Post-Operative Instructions For Local Anesthetic

Dr Clint Rau

At Young Smiles we offer local anesthetic in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Our dentists may use it to help your child remain comfortable while they are at our office. If your child has never experienced local anesthetic before they may have questions about it and there are things that you can do to make their recovery easier. We suggest that you review the information below before your child’s appointment with Dr. Clint Rau or Dr. Thao T. Nguyen. If you have questions please call Young Smiles at 920-652-1100 and speak with a member of our team.

Post-Operative Instructions For Local Anesthetic
When we use local anesthetic, we are doing it to protect your child from pain. People often call this being numb or using Novocain. We usually tell your child that their lip and tooth will be “asleep”.

We technically use a material called Lidocaine with epinephrine. The Lidocaine gives you a “numb” feeling. The epinephrine is a naturally occurring material in your body that makes the Lidocaine work better. The epinephrine can make your heart race for a short period of time.

Most of the time, your child will do very well with the injection and the dental work. Afterwards, many complain that the area hurts or they do not like the feeling. This is normal. As a parent, we want you to help them understand that being numb, or having their tooth asleep, after dental work is normal. We call this normalizing the behavior. Please, tell them it is normal and that it will go away. If you have been numb before please, share your experience with your child to comfort them and let them know that the numb feeling will go away.

We will tell your child that it takes about 4-5 hours for the feeling to go away. We often tell younger children that it takes two full movies for the feeling to go away. This gives them a time frame that they understand better.

When your child is numb it is easy for them to damage the lip or skin near the numb feeling. It is important that your child is allowed to experience this and not be afraid of being numb, so we want them to touch it gently. We tell them that they can touch it gently with one finger and/or lick it all they want. However, they should not chew or suck on it. They should not scratch it or rub on it very hard.

Food is really important. Ideally, you will have fed your child before the appointment. If you did not, they can eat after the work is done. However, your child should not chew. So they may have applesauce, yogurt, pudding, soft serve ice cream (no cone), broth and other items that do not need to be chewed. Chewing will increase the risk that your child will cause trauma to their sleeping lip.

You may give Motrin® or Tylenol® as needed for perceived pain.

If your child does bite their lip, there will be a white/purple area on the inside of the lip and they will have a fat lip. This will heal up over time.

We want your child to have the best possible experience, so we use multiple techniques to get your child numb. We use a TV to distract your child from the experience. We use nitrous oxide to help your child to not care as much about discomfort. Dr Rau will also use other distraction techniques if he thinks it is necessary.

Dr Clint Rau