If you're here, you're either thinking of having some type of dental work or oral surgery done, or are looking for after-care advice. First, let me make this perfectly clear:
I am NOT a dentist or oral surgeon, nor a dietician.
Below you'll find some ideas for soft food and/or liquid diets. As I said, I'm not a dietician. These foods were ones that I happened to enjoy while recuperating from various surgeries. Feel free to adapt these ideas to your own special needs and desires.
After my various surgeries, I was on a liquid/soft food diet for about 2-3 weeks. You may want to take a multi-vitamin supplement during this time as well. I also found that eating 5-6 times a day, in small amounts, was sufficient.
:: First things first: Buy a blender. It doesn't have to be a real expensive one, with all kinds of bells and whistles on it. I bought a very nice one at Wal-Mart for under $30.00. I wouldn't recommend using a food processor. They chop, slice and dice wonderfully, but you won't get the consistency you can with a blender.
:: Plan some meal ideas and go grocery shopping. Use your imagination and come up with a number of different meal ideas. You don't want to be sitting at home, recuperating and healing on a liquid/soft food diet that consists of eating the same thing day after day.
:: If you don't already have some, you may want to purchase some Pyrex custard dishes. These are a nice serving size, and work great for puddings, pie fillings, gelatin, etc. They work great in the microwave or oven to heat things up, and they're easy to clean.
:: I bought a package of plastic spoons. It seems like I went through all my spoons in just a day and they were piling up in the sink. I really like the disposable idea.
:: The day before surgery, prepare some food items. Most people don't feel like cooking after oral surgery. It's easier to just go to the refrigerator and get what you want. I prepared gelatin, puddings, baked some pumpkin pie filling in custard cups, etc.
:: First of all, a liquid diet isn't just broth and juice. Be inventive!
:: Have a variety of juices on hand. Orange, pineapple, grape, cranberry, tomato, and vegetable are all great, but look at the others on the juice aisle. There are a variety of nectars available that taste great! I bought single serving cans so I didn't have a lot of open containers sitting in the fridge.
:: For broth, I bought chicken, beef, and vegetable bouillion paste. It's available on the soup aisle. The flavor seems to be better than the plain cubes.
:: Flavored milk! I loved chocolate milk, but pick and choose to suit your taste. You can buy it premade, or buy the syrups and add to plain milk. Try adding some vanilla flavoring to plain milk for a change. Also, try Instant Breakfast. It comes in a variety of flavors.
:: Fruit Smoothies: Strawberry, Banana, Grape . . . you choose. Check the recipe page link below for specific instructions and ingredients.
:: Orange Julius! A great tasting beverage and it's quick to make. A number of different selections are listed on the recipe page.
:: Milkshakes and malts taste delicious after oral surgery. There are a variety of recipes and ideas listed in the recipe section.
SOFT FOODS DIET
:: A soft food diet gives you a bit more texture and substance during recovery. Remember that the food should be soft and not require chewing. Avoid anything with seeds, or foods like rice, coconut, and small pieces of nuts! You don't want those getting between the gum and denture.
:: Hot cereals such as Malt-O-Meal, Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice, etc. are good. Try to avoid oatmeal. The oatmeal granules get between the gum and denture and are irritating at first.
:: Yogurts, puddings, baked pie fillings, etc.
:: Mashed potatoes, either plain, with butter, or with gravy taste great. I used Instant Potato Buds and low fat milk to make them, adding salt to taste. I bought a variety of gravy in jars (chicken, turkey, beef, onion) and kept them in the refrigerator.
:: Baked potatoes: Scrub the potato and bake in the microwave or oven. Top with seasonings, butter, sour cream, cheese sauce, salsa . . . you name it. Avoid toppings like bacon or chives.
:: Potato soup, blended to remove chunks, was great. I added (believe it or not!) a bit of Ranch Dressing and a tablespoon of cream cheese. It was delicious!
:: Cheese Soup with Salsa tasted good, as did Refried Beans with melted cheese and salsa.
:: I craved a Taco Bell Burrito one night for some reason, and my husband went and got one for me. I ate the inside of the burrito with a spoon! Ignore the tortilla.
:: Sweet Potatoes, either baked or candied. To "candy" them, drain off all juice and place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle with white and brown sugar, and add cinnamon to taste. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Mash with a fork to eat.
:: Steamed Carrots tasted good to me. I steamed them very soft, then added butter, honey and a touch of Orange Juice. Any steamed vegetable works well. Just season them as you wish.
:: Macaroni and Cheese: I found the Stouffer's frozen individual servings worked best. The cheese flavor is wonderful and the macaroni is soft. Mash with a fork to avoid chewing.
:: Don't laugh at this one, but Spaghetti-O's. Heat in the microwave and top with some American Cheese.
:: Lipton Cup of Soup was great in between meals. I used the Cream of Chicken variety and just zapped water in the microwave to heat it. Add the dry packet and stir really well to get the lumps out. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken.
:: I wanted a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, but knew I couldn't chew it. My solution? I took a small plate and put a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter on it, and some jam. I used a spoon and took very small bits into my mouth. It satisfied my craving and kept me busy for a while. (Also, try Peanut Butter and Honey.)
:: Split Pea Soup, without any ham. Also, Cream of Mushroom, Chicken, Celery, etc. Any cream soup works well and is very filling.
:: Scrambled eggs were good, but I waited until about a week after surgery. They can be mashed with the tongue against the roof of the mouth.
:: My oral surgeon told me I could eat anything I wanted, as long as it was soft or blended, and didn't contain seeds. My solution? My blender! I blended a cheeseburger with fries, some homemade spaghetti, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, tuna casserole, and a frozen turkey dinner with dressing. Break the food up into small pieces and place in the blender. Add beef or chicken stock, or milk, depending on the food, and blend to desired consistency. It may not look pretty, but it tastes great!
:: Use your imagination and you'll come up with some great ideas!
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