No one is immune from a TMJ disorder, not even children. So as the school year fast approaches, we thought now would be a great time to explore school lunch options for our young TMJ patients.
It’s important for parents to be mindful of jaw-friendly foods for kids with TMJ/TMD. After all, TMJ pain and inflammation can be distracting for kids who are trying to learn in the classroom.
Here’s how to prepare.
Lunch tip #1: Buy containers meant to keep fresh foods cold. Fresh, healthy foods are important for all kids, and especially for kids with health conditions like TMD. Many processed foods provide little to no nutrients, and chips, crackers, and similar snacks are hard on the jaw. Pick up some containers that include built in ice packs or insulation. Gone are the days of throwing a sandwich in a brown paper bag. Reusable containers that stay cold for hours are the way to go so your child can have variety and nutritious foods that won’t aggravate TMD.
Lunch tip #2: Stock up on soft foods. Plenty of whole grain breads for sandwiches are soft, so you can avoid chewy, seedy breads that are difficult to chew. You don’t need to choose the processed white stuff with almost no nutritional value. Avoid raw vegetables that are too crunchy like carrots, and instead opt to put these in a smoothie (or serve them cooked with dinner). Bananas, homemade applesauce, and berries are other jaw-friendly ways to add healthy produce.
Lunch tip #3: Get creative. You can throw almost any fruit or veggie into a smoothie and get a tasty result if you include naturally sweet foods like berries and bananas too. Try different recipes that include things like healthy fats from avocados or ground flax seeds and protein from Greek yogurt or nut butters. This will help your child stay fuller, longer so they can focus on school while avoiding any TMD symptoms.
Does your child have jaw pain or stiffness, frequent headaches or earaches, or other TMD symptoms? Does he or she grind their teeth? Don’t let them suffer in silence. Children and teens can get TMD, and they will benefit from a comprehensive TMD treatment plan that’s right for them.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.