A frenectomy is a procedure used to treat babies or children who are lip or tongue-tied. Tongue-tied means that the frenum, the tissue between the tongue and the bottom of the mouth, is too tight, causing restricted movement of the tongue. Some babies are born with the condition, and it can keep them from being able to nurse properly and may also affect speech later on. A similar condition can occur with the lips, where the tissue connecting the inside of the lips to the gums is too tight.
A frenectomy can be done to loosen the frenum and allow the tongue and lips to move more freely. The procedure is done using a dental laser, which is the minimally invasive approach. There is only a short recovery period where the child may need to be careful when eating. What can a child eat after a frenectomy? Here are some suggestions.
Foods To Feed Your Child After a Frenectomy
In the first 24-48 hours following a frenectomy your child may have some mild discomfort in the area that was treated. For children who are already eating solid food, it is best that they eat a diet consisting of soft foods while they recover. Some examples include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Baby food
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
- Any fruits or vegetables that can be pureed
- Soup without chunks (be sure to let cool)
It is important for children to have plenty of protein as they recover, so be sure to include scrambled eggs, avocado, and dairy products. Be careful not to allow too much sugar during the recovery period as it can have a negative effect on healing and encourage poor eating habits going forward.
Foods to Avoid After a Frenectomy
For the first few days following a frenectomy, it would be best to avoid any foods that could irritate the tender areas of the mouth. Such foods include:
- Hot foods
- Spicy foods
- Salty foods
- Crunchy or hard foods
- Suckers and hard candy
- Anything with seeds
Be sure to allow hot foods to cool until they are lukewarm before allowing your child to eat them. Avoid spicy foods altogether as they can irritate the inflamed tissue from the procedure. Salt may also sting the soft tissues of the mouth that were affected by the frenectomy. Don’t allow them to eat anything crunchy or hard that could damage the healing tissues. Also avoid fruits with seeds that could get stuck in the soft tissues of the mouth.
Is it Safe to Nurse My Baby After a Frenectomy?
Breastfed babies are free to nurse right away following a frenectomy. The act of nursing aids in healing and soothes babies. Breast milk contains healing properties that go right to work both inside and outside, helping your baby heal from the procedure. Babies who are not yet eating solid foods need to nurse frequently to get the nutrients they need, and this still applies after a frenectomy.
Tender Smiles 4 Kids Provides Frenectomies
If your baby has trouble nursing or if your child has noticeable speech problems, they should be evaluated for potential tongue or lip-tie. After a frenectomy, these problems work themselves out so that babies and children can grow and develop naturally.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.