SuperKids Pediatric Office

What Not to Do After Dental Sedation

Sedation is a standard practice in pediatric dentistry because it allows children to relax rather than feel stressed and scared during unfamiliar dental care. However, parents need to participate in preparing their child for the dentist visit based on the type of sedation that they choose. Getting the best results with sedation dentistry may require preparation as early as the night before the appointment. Other types of sedation may only require preparations right before the child is due at the dentist. Discuss any questions you still have about this practice with your child’s dentist so you’re up-to-date on the facts about the medication used.

Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are three main types of sedation offered by today’s pediatric dentist near me:

  • Nitrous oxide, a flavorless and odorless gas that has few side effects and wears off quickly after the procedure is done
  • Oral sedation, which involves sedative medication administered by mouth as a liquid or pill
  • IV sedation, considered the most total form of sedation available for highly anxious patients.

Since nitrous oxide and oral sedation tend to leave the patient away but calm, they tend to require less extensive preparations. IV sedation is a more total form of relaxation that requires greater preparation from the patient and their parents.

When is Sedation Recommended?

For children with severe dental phobias, autism, and sensory-processing disorders, sedation may be recommended from the start. Other patients may only need sedation for more extensive treatments like filling cavities and root canals but rarely need it during routine cleaning. We’ll help you make the decision on when to use sedation and when to try encouraging your child to sit through a dental procedure without it. This creates a comfortable and relaxed experience so the child doesn’t learn to fear the dentist.

Preparing for Nitrous Oxide

There is no need for long-term fasting from food and drink with this method of sedation. However, parents should avoid giving their children any drink, food, or snacks within the 2 to 3 hour window right before the appointment. This will prevent any chance of vomiting or other issues. It’s also a good idea for dental treatment in general since it gives the mouth a chance to rinse away food particles before it’s time to see the dentist. Don’t give the child any other anxiety medications or sedatives right before the treatment unless the dentist and prescribing doctor have agreed that it’s a good choice. Make sure to coordinate this information before the day of the dental appointment. Don't delay the decisions on what type of sedation to use until your child is already in the dentist's chair since it may require communication with other doctors.

Preparing for Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is easy to take right before the appointment. Depending on the medication, don’t give your child any food or liquids from midnight the night before or from the morning before the treatment. Your dentist will tell you how long to withhold food and liquids to prevent any complications. There is also a chance of interactions with other medications your child takes. Discuss this with the dentist and any other doctors your child sees to determine the best way to handle this depending on the medication.

Preparing for IV Sedation

IV sedation has the strongest effect on the patient, so it also tends to require the most preparation. You have to make sure to avoid all food and drinks, even a minor snack, from midnight or even 24 hours before the procedure. It can be tricky to convince a child to that long without their favorite juice or crackers. Yet it’s essential for safety during sedation. Make sure to keep the child well-fed and extra hydrated in the days leading up to the dental procedure so the waiting period has a minimal effect on their health.

What Not to Do After Dental Sedation

No matter the level of sedation dentistry in Mt Vernon your child needs, they’ll feel sleepy and confused after the procedure. Nitrous oxide tends to wear off in just a few hours, while the other types of sedation may last the rest of the day. Make sure your child has a chance to rest and recover in a quiet environment after their visit to a pediatric dentist in Sterling VA. Keeping the experience positive will encourage them to continue seeing the dentist over the course of their life.

Find a reliable sedation dentistry in Sterling VA that makes you feel comfortable with the entire process by turning to us here at Super Kids Dentistry. We’re dedicated to setting a higher standard for pediatric dental care in the DC area. We can answer any questions you still have and help you prepare your child for a sedation visit the right way.

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We are excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of our fifth Superkids office in Mt Vernon, VA. Accepting new patients starting January 16th, 2023!

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