Parents often choose to schedule their children’s surgeries over summer vacation to minimize the number of school days they must miss during recovery. As we move toward this season, our highly-experienced doctors provide insights into what to expect and “pro tips” for a speedy recovery.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom tooth removal is so common that it’s basically a coming of age experience for any teen. For this reason, you should get a consultation before your child leaves for college. It’s easier to help them through the recovery process from home rather than while they’re away at school.
What to Expect: Your child’s mouth will be tender for the first couple of days. Although each individual is different, most feel better by the third day. They will need to eat soft foods that require no chewing for about a week to ensure their wounds heal quickly and correctly
Pro Tip: “The silver lining for your teen is that they can have all the milkshakes and ice cream they want during recovery from this surgery. Just remember, no straws for the first few days,” says Dr. John Wessel, Oral Surgeon at the Rock Hill location Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery. “Also, ask for Exparel,” he says. “It’s a non-opioid pain medication to reduce the pain for the first three days. Parents love Exparel. Some even call the office to ask where this medication was when their other children had wisdom teeth removed.”
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Let’s face it – Kids can be mean to each other sometimes. For some children, an otoplasty, also called “ear pinning” may help relieve some of the stress and trauma they face from having protruding ears. Having this procedure done over the summer allows them to start the new school year with improved self-esteem.
What to Expect: Your child will experience bruising around the ears for 2-3 weeks, but bandages are only required for a few days. After only two or three days, normal activities can be performed.
Pro Tip: “Use a very soft pillow,” Waheed Mohamed, DDS, MD, oral and cosmetic surgeon at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery advises. “The pain associated with this operation is minimal and can be easily treated with oral medication. But, it can make a huge difference in your child’s confidence,” he says.
Extra teeth often get in the way of the growth of adult teeth. They can cause crowding and make it impossible for the child’s canine teeth to fill in on their own. Having these issue cleared up before the canines develop too much is key to successful treatment.
What to Expect: In most cases, orthodontists and oral surgeons work together to get impacted teeth to grow through the gum surface correctly. In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time. Once the tooth is exposed, the oral surgeon will bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth so it can be attached to braces and guided into place with rubber bands.
Pro Tip: Clearing the path of impacted teeth before the age of 13-14 can help allow nature to grow teeth through the gums on their own.
The experienced team at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery is happy to provide you with a consultation today. We want to see your child have a happy and healthy smile!