Scheduling a dentist appointment is a scary prospect for many people, especially your children. Not only do visits often involve sharp instruments, but they are also used in one of the most sensitive areas of the human anatomy. However, taking proper care of your child’s oral health is essential to safeguard their overall health and comfort. Thankfully, dentists are equipped with numbing solvents to keep the more intense appointments as painless as possible. That being said, some people find it difficult to fully function or speak properly until the numbness has worn off.
If your child has an upcoming dental appointment that will require anesthesia, you may be concerned about how long your mouth will stay numb afterward.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question since different types of procedures require different amounts of anesthesia. In addition, other factors will come into play as to how long the numbing sensation will last: height, weight, and how fast the body metabolizes anesthesia.
It also depends on where in the mouth dental work is done. This is because the bottom jaw is a large nerve block that is more susceptible to pain and a location that controls sensations to more areas of the face.
Generally speaking, the mouth, tongue, cheeks, and lips can remain numb anywhere between two and five hours. Be mindful of the fact that drooling and slurred speech may also occur.
In addition, if your child gets hungry afterward, stick to softer foods, such as soups, smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, or ice cream to reduce the likelihood of injuring their tongue or the inside of their cheeks by chewing too hard.
The effects of anesthesia will wear off with increased blood flow. Therefore, doing physical activities such as going for a walk or even doing a couple of jumping jacks can help speed up the process.
Another way to promote blood flow to the area is to hold a warm compress close to the mouth. Test it with your hands first to make sure that it’s not too hot.
If after five hours, the area is still numb, contact your dentist to see if they can use an agent to reverse the effects of anesthesia.
Taking a child to the dentist can be a tiring, embarrassing, and frustrating experience. At AC Pediatric Dentistry, we understand this, and that’s why we want to make the experience pleasant and fun for children. Call us today or request an appointment online.