Having your wisdom teeth removed can be a daunting experience, but proper post-operative care, including a suitable diet, can help speed up your recovery.
We’ve compiled twenty of the best foods to eat and what foods to avoid so you can stick to a nutritious diet that promotes healing. We will also discuss the duration of the recovery process and when you can reintroduce solid food into your diet.
20 Best Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Recovering from wisdom tooth removal requires a diet of soft and easy-to-chew foods that won’t irritate the surgical site.
Here are twenty foods that are gentle on your mouth and provide necessary nutrients during this healing period:
1. Greek Yogurt
This creamy and nutritious snack is easy to consume and rich in protein and probiotics, which can promote oral health. Frozen yogurt is often recommended, as its smooth and creamy texture can provide relief and comfort during healing.
Its smooth texture makes it a perfect snack after surgery. Choose unsweetened varieties for a healthier option.
Warm broths and creamy soups like tomato or pumpkin soup can provide nourishment without exerting pressure on your mouth.
4. Mashed Potatoes
Soft, creamy, and easy to swallow, mashed potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates and vitamins.
Packed with fruits, yogurt, and milk, smoothies offer a nutritious and refreshing option that is easy to consume.
6. Scrambled Eggs
Cooked until soft and fluffy, scrambled eggs provide high-quality protein for healing.
7. Cottage Cheese
Soft and mild, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium.
This creamy fruit is packed with healthy fats and nutrients, making it a nutritious addition to your post-surgery diet.
9. Fruit Puree
Pureed fruits like bananas and mangoes provide essential vitamins and minerals while being gentle in your mouth.
Soft and easy to eat, oatmeal is a filling and nourishing option.
Creamy and smooth, pudding is not only delicious but also a great energy source.
12. Smooth Nut Butter
Peanut butter or almond butter can be spread on soft bread or added to smoothies for a nutritious boost.
13. Protein Shakes
These shakes are a convenient way to get protein and other essential nutrients during your recovery.
This wobbly dessert is easy to consume and provides hydration as well.
15. Macaroni and Cheese
Soft pasta with melted cheese is a comforting and easy chew option.
16. Steamed Vegetables
Cooked until tender, steamed vegetables like carrots and broccoli provide vitamins and fiber.
Soft and packed with protein, tofu can be added to stir-fries or pureed for a versatile post-surgery meal.
Flakey and soft fish like salmon or tilapia can be easily consumed and provide omega-3 fatty acids.
19. Ice Cream
While indulging in ice cream should be done in moderation, it can be a soothing treat during recovery.
20. Herbal Tea
Soothing and warm herbal teas like chamomile can provide comfort and hydration.
Remember to consume these foods in small, manageable bites and avoid any spicy or acidic ingredients that may irritate your mouth.
What to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal
While there are many foods you can enjoy after wisdom tooth extraction, there are also some activities that you should avoid to prevent complications and promote proper healing.
Here are the most important ones:
- Crunchy, chewy, and crumbly foods. Avoid any crunchy foods that require excessive chewing, such as chips, nuts, or raw vegetables.
- Spicy foods. Spices can cause irritation and discomfort to the surgical site, so it’s best to avoid anything spicy during your recovery.
- Acidic foods. Acidic foods, like citrus fruits or tomato-based products, can irritate the surgical area and delay healing.
- Tough meats. Steer clear of tough meats that require significant chewing, such as steak or jerky.
- Carbonated drinks. The bubbles in carbonated drinks can cause discomfort and may dislodge blood clots, impeding healing.
- Hot beverages or foods. Too hot food or beverages can dislodge the blood clot that forms over the extraction site, which is crucial for healing. Dislodging the clot can lead to a dry socket, with intense pain and delayed healing.
- Using a straw. Avoid using a straw that can create suction, which may dislodge blood clots and increase the risk of dry sockets. Stick to sipping from a cup instead.
- Tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol can increase the risk of infection and impede healing. So, it’s best to avoid them for at least 48 to 72 hours or as your dentist or oral surgeon advises.
- Strenuous activities. Avoid activities that may strain your jaw, such as lifting weights or running.
How Long Is the Recovery After Having Your Wisdom Tooth Removed
The recovery period after this oral surgery varies from person to person. On average, it takes about 7 to 10 days to recover fully. However, it is essential to note that complete healing can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the extraction and individual healing factors. During this time, proper care and a suitable diet are essential for a successful recovery.
Here is a timeline of a typical recovery after wisdom tooth removal:
- First 24 hours. You will be restricted to a liquid or soft food diet during this time. Pain, swelling, and bleeding may peak during this period. To help reduce swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold compress to the outside of your face near the extraction site for 15-20 minutes at a time, with breaks in between. This can be done intermittently during the first 24 hours after surgery.
- 2-3 days. Many people can return to work or resume their normal activities within 2-3 days after the procedure. However, it’s important to listen to your body and not overexert yourself. If there is severe pain, swelling, or bleeding, it’s best to contact your dentist while continuing your pain medication as prescribed.
- 1 week. Most of the initial pain and swelling should have subsided by the end of the first week. You may still experience some discomfort, but it should be manageable.
- 2 weeks. The extraction site generally takes up to 2 weeks to fully heal. During this time, any stitches used during the procedure may be removed if necessary.
- Several weeks/months. While most healing occurs within the first two weeks, complete healing of the bone and surrounding tissues can take several weeks or even months.
When Can I Eat Solid Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The timeline for reintroducing solid foods into your diet after dental surgery depends on how well your mouth is healing. Typically, you can begin introducing soft, easily chewable foods seven days after surgery. However, it’s important to listen to your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions and follow their recommendations.
If you experience any pain, discomfort, or swelling while attempting to eat solid foods, it’s best to continue with a soft food diet until you feel ready to progress. Remember to take small bites, chew slowly, and avoid foods that may cause irritation or exert too much pressure on the surgical area.
Proper post-operative care, including a suitable diet, plays a crucial role in the recovery process after wisdom teeth removal. Following the recommended foods to eat, avoiding foods that can impede healing, and giving yourself ample time to recover can ensure a smooth and comfortable healing journey.
Remember to consult your dentist or oral surgeon for personalized advice and guidance throughout recovery. Every individual’s healing process is unique, and they will be able to provide specific recommendations based on your circumstances.