My child bit their lip after their dental procedure. What now?

If your child has come to Jordan Valley Dental for a dental procedure more complicate than their regular cleaning, it is likely that our dentists and team will use a local anesthesia to numb their tooth or teeth and make their visit more comfortable. This anesthesia will typically wear out within two or three hours of your visit, but if it is your child’s first time experiencing numbness in their mouth, it may be difficult for them to know when they are biting their own lip, tongue or cheek. To avoid this, our team recommends your child does not eat anything that may need to be chewed until feeling has completely returned to their mouth. If your child is hungry, liquid foods, such as applesauce, yogurt or smoothies, work best.

It can be difficult to monitor your child after their procedure to discourage lip biting if they are wearing a mask, so it is important to remind them directly not to bite or chew on their lip if it still feels numb. If your child does bite their lip, the lip may begin to swell significantly, develop an ulcer or bleed. These symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for an allergic reaction or infection, but if it is a bite, it will heal without antibiotics in a week or so. Here is what you can do in the meantime:

  • Hold an ice pack on the swollen lip or cheek for 15 minutes at a time, with a 15-minute rest, for about an hour. You can do this tree times a day for the first three days.
  • Use over-the-counter TYLENOL® or Motrin® as directed.
  • Make sure the area is kept clean.
  • Help your child avoid spicy foods, tomato-based foods, citrus juices or any other foods that may irritate the bite.
  • Rinse with salt water two or three times a day for the first three days.
  • If needed, apply over-the-counter topical numbing ointment. Make sure the same biting mistake does not occur again.

If your child shows significant bleeding that cannot be controlled, or if the wound does not heal by itself within a week, call our office at 801-282-2323. Our dentists, Dr. Brigham G. Colton, and our team at Jordan Valley Dental are here to help.