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Our Denver Pediatric Dentist Explains How to Prevent a Dry Socket

A dry socket is one of the most painful things that can happen after a dental surgery, and unfortunately, it can affect children as well as adults. If your child is scheduled to have a tooth extraction, wisdom teeth removal, or other type of oral surgery, it’s important to monitor him or her closely for the following signs of infection. Read on to learn how to reduce your child’s risk of developing a dry socket.

What Is a Dry Socket?

When your dentist removes a tooth, a blood clot is supposed to form in the empty socket. This blood clot facilitates growth of new tissue, and helps protect the underlying bones and nerves. In some instances, the clot never forms at all; more often, however, the clot forms but is disrupted before healing is complete. In both cases, the surgical site will become irritated, inflamed, and very painful. As bacteria and food debris accumulate in the now-open socket, an infection could potentially develop.

Tips to Protect Your Child from Developing a Dry Socket

While nothing can totally eliminate the chance that a dry socket will develop, following the steps below will greatly reduce the likelihood that one will occur.

  • Do not allow your child to use straws or sippy cups. The suction is the most common culprit in dislodging blood clots.
  • Help your child avoid chewing or sucking their fingers, lips, and cheeks.
  • Encourage your child to chew on the opposite side from their surgical site for at least 24 hours following surgery, and longer if possible.
  • Don’t give your child sharp or hard foods, such as crackers and chips, that may dig into their blood clot.
  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water and eats soft, nutrient-rich foods.
  • Limit vigorous activity, such as swimming, jumping, running, and roughhousing, in the days following surgery.
  • Do not let your child vigorously rinse or spit for the first 24 hours. However, after the first day, help them disinfect the infection site by gently rinsing with 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water.

What to Do If Your Child Develops a Dry Socket

If you believe your child has developed a dry socket, call our Denver emergency dentist number immediately. Our team can carefully clean the area and protect the socket with a special dressing. We will also prescribe necessary medications to reduce your child’s pain and inflammation.

Need a Pediatric Dentist in Denver? Call Denver Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is experiencing a dry socket or other emergency dental condition, please call our Denver dentist office immediately. Our team has the skills and experience to fix the toughest dental issues. To schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Denver, Rutherfordton, Union, Forest City, and nearby areas, please fill out our easy contact form.