Are you wondering what to eat after tooth extraction? Well, you have come to the right place, because we have the answers. This article is going to be all about what to eat – and what absolutely not to eat – following oral surgery.
Anyone who has ever experienced a wisdom tooth removal, or anyotjher tooth extraction surgery for that matter, knows how painful and tender your entire mouth feels in the aftermath of it. And as if that weren’t enough, navigating things like food and beverages can seek rather daunting in the hours and days following a tooth extraction.
Eating after tooth extraction is completely possible, and yes, even necessary for a speedy recovery, but you should not be in a hurry to get back on your usual diet right away – particularly not if it tends to include spicy foods or anything with a crunchy texture.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of foods you can eat after having a tooth pulled out, including some that will promote wound healing and generally speed up the recovery process.
Foods and beverages to avoid roght after a dental procedure
Trust us, there are plenty of foods and drinks you will probably not even want to attempt right after you have had tooth extraction surgery. Having said that, your instincts may not be infallible, so here are the most important types of food and drinks to avoid soon after your tooth removal procedure.
Spicy foods should be avoided at all cost during the healing process. Not only can strong spices such as chilli, cayenne pepper and paprika get into your extraction words and cause a lot of irritation, they can also delay your healing by causing the wounds to remain open for longer.
Crunchy foods is another type of food to avoid at all costs during your recovery. While plenty of crunchy foods are both nutritious and delicious, they can also chip and sprinkle lots of little painful shards and bits into your open extraction wound, ultimately causing delayed healing.
You should also avoid alcoholic beverages while you are healing after having a tooth pulled out. Alcohol may sting and worsen an already painful condition. And not only that, when an tooth is extracted, a small blood clot forms at the extraction site. This small blood clot is a positive thing, because it forms a barrier that effectively keeps bacteria out while the wound is healing over. Alcoholic drinks may break down the blood clot, or stop it from forming in the first place, which leaves the wound vulnerable to infection.
Other liquids to avoid include any hot beverages in the hours and preferably in the days following a tooth extraction surgery. Just like alcohol, a hot beverage such as tea, coffee or hot cocoa can dislodge protective blood clots or keep them from forming in the first place.
Side note: Just as you should be careful with hot beverages, you should be very careful with eating hot foods too soo after a tooth extraction. Start and stick with cold foods and beverages, at least in the beginning.
Soft foods to eat after a tooth extraction
You can eat after tooth extraction, but make sure you go slow and easy, starting out with liquids before progressing to solids. If you are able to, stay hydrated but don’t eat anything in the first hour or the first few hours following your tooth extraction.
When you are ready to take some nutrition, the best foods you can eat following a dental surgery are any foods with a smooth and creamy texture, as well as liquid foods. If you have a food processor, you will find that it comes in handy in the days and weeks following a wisdom tooth removal or other teeth removal surgery.
Their creamy textures make most dairy products appealing foods to eat following dental surgery. However, you should consume them sparingly and replace them with vegan alternatives if you can, since the bacteria found in dairy products such as milk and cheese can cause inflammation, and milk is known to impair antibiotics. You should always follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.
But while you should practice moderation, it is impossible to deny that dairy products require no chewing, and that foods like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and banana ice cream are rich sources of healthy fats, enzymes and protein, all of which support your immune system and overall health.
Other animal produce
Scrambled eggs is a rich source of nutrients, and is among the best foods to eat after getting a tooth removed.
Fruit and veg
You may not be able to fully meet your nutrition goals while recovering from your tooth extraction procedure, but it is still very possible to consume nutritious foods and to get in your five a day!
Mashed potatoes is a great place to start. Until you can eat a solid meal, mashed potatoes can work as a great substitute as they are both healthy and filling. What’s more, mashed potatoes are known for their anti inflammatory benefits, which is great when you need to avoid irritating your wound during the healing process.
Mashed avocado is another healthy and delicious mashed food to eat following an extraction. Avocados come with multiple health benefits, including healthy fats, fibre and vitamin C.
Smoothies and juices are another great way of consuming fruit and veg without having to chew. This makes them one of the best soft foods to eat after having wisdom teeth removed.
Smoothies can be made from any of your favorite fruits and vegetables, including bananas, berries, oranges, celery, apple, parsley and more. If you want to make your smoothies extra healthy, add a little protein powder to the mix. This is a particularly good idea if you are unable to chew properly in the days following your wisdom teeth removal.
If you do not already own a blender, consider purchasing a small hand blender before heading in to get your wisdom teeth removed. Chances are, once you fall in love with daily smoothies during your recovery, you will want to keep making them even after you have recovered fully.
Soups and broths
Once you are a few days into your recovery process, you can start adding warmer foods back into your diet. Once you start ingesting soups and broths, it is important to ensure that they are not too hot, as higher temperatures may impede your wound healing and even leave you vulnerable to infection.
Bone broth, a type of broth made by simmering animal bones and extracting their flavor and nutrients, is a well-known cure-all, a comfort food suitable for anything from the common flu to recovering following wisdom teeth removal.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, there is no reason why you should be left behind. Blended soups, particularly vegetable based soups, are both healthy, comforting and rich in nutrients.
Solid foods to eat after a tooth extraction
You may not want to or be able to consume any solid foods for the first few days following your tooth extraction, but after subsisting on only soft foods for a day or two, we have no doubt you will want to get back to consuming solid food.
The key is to start slow, as the site of your newly extracted wisdom tooth or teeth are still going to be sore and more vulnerable than usual to infections for a while after the extraction.
Instant oatmeal is a good place to start once you are ready for slightly more solid food. Make sure that your oatmeal is not too hot, as that can cause not only a moment of pain but also a slower recovery process.
Pita bread is another good solid food to start nibbling at when you feel ready. Combine it with your favorite soup or broth and you will have a delicious meal to enjoy.
Having any teeth – but particularly if it is a wisdom teeth – removed is an unpleasant experience, but sometimes it can be a necessary procedure. And while a tooth extraction cannot always be avoided, there is much you can do afterwards to promote would healing and speed up your recovery process, including eating right.
Eating right means avoiding crunchy, hot and spicy foods, as well as both hot and alcoholic beverages. What you want to avoid, essentially, is ingesting anything that may irritate or even impede your healing extraction wound, which will take three to four weeks to heal up completely.
While you cannot enjoy your regular diet while recovering from tooth extractions, you can nevertheless still take responsibility for eating a healthy and nutritious diet, one that helps your healing process along. If you either already have, or can borrow or purchase a blender, you will soon discover how many different kinds of smoothies and soups it is possible to make. Getting lots and lots of vegetables, fruits and nutrients in liquid form while you are healing is important. Even grains and potatoes can be enjoyed, if prepared right and served not too hot.
As your healing process moves along, you will be able to start adding more and more solid foods back into your diets. Soft breads, such as white bread rolls and pita bread, work well as accompaniments for soups and broths. Oatmeal is another great in-between step to take as you make your way back from a purely liquid diet to one that involves both soft and solid foods.