Instructions after local anesthetic

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Your child has received a local anesthetic, possibly for the first time. This anesthetic numbs the tissues of the lips, the cheeks, and sometimes the tongue of the area involved. This may be a puzzling or curious sensation for a child. Care must be taken that your child does NOT bite, suck, or chew his lips or tongue, otherwise laceration or swelling of the tissues may occur. While this is not serious, it is most uncomfortable. PLEASE watch your child very closely, until the numbness disappears: upper jaw approximately 2 hours, lower jaw 3-4 hours. If the child bites the numb area, it usually occurs shortly after leaving the office. Your child may drink right away, but should avoid eating until the anesthetic has worn off.