After getting your wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to follow certain restrictions and be aware of potential risks in order to ensure proper healing. Along with proper care, choosing the right foods to eat can greatly aid in the recovery process. In this article, we will explore 20 of the best foods to consume after wisdom teeth removal, as well as when you can safely return to your normal diet, and what to watch out for during your recovery period.
Restrictions and Risks After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Before delving into the foods suitable for consumption post-wisdom teeth removal, it’s crucial to understand the restrictions and risks associated with this procedure. The removal of wisdom teeth often leaves open sockets in your gums, which can easily become irritated or infected if not treated with care.
To promote proper healing, it’s important to avoid any food or drinks that may cause harm or discomfort. Firstly, it’s recommended to steer clear of hot foods, as they can increase blood flow to the surgical area, and result in prolonged bleeding. This can be particularly problematic as it may delay the healing process, and increase the risk of infection. It’s best to opt for lukewarm or cold foods during the initial stages of recovery.
Additionally, crunchy or chewy foods should be avoided as they can easily get stuck in the sockets, or cause damage to the delicate healing tissues. These types of foods can also put unnecessary pressure on the surgical area, leading to pain and potential complications. It’s important to choose soft and easily chewable foods that won’t disrupt the healing process.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to refrain from drinking alcohol, using a straw, or smoking during your recovery period. Alcohol can interfere with the healing process, and may also interact negatively with any pain medication you may be taking. Using a straw can create suction in your mouth, which can dislodge blood clots, and impede the formation of new tissue. Smoking can cause different complications including: pressure on the extraction site dislodging clots, and possible infection caused by harmful chemicals in cigarettes.
It’s also worth noting that certain medications, such as blood thinners, may need to be temporarily adjusted, or discontinued before and after the surgery to minimize the risk of excessive bleeding with possible open wounds. It’s important to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon about any medications you are currently taking to ensure a smooth and safe recovery.
Moreover, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential during the recovery period. Gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help keep the surgical area clean, and reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s important to avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting, as this can disrupt the blood clot formation and delay healing.
Lastly, it’s important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon or dentist. These instructions may include specific dietary guidelines, pain management techniques, and recommendations for follow-up appointments. By adhering to these instructions, you can minimize the risks associated with wisdom teeth removal and ensure a smooth recovery process.
What Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal? 20 Of My Favorite Suggestions!
While navigating the restrictions, luckily there are still plenty of delicious and nourishing foods you can enjoy while recovering from wisdom teeth removal. Here are 19 of my favorite suggestions:
- Smoothies: Packed with vitamins and minerals, smoothies are a smooth, and soothing way to fuel your body while you heal.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and comforting, mashed potatoes are an excellent choice for those in need of easy-to-eat and soft-textured foods.
- Yogurt: Not only is yogurt a great source of protein, but it also contains probiotics that can aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut.
- Applesauce: With its naturally smooth texture, applesauce provides a sweet and refreshing treat that requires minimal effort to consume.
- Oatmeal: Warm and nourishing, oatmeal cooked to a soft consistency can be seasoned with various fruits and toppings to add flavor and nutrients.
- Scrambled Eggs: Easy to prepare and packed with protein, scrambled eggs can provide a satisfying and nutritious meal during your recovery period.
- Soup: Opt for broths or pureed soups that are low in sodium to prevent any irritation to your healing gums.
- Mashed Bananas: Bananas that are ripe and mashed offer a natural sweetness and soft texture that is gentle on your healing oral tissues.
- Avocado: Rich in healthy fats and packed with nutrients, avocados can be enjoyed as a spread or blended into a creamy guacamole.
- Pudding: Indulge in a velvety smooth pudding to satisfy your sweet tooth while still adhering to the soft food requirements.
- Ice Cream: Treat yourself to a cool and creamy dessert that will not only satisfy your cravings but also provide some relief to any swelling or discomfort.
- Juices: Freshly squeezed juices can be a refreshing and nutritious option, packed with vitamins and minerals to support your healing process.
- Soft Cheeses: Enjoy some soft cheeses like brie or cream cheese, which are easy to spread and provide a rich and creamy flavor.
- Protein Shakes: If you’re looking to boost your protein intake, try a protein shake made with your favorite protein powder and blended with fruits or nut butter for added flavor.
