An ice pack will help reduce swelling.
  • An over the counter pain medication will help with pain. Be careful to follow the directions on the bottle to prevent possible overdose of medication.  Continue to give your child the medication until they are able to eat/drink comfortably.
  • Warm salt water rinses will help with healing.
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods.
  • Continue to brush your child’s teeth to maintain a clean oral environment.
  • Encourage your child to drink water to keep hydrated.
  • It will take several weeks for complete healing to occur.