Parents who have undergone any type of oral surgery will know how difficult recovery sometimes is. This is why getting your toddler ready to undergo a dental procedure can understandably be a source of worry and stress.
Toddlers can be fussy under normal circumstances, so you want to ensure everything goes smoothly for something like oral surgery.
Your little one will probably be hungry and thirsty after their procedure, so it’s important to be prepared with the right foods and drinks so they can be as comfortable as possible. The team at AC pediatric dentistry is happy to share the following guide so you can know what soft foods are best for your toddler.
Oral Surgery and Your Toddler
There are a wide array of oral or facial problems that dentists need to address for very young children. Issues such as an underbite or a serious tooth infection can cause immediate pain, difficulties with eating, and increase the risk of problems later in life.
Pediatric oral surgery is a subspecialty in dentistry that can address problems in the jaw, hard or soft tissues of the mouth, and other nearby areas. Examples of common dental and jaw problems that require can require surgery for a toddler include:
- Jaw misalignment
- Tooth extractions
- Cleft lip or cleft palate
- Facial pain and or infection
- Dental injuries or facial trauma
- Tumors and cysts of the jaw or mouth
After any oral procedure, you will be given detailed instructions to help care for your little one, including which foods toddlers can eat, and which ones to avoid.
As you would probably guess, toddlers should only eat soft foods after any extensive dental work. Not only is your child’s mouth too sensitive for hard or crunchy foods, but soft foods are also generally safer for protecting the healing site.
Dentist-Approved Foods After Pediatric Oral Surgery
Before trying any soft food, always make sure your child is staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids. This can mean water, juice, or milk — just make sure he or she is drinking. While you should always be careful about sugar intake, if there is one time to splurge, it’s after oral surgery!
Your little one is likely very hungry, and getting some food in the tummy can help increase comfort and quell crankiness. Again, avoid anything hot, spicy, crunchy, crumbly, or food that could damage the area or get lodged somewhere it shouldn’t. This especially means no seeds or granola bars.
Instead, here are ten soft foods for toddlers that can help satisfy their appetite after oral surgery:
- Applesauce: If it’s the first thing you thought of, there’s a reason. Applesauce is very soft and can be a soothing and healthy first snack.
- Plain yogurt: Another standby. This is a smooth, bland food that can also have some protein.
- Baby food: Even if you’re trying to outgrow baby food, recovering from oral surgery is all about comfort. If your toddler wants baby food, don’t worry about it!
- Popsicles: The good news is that you can and should give your child a treat (or two) after the procedure. Popsicles are a perfect and yummy little ice pack for their sore mouth, but do tell your child to be careful about biting down.
- Ice cream: Another great cold, treat! Just make sure there are no crunchy ingredients or toppings.
- Milkshakes: Milkshakes can be good too, but you may need to trade the straw for a spoon if your post-surgical instructions tell you to avoid them.
- Mashed potatoes: Once you’re ready to move on to more substantial (and less sweet) foods, this is a common choice. Make sure there isn’t too much salt.
- Macaroni and cheese: This go-to toddler food is usually a great choice once they’re ready to take on more substantial offerings.
- Pasta: Another soft, bland choice. Stay away from tomato sauce as it can be acidic and chunky. Instead, serve it plain or with a little butter.
- Rice: Once your little one is ready to chew a little more, you can serve some rice. Make sure it is nice and soft.
When in doubt, check with your dental surgical provider or pediatric dentist about what foods are best, and which you should avoid.
Additional Oral Surgery Recovery Tips for Your Toddler
In addition to hydration and soft foods, your toddler needs rest and relaxation. Take care of yourself too. A calm environment where everyone is well-fed is essential to healing and recovery.
Follow any instructions for caring for the surgical site and administering medications. Don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions or concerns — that’s what we’re here for!
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!