- Hummus: This creamy dip made from chickpeas is not only delicious but also a great source of fiber and protein. Enjoy it with soft pita bread or spread it on a soft tortilla.
- Soft Pasta: Cook your pasta until it’s al dente, then toss it with a smooth and creamy sauce like Alfredo or marinara for a satisfying meal that won’t cause any discomfort.
- Soft Breads: Opt for bread that is soft and easy to chew, like white bread or rolls. You can use it to make sandwiches with soft fillings like tuna salad or egg salad.
- Jello: This colorful dessert is a classic choice for those on a soft food diet. It’s easy to eat and comes in a variety of flavors to suit your taste.
- Smooth Nut Butters: Spread some smooth peanut butter or almond butter on a slice of soft bread or enjoy it with a ripe banana for a nutritious and satisfying snack.
- Fish: soft proteins including fish are full of vitamins and minerals, and are a great addition to your soft food diet.
These are just a few of the many foods you can enjoy after wisdom teeth removal. Remember to choose foods that are soft, easy to chew or swallow, and that won’t cause any irritation or complications during your healing process.
When Can You Return To Normal Diet
While enjoying the limited diet of soft foods is an essential part of the healing process after wisdom teeth removal, you may be curious about when you can safely return to your regular diet. It’s crucial to consult with your oral surgeon or dentist for personalized advice, as the recovery time can vary depending on the complexity of the extraction and your individual healing abilities.
On average, most individuals can gradually reintroduce solid foods into their diet after a week or so, once the surgical sites have had a chance to heal and any swelling or discomfort has subsided. However, it’s important to progress slowly, starting with soft solids, and gradually increasing the texture and variety of foods as you feel comfortable.
During the initial phase of recovery, it’s common to stick to a diet of mashed potatoes, soups, smoothies, and yogurt. These foods are easy to consume and do not require much chewing, minimizing the risk of irritating the surgical sites. Additionally, they provide the necessary nutrients to support the healing process.
As the days go by and your mouth continues to heal, you can start incorporating slightly more textured foods into your diet. This may include cooked vegetables, pasta, and tender meats. It’s important to chew slowly and thoroughly to avoid putting excessive strain on the healing areas.
While it may be tempting to indulge in your favorite crunchy or chewy foods, it’s best to hold off until your dentist or oral surgeon gives you the green light. These types of foods can easily get stuck in the extraction sites or cause irritation, potentially leading to complications.
Remember, rushing the process and jumping back into your normal diet too soon can potentially cause complications and delay the healing process. Patience and proper nutrition are key in achieving a smooth and successful recovery.
It’s also important to note that maintaining good oral hygiene during the recovery period is crucial. Gentle brushing and rinsing with a saltwater solution can help keep the surgical sites clean and prevent infection. Avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, as it can irritate the healing areas.
If you experience any unusual symptoms or have concerns about your recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to your oral surgeon or dentist. They are best equipped to provide guidance and address any issues that may arise.
What to Watch For After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Throughout your recovery period, it’s crucial to be mindful of any potential complications that may arise. While most individuals experience a smooth recovery, it’s important to be aware of warning signs that may indicate an issue.
If you notice excessive bleeding that doesn’t seem to subside, severe or prolonged pain, swelling that worsens over time, or any signs of infection such as fever or pus discharge, it’s essential to reach out to your dentist or oral surgeon immediately. These symptoms could indicate dry socket, infection, or other complications that require immediate attention.
Regularly attending your post-operative follow-up appointments is also vital in monitoring your progress, and addressing any concerns or questions you may have throughout your healing journey.
By being mindful of the restrictions, focusing on a nutritious diet, and listening to your body’s needs, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery after wisdom teeth removal. Remember, always consult with your dental professional for personalized advice and guidance throughout your healing process.
All Second Opinion Dentist content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019). FoodData Central. Usda.gov. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html
- Pisalsitsakul, N., Pinnoi, C., Sutanthavibul, N., & Kamolratanakul, P. (2022). Taking 200 mg Vitamin C Three Times per Day Improved Extraction Socket Wound Healing Parameters: A Randomized Clinical Trial. International Journal of Dentistry, 2022, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/6437200
- Wisdom tooth removal – Recovery. (2017, October 24). Nhs.uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wisdom-tooth-removal/recovery/