Wisdom teeth extractions are painful and irritating and can take weeks to heal properly. During this time, you’ll find that your options for food are minimal. Not only does it hurt to eat, but some foods can impact your recovery. Knowing which foods to eat after you have your wisdom teeth removed forms an essential part of tooth extraction aftercare.
Immediately After Removal
Chances are, you’ll not want to eat directly after surgery due to the pain and swelling. However, your body needs nutrition to begin the healing process, so knowing the things you can eat and drink after wisdom teeth removal is beneficial in the long run. You should also follow post-care instructions carefully so you dont place yourself at risk of complications such as dry socket.
Directly after surgery, you should be eating soft foods that won’t dislodge the blood clot that has formed on your socket. Avoid hard foods which can move the clot, as this can result in dry socket, a painful condition common after wisdom teeth removal. Also avoid drinking with a straw, since the suction can put enough pressure on the clot to move it.
Most oral surgeons recommend this list of wisdom teeth removal food:
- Greek yogurt – rich in calcium and protein, yogurt is the ideal after-surgery food. It’s soft and creamy texture won’t irritate your mouth, and you may find the coolness soothing. It also contains many vitamins and minerals that can help in speeding up your recovery.
- Lukewarm or cold broth – broths are a great alternative to soups as they tend to be more liquid and easier to swallow. A good chicken or bone broth will contain many vitamins and minerals in a light and non-irritating form. Just avoid drinking hot broth, as that can irritate the healing area.
- Soft fruit – applesauce made from pureed apples, applesauce is sweet, delicious, and great as a post-surgery food.
- Ice-cream – ice cream is cold, soft, and perfect for people suffering from wisdom, teeth removal pain. The coldness will numb your mouth and reduce wisdom tooth removal pain while the delicious flavour and texture may help increase your mood. Just be sure to avoid ice cream with small bits, like rocky road, since these particles may get stuck in the healing socket and cause an infection.
- Jelly – the ultimate soft food, jelly, also has some surprising health benefits to speed up recovery.
- Soup – blended soup is the ideal post-wisdom teeth surgery food. It’s nutritious, filling, and doesn’t put pressure on your teeth. Aim for cold soups that won’t irritate your gums or the affected sockets.
After around day three, you should notice a reduction in the pain and swelling after surgery. While you should still stick mainly to soft foods, you can introduce some semi-soft foods into your wisdom teeth food line-up. Try foods like:
- Mashed potatoes – potatoes are packed with starch, vitamins, and minerals, all of which can help with healing. Mashing them removes the need to chew, though you can stick to a coarse mash if you’re desperate for texture. Add some gravy for an almost-normal person meal treat.
- Milkshakes, especially with a banana or avocado thrown in will be soothing, satisfying and nutritious.
Scrambled eggs – eggs are easy to eat and provide tons of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals to speed up healing. We recommend sticking to scrambled eggs for several days after your surgery.
- Oatmeal – oatmeal is sticky, which is why we don’t recommend it until a week after your wisdom teeth removal. Opt for instant oatmeal instead of traditional stone-ground oats, which can be too chewy and impede recovery.
- Salmon – by now, you should be able to eat soft solid foods, such as salmon. This tender fish is packed with omega 3s, protein, vitamins, and minerals and will make a welcome change to all the soft foods you’ve been eating for the past week.
Foods to Avoid
Many foods can interfere with wisdom teeth surgery recovery, and may even cause complications that will result in a trip back to your oral surgeon. Until your mouth is fully healed, avoid the following:
- Spicy foods – these will irritate your gums and lining of your mouth
- Food which can leave lots of crumbs/particles – for example cookies, rice, popcorn, chips etc. These foods will leave crumbs and food particles that can lodge in the extraction sites and can cause more inflammation, bacterial infections, and other complications.
- Fruits with seeds, like berries, that can lodge in the socket
- Alcohol – alcohol will interfere with prescribed painkillers and may dilute the blood clot keeping your wound clean
Other Foods to Keep in Mind
If you’ve run out of ideas for what foods to eat after wisdom teeth surgery, and you’re sick of yogurt and soups, you can add these to your diet after wisdom tooth surgery:
- Cottage cheese
- Cranberry sauce and non-carbonated beverages
- Fruit smoothies
- Protein powder shakes
- Mashed sweet potatoes