Lip Biting After Dental Treatment Becomes More Prevalent During COVID-19

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What to watch for after your little one has dental treatment.

Lip biting, especially for children, has always been a potential complication of any dental treatment involving local anesthesia.  When a child’s mouth has been numbed for a dental procedure it is difficult for them to know, or even feel, if they are biting their lip or the inside of their cheek.  Not surprisingly, this complication has become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic as children are wearing face masks coming and going from the dental office and it is significantly more difficult for a parent to discern whether or not their child has bitten their lip through a face mask.

After a dental procedure involving anesthetic it is important that both children and their caregivers understand that for the next 2-3 hours, or until the numbness goes away, that children need to be very careful not to accidentally bite their lip or cheek.  No food or drink should be given during this time. To best ensure this doesn’t happen it is ideal to remain in a situation where mask wearing isn’t required so that parents can better observe their child’s mouth.

If your child does bite or chew on their lip or cheek, a yellowish looking traumatic ulcer may form as the wound heals.  This may take up to two weeks to go away.  During this time, it is important to keep the area clean, maintain normal oral care of brushing and flossing, and avoid anything that might irritate the wound such as citrus juices or tomato-based foods.  If your little one is in pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given as needed.

If you have any questions or complications, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office 973-989-7970.