Taking care of your child after a tooth extraction can be challenging, especially when it comes to figuring out what to give your child to eat or drink. Your child needs the fluids and nutrients since they haven’t had anything to eat or drink since the night before they had their tooth pulled. Choosing the right foods can help your child’s healing process go smoothly.
Foods Your Child can Eat after Tooth Extraction
Fruit juices and other liquids
Apple, orange and cranberry juices are a good start because that they provide much-needed fluids and vitamins. Fruit juices are high in sugar, but the extra sugar can give your child some quick energy.
Do not let your child use a straw or sippy cup. Sucking on a straw or sippy cup can pull the blood clot out of place, potentially causing a painful condition known as dry socket.
Popsicles work like a temporary ice pack that reduces discomfort. These frozen treats will also help your child avoid biting their cheek, tongue or lips that may still be numb from the local anesthetic administered by the dentist.
Jell-O, applesauce, smooth yogurt
These foods provide more substance than juice and popsicles, and yet they are easy to swallow without chewing.
Milkshakes, ice cream
Ice cream and ice cream products, such as milkshakes, are a great reward. They are also easy to consume, and their coldness helps reduce any lingering discomfort.
Your child may begin eating soft foods several hours after the procedure or even the next day, as long as they can chew comfortably. Encourage your child to chew on the side of their mouth opposite the tooth extraction. They can resume chewing on both sides of their mouth when it feels comfortable for them.
Soft foods include pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese.
Foods to Avoid after a Tooth Extraction
To speed healing and avoid injury, your child should avoid certain food and drinks after tooth extraction. The effects of the local anesthesia used in the tooth extraction can cause numbness for several hours after the procedure; this numbness can increase the risk that a child will bite or burn their tongue or cheek without realizing it.
Avoid giving your child hot chocolate, hot milk, and hot tea until the local anesthetic has completely worn off.
Like hot liquids, hot foods pose a burn risk while the treatment area is still numb. Hot foods also pose a choking risk while your child’s mouth is still numb. Allow cooked foods to cool completely before giving them to your child. Better still – stick to cold foods until the numbing effects of anesthesia have completely worn off.
Hard, crunchy foods
Crackers, cookies, chips, and nuts may be too abrasive on the swollen and tender tissue inside a child’s mouth after tooth extraction.
Taking a stepwise approach to eating and drinking can help your child recover and from tooth extraction faster. Every child is different, so your child may progress quickly or slowly from cold juices to a normal diet. Your pediatric dentist can help you determine the best foods to feed your child after getting a tooth extraction.