We talked not too long ago about dental emergencies but one thing we haven’t spoken about in any detail is pain management. The unfortunate side effect of some dental work (even though we don’t like to admit it) is that some discomfort is possible. So today, we thought we would address the issue of how to help both adults and children cope after dental procedures.
Realistically, a number of concerns must be considered when discussing medications and coping techniques. Additionally, while we don’t want to sound like the fine print on a legal advertisement, it should be noted that every patient is different and our blog today addresses general information and should not be construed as medical advice for your personal situation. With that said, we also invite regular readers of our Brampton Brinkley blog to share their innovative techniques for managing pain in the comments section. Perhaps you have a Babba, Oma or Nonna who always had some good old-fashioned advice, tried and true methods that work. If you did – let us know!
First and foremost, if you have any allergies, these must take priority. Often people don’t think the Dentist needs to know about your medical history but this is in fact, an integral part of your treatment. Some medications can cause issues with your teeth and some tooth problems can cause health issues. When it comes to treatment you may have to start or stop certain medications. Additionally, when your Dentist prescribes something for your post treatment care, he/she must be aware of your complete medical history, including allergies, so that he/she can prescribe appropriately. Latex is a concern for many people these days. Brinkley Dental (like most offices) stocks latex free equipment to ensure those with a latex allergy stay safe but patients must let us know prior to treatment! Make sure your dental care provider is aware of any and all allergies you may have, including to drugs that might be prescribed after a procedure.
Most dental procedures shouldn’t result in an excessive amount of pain and certainly, if you still have significant discomfort after 24-48 hours you could be experiencing infection. How you should manage during those first post-operative hours is: be kind to yourself. Take over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or Tylenol. Follow the directions carefully but don’t be afraid to take medications like this. “Staying ahead” of the pain through regular dosage will help you to manage through it. During the first 24 hours, apply ice to the affected area, making sure to place a light material between your skin and the ice. Keep your head elevated while resting and limit your activity. If you are an adult, take the remainder of the day off work, no need to be a hero and if you are caring for a child, this is the one time it might be ok to relax your rules about TV and let them get comfy on the couch and watch. It acts as both a method of keeping them calm and is a great distraction! Over the second 24 hour period, switch from cold to warm packs being careful that they are not hot, just warm. Adults should avoid alcohol for a few days post procedure and smoking is never a good idea. For both adults and kids alike, keep the foods packed with nutrition and protein but gentle on the mouth. It might be tempting to eat nothing but ice cream and sure, a little cool treat once won’t hurt but better to make your calories count with soft foods like bananas, scrambled eggs, applesauce, oatmeal or pasta. Avoid anything “sharp” or crunchy like chips, nuts and other foods that could irritate or get stuck in the affected area.
As with any medication, finish your prescription even if you are feeling better. Your mouth is a very sensitive area and it’s important to be careful reintroducing foods back into your regular diet. If you are still experiencing significant discomfort after 5 days it is most likely time to give your Dentist a call. The team here at Brinkley hopes you never actually have to follow this advice but if you do, we hope it’s as good as any advice Babba would have given you! In the meantime, as always, we invite you to call or visit us anytime and remind you ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”