Approximately 85 percent of teens and adults in the United States will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted during their lifetime. Though the procedure is relatively simple, recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction can be a little more difficult. For some, it can take a few days to get past pain and inflammation. For many, deciding what foods to eat can be tricky. Try some of these recommended foods after your wisdom teeth removal to keep your belly full and aid recovery.
Best Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
When recovering from wisdom teeth removal, it’s best to avoid foods that require lots of chewing and jaw movement. Applesauce is an excellent food that offers both an easy-to-eat texture as well as many nutritional benefits. The vitamin C and dietary fiber it contains help you get the nutrition you need while adding some flavor to your recovery.
2. Ice Cream
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself a bit once you’re out of surgery, and ice cream is the perfect way to do so. The smooth texture and cold temperature make ice cream easy to eat and soothing to the gums. However, be sure only to eat soft-serve and avoid the use of any cones or toppings that will irritate the surgical site. Pick out your favorite flavors and enjoy eating ice cream for breakfast!
3. Soups and Broths
Soups and broths are a great food to have post-extraction because it’s easy to eat and offers variety. There are tons of delicious soups out there, but after wisdom tooth removal it’s best to avoid soups that have large chunks of meat or vegetables in them, as these soups require lots of jaw movement. It’s also good to steer away from soups and broths that contain acidity or spices, as that will also irritate the gums. Also, make sure your soup or broth isn’t too hot. You don’t want to irritate the wound!
4. Mashed Potatoes
Oral surgeons instruct wisdom tooth patients to avoid eating after midnight the night before their surgery. As a result, patients often leave surgery with a big appetite and crave a hearty meal. Since most solid foods are a pretty big no-no post-surgery, mashed potatoes are a great alternative.
Yogurt is another great food to eat after wisdom tooth removal because of its many different textures and nutritional benefits. Greek yogurts especially offer lots of protein and vitamins – both essential to helping your body heal. Avoid yogurts with granola or large fruit chunks in them, as they could get stuck in the stitches. Instead, try pureeing a seedless fruit like bananas and add it to your yogurt.
6. Smoothies and Milkshakes
Both smoothies and milkshakes can be great foods to have after wisdom teeth removal because they are easy to make and easy to customize. The smooth texture and cold temperature are great to help soothe the mouth. However, it’s important to note that when recovering from wisdom teeth removal you should never use a straw. Sucking on a straw can dislodge stitches or cause dry sockets, both very painful and harmful. Instead, opt for a spoon or drink straight from the glass.
Foods to Avoid
There are many foods that can cause irritation of the mouth after surgery. It is recommended to stick to the foods listed above, and absolutely avoid the following foods:
- Alcohol; can carry negative consequences if mixed with any prescribed medication.
- Spicy foods; can cause irritation.
- Crunchy foods; like crackers and chips can get embedded into the wound area and disturb the healing process.
- Chewy foods; like cheese, bread, and dried fruit as biting may increase the chance of damaging the wound.
After having your wisdom teeth removed, it is recommended to stick to nutrient-rich, soft foods to ensure the smoothest recovery possible. An agitated mouth not only distresses you, but it also delays your recovery.
As always, personal care is critical when undergoing any surgery. Make sure to find a reputable oral surgeon that is well-versed in the procedure and recovery routine. Nancy Herbst, owner of Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group has 25 years of experience servicing the New York City metro and in 2016, she was named one of NJ’s top oral surgeons. To learn more about wisdom teeth removal, patient care, and other oral surgeries call (201) 601-9262 or schedule a visit.