8 Foods to Eat After You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
About 90% of people have at least one of their third molars, commonly called the wisdom tooth, removed at some point in their life. Many people have all four taken out to prevent future dental problems. If you undergo this relatively minor procedure, knowing what to eat post-surgery can lead to a much smoother recovery. Try a few of these nutritious and tasty treats to help ease your recovery after a wisdom tooth extraction.
Food to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
1. Apple sauce
2. Ice cream
The smooth, pureed texture of applesauce makes it a great soft food to eat after wisdom teeth removal. Applesauce contains a lot of vitamin C and dietary fiber, which are both part of a healthy diet. Eating this nutrient rich snack uses very little jaw movement, which will aid in healing and prevent soreness. If you want to make it even healthier, prepare a homemade applesauce to cut back on sugar and use fresh ingredients.
2. Ice Cream
After surgery, it is okay to spoil yourself a bit! Eating ice cream in one of your favorite flavors after wisdom teeth extraction is a nice treat. Be sure to stick to soft-serve, especially for the first couple days following the surgery, as it requires less effort to eat. This cool confection soothes the inflamed tissue and promotes a quicker healing process.
Although you may want to go for the deluxe dessert option, avoid cones. The crunch can overwork the jaw and small bits can get lodged in the extraction site, causing irritation or infection. Postpone eating flavors like Rocky Road and Mint Chocolate Chip until at least five days into recovery, when the surgical area has had time to heal.
Broth-based soups are a great source of relief for wisdom teeth removal patients. Although you may not feel up to eating soups until 1-2 days after the surgery, it can provide plenty of protein, as well as an alternative to the sugar-filled foods typically suggested after wisdom teeth extraction. Enjoy warm soup (not hot!) to get plenty of nutrients and maintain a healthy diet after your wisdom teeth surgery.
While you should steer clear of soups that contain large chunks of meat or vegetables, some small bits in the broth are acceptable. A few good options to eat after your surgery include chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, beef broth, or cream of celery soup.
4. Jell-O or Pudding
This easy-to-eat food comes in a variety of flavors, preventing “taste bud boredom” that frequently occurs with a restrictive post-operative diet. Use the instant packets or quick recipes on the box for faster and easier preparation.
Another great benefit of Jell-O and pudding mixes is their long refrigerator shelf life. If you do not have a caretaker with you at all times during your recovery, these packets can be mixed before your wisdom teeth surgery and kept in the fridge for over a week.
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5. Mashed Potatoes
Containing lots of fiber, mashed potatoes are great to eat after having your wisdom teeth removed. All you need to do is whip the potatoes to a smooth consistency and you’ll have created a delicious meal that’s super easy to eat. Creamy mashed potatoes are easy to eat and can be topped with extras like gravy, butter, and sour cream to allow for more variety in your post-operative diet.
Make sure the potatoes do not contain large lumps that make chewing more difficult. If you prefer sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, try mashed sweet potatoes with butter and a little bit of cinnamon.
The smooth, light consistency of yogurt makes it an ideal food for patients recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. Avoid yogurts with granola or any added ingredients that have to be chewed. Eating a creamy light yogurt flavor like lemon or strawberry gives you some of the nutrients you need while making it easier to take medications prescribed for pain or discomfort.
7. Smoothies or Milkshakes
Packed with proteins and nutrients, smoothies and milkshakes provide a delicious and easy to eat snack for post-operative dental patients. For added nutritional benefits, supplement your shakes and smoothies with a meal replacement packet or protein powder. Add fresh, seedless fruits like bananas to your smoothie to keep things healthy. Small seeds found in fruits like raspberries can get impacted in the surgical areas, causing additional discomfort and lengthening the recovery period. Mix yogurt and ice with these ingredients in a blender for a healthy smoothie. Blend milk, ice cream, and any additional protein powders or supplements to create your milkshake. One word of caution when it comes to enjoying smoothies and milkshakes after wisdom tooth surgery: Don’t consume them through a straw! The pressure can disrupt the healing site and lead to dry sockets.
8. Instant Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal packets offer a quick snack that is easy to eat and can be flavored with sugar, syrup, or jams to create many enjoyable flavors. Save instant oatmeal for at least the third day, as the wisdom teeth sockets may still be healing and the oats may cause irritation. Although sliced fruit should not be added, packets that have small bits included can be eaten. Instead of oatmeal, try instant cream of wheat or grits for a smoother consistency.
Food to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal
In addition to knowing what you can eat after wisdom teeth surgery, it is equally important to know what to avoid. Don’t eat any thick grains or foods that can get caught in the surgical sites. Straws should never be used after wisdom teeth extraction, as the suction can remove clots that aid in healing and lead to dry sockets, a painful side effect that sometimes occurs after surgery. You should wait at least a week to eat any crunchy, chewy, or spicy foods. Avoid acidic foods that can irritate tissue and cause pain in the healing surgical sites.
Recovering from wisdom tooth surgery can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks, but most people begin to feel better after about three days. The surgery affects everyone differently, but it is important to take it easy and let your mouth heal at its own pace after wisdom teeth extractions. Plan your diet in the following weeks around healthy, soft foods that won’t strain your mouth post-surgery. As always, consult your dentist or oral surgeon if you have any questions before or after your wisdom tooth surgery!