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Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Some extractions are done after a recommendation from your orthodontist to make space for other teeth.

Care of the Mouth after Extractions

Follow instructions given:
•  Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep.
•  The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
•  Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
•  Do not spit excessively.
•  Do not drink a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.
•  Do not drink through a straw.
•  Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

Bleeding after Extractions

- Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary.

Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again.

Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.

Pain after Extractions

- For discomfort, use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

Further information on extractions are available here.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if there are any questions.

Mouth guards

A properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child's smile. It will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe. It should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.

Ask us about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.


Oral habits such as finger sucking, grinding, and use of a pacifier are common and normal for infants and young children. When these habits persist through childhood, they can create long term problems.

At Portland Children's Dentistry, we provide an individualized approach for each child in evaluating and treating oral habits. We offer behavioral strategies or oral appliances for children who need help out growing these behaviors.

Space maintainers and retainers (Interceptive orthodontics)

One of the primary purposes of baby teeth is to hold the space for the developing adult teeth. If a baby tooth is extracted, the teeth on either side will drift into the space created by the missing tooth, which can lead to space loss and crowding. Space maintainers are used to hold space open for adult teeth after a baby tooth has been extracted. This helps to prevent space loss and avoid future problems related to crowding.

Retainers are another tool that pediatric dentists and orthodontists use. A few of the circumstances in which retainers are useful include crowding, habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, and protruding front teeth that are more susceptible to injury.


Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is widely distributed throughout nature. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, and corn cobs.

Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have showed a dramatic reduction in new cavities, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. This xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent.

To find gum or other products containing xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the Internet to find products containing 100% xylitol.


Teeth whitening or bleaching is a safe and effective way to address discoloration of permanent teeth. Teenagers and young adults frequently will request whitening after having braces removed.

Dental whitening may be accomplished by using either professional or at-home bleaching modalities. If you are curious about whether this is a good option for you or your child, ask us and we can talk about the options.

For more information: Policy on the Use of Dental Bleaching for Children

Adolescent Dentistry

Tongue Piercing

As facial piercings become more common, so do the consequences that are associated with them. We frequently see chipped teeth, receding gums, pain, swelling, and infection in patients with tongue, cheek, and lip piercings. Less common but far more significant consequences can include blood clots, blood poisoning, heart infections, brain abscess, and nerve damage (trigeminal neuralgia).

We recommend that teenagers find ways to express themselves in ways other than oral/facial jewelry. However, if someone insists on a piercing, make sure that the piercing shop has good hygiene habits. Do your research and be sure to ask what they use for sterilization procedures!

For more information: Policy on Oral Jewelry

Tobacco and E-cigarettes

Everyone knows that tobacco is associated with countless health problems. As dentists, we see the consequences of tobacco use first hand. Periodontal disease, poor wound healing, increased risk for cavities, increased risk of oral cancers, and BAD BREATH(!) are just a few of the concerns. Trust us… your dentist does not appreciate smelling smoke when he or she is doing an exam or cleaning.

Smokeless tobacco (dip, chew, snuff, etc.) can be just as harmful as cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco use is linked to oral cancers and gum disease.

Currently, many young people are experimenting with electronic cigarettes as alternative to traditional tobacco. While e-cigarettes do not have as many chemicals as cigarettes, they are still highly addictive. There effects on the oral cavity have not been researched yet.

For more information visit: Policy on Tabacco Use

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Portland Children's Dentistry does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services to patients or clients. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
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2323 NW Westover Road, Portland, OR 97210
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