It is hard to keep kids down – even when they have had a tooth removed. While you may be thankful that they feel great enough to run around after their dental procedure, you can’t help but remember the dentist’s aftercare instructions – keep heavy physical activity to a minimum for the two to three days following the extraction.
As you find things to do to keep them calm and relaxed for at least the next 48 hours, you may want to rule out swimming, too. Here’s why.
Why Children Need Tooth Extractions
It is easy to get nervous about a tooth extraction – especially when it is your child’s tooth that is being removed. Unfortunately, there are times when it is just necessary, such as:
Overcrowding: One of the reasons it is recommended for kids to see the dentist so young is to help address dental concerns early before they create bigger problems. So, when the dentist sees that your child’s mouth is running out of space – and permanent teeth are coming in – an extraction may be necessary.
Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can spread and make its way through the mouth, negatively impacting other teeth. Removing the decay – or the entire primary tooth – gives the child a greater chance at good oral health.
Injury or Trauma: Whether due to an accident or injury, anytime a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it may require extraction.
Impacted Tooth: A tooth that didn’t erupt properly may require extraction to reduce issues in the future.
What to Expect After Your Child’s Tooth Extraction
Healing at home is just as important as the dental extraction procedure itself, so it is important to follow the aftercare instructions given by the dental team from the moment you leave the office. Consider the below a reminder of the important steps you should be taking for aftercare.
Address pain. Once the local anesthetic wears off, there is a good chance some pain or minor discomfort may be felt. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help them feel better. If the pain seems to be too much and the over-the-counter medication isn’t working, then contact the dentist. Warm salt water rinses a few times each day can also help to reduce pain – and the chance of infection.
Soft foods. Stick to soft foods – and encourage your child to chew on the opposite side of the mouth to avoid disrupting the extraction site as it heals.
Relax. Your child should refrain from any physical activity or heavy exercise for at least two to three days following the extraction. However, returning to school and other daily activities right away should be fine.
Can a Child Swim After a Tooth Extraction?
It is not recommended that a child swims after tooth extraction for at least 24 hours, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This is especially necessary for those who put their heads or even just faces underwater – and there are a couple of reasons why.
There is an open wound in your child’s mouth and getting any water into the mouth while swimming can increase the chance of infection. Most importantly, blood clots form to stop the bleeding once a tooth has been extracted. This water and the pressure of going under can cause this blood clot to dislodge and cause excessive pain and bleeding. Should this happen, contact your dentist right away.
Learn More About Extractions and Keeping Your Child Safe
At DAFKO, we want to see our young patients thrive – even after tooth extraction. That means taking things easy for a couple of days.
If you would like to learn more about extractions and how to keep your child safe, contact us at 516-625-3806. Or, request an appointment online.