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African American girl showing her tongue

Frenectomies improve speech, dental health, eating and sleeping by removing tongue and lip ties. However, if you or your child needs tongue tie surgery (a frenectomy), you may be concerned about healing and if your dietary choices can interfere with it.

The South Carolina Tongue Tie team will explain everything to you in detail before the operation, including what you should and should not eat. Still, below are some examples, so you have an idea of what to expect.

Examples of What You Can and Cannot Eat

It is best to avoid anything spicy, hot or chewy, as these can all irritate. Also, avoid eating cookies, crusty bread, bagels, pretzels, popcorn, potato chips and any food that is difficult to chew, like deli meats, steak and poultry; avoid drinking alcohol. Give the mouth at least one week to heal before consuming any of these harmful items.

Cold, soft foods are most suitable after tongue-tie surgery. When administered carefully, cold drinks, ice or popsicles can help reduce swelling in the first 24 hours after surgery. Some soft food items that are safe to eat following tongue tie surgery include:

  • Applesauce
  • Eggs (soft-boiled, scrambled or egg salad)
  • Fish (tender white fish like sole or trout)
  • Freshly cooked vegetables
  • Fruit smoothies, protein shakes
  • Herbal tea
  • Hearty soups (lentil, split pea, cream of asparagus, minestrone)
  • Ice cream, milkshakes
  • Juices (apple, cranberry, grape, etc.; however, avoid citrus juices for a few days)
  • Jell-O
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal, cream of wheat
  • Pasta
  • Popsicles
  • Pudding, custard
  • Rice, risotto
  • Soft fruits (papaya, banana, etc.)
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt

Start with clear fluids like lukewarm broth, juice, tea and Jell-O after surgery and gradually work your way up to solid foods. Remember that optimum nourishment is crucial for proper healing.

Additional Tongue Tie Surgery Guidelines

Minor discomfort after surgery is expected and can be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen (200 mg).

Even though lasers are antibacterial, you may want to swab the surgical site with a 0.12% chlorhexidine rinse or gently rinse it with the solution.

While the soft tissue is healing, you should still care for your teeth as usual, but you should be careful.

The surgical site will seem like a soft white scab for the first seven to ten days of recovery. It is not an infection, just a protective coating for the recovering soft tissue. Let it rest; do not touch it. It will disappear as the treated area heals.

A short post-op visit is needed 7 to 10 days after the tongue tie surgery to assess recovery.

If you follow our instructions, recovery should be straightforward. Call us so we can answer any questions about the process and schedule your appointment.

Posted on behalf of South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: 843-654-0459


Monday - Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm

Our Patient Reviews

South Carolina Tongue Tie Center

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 5 reviews

  • Talia H.

    Great experience with my visit to Dr. McPhearson and Carrie, hygienist. Dr. McPhearson is so patient, kind, and a perfectionist. She cares deeply that you have a great dental visit every time.

  • Maham A.

    I saw Dr. Caitlin McPherson and she is absolutely amazing. Not only does she make sure that everything is beautiful and functional, but she also treats every patient and their concerns with the utmost kindness.

  • Frankie W.

    Dr. McPherson is absolutely the best I highly recommend her and her team for all of your dental needs.

  • Phillip R.

    Everyone is so nice and they all seem to have good comradery. Mallory, Taylor, and Dr. Caitlin McPherson definitely know what they're doing!

  • Kyle A.

    The staff is always friendly & Dr McPherson does a great job every time!

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