Are you scheduled to have a tooth extraction performed and wondering about which foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal? Here, our Edmonton dentists offer some suggestions, as well as what to avoid and when to re-introduce solid foods. Plus, find out how long typical recovery takes.
Wisdom teeth erupt in the back of your mouth, typically when you are between 17 and 25 years old. This third set of molars is located in the back of your mouth.
Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, either because they are impacted or are emerging at crooked or abnormal angles.
Local, sedation or general anesthesia will be provided during the removal procedure. If the wisdom teeth haven't come in yet, the dentist will likely need to make incisions in the gums and remove bone if access to the rooth of the tooth is blocked.
Once your dentist has removed your wisdom teeth, they'll clean the site and use stitches to close the incision if required, before placing gauze over the extraction site.
After you return home, you'll need to eat soft or liquid foods for a short time to avoid irritating the extraction site and aid the healing process. Keep in mind that some foods, drinks or substances such as tobacco can irritate the extraction site, causing infection. In this post, we'll offer some advice about what to eat following your procedure.
Eating After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Closely following your dentist's instructions, managing self-care and eating a healthful, nutritious diet full of soft foods will help the incision site heal.
Here is a list of which foods you can eat in the first few days after your wisdom teeth removal procedure.
For 3 to 5 Days
Soft, mushy foods and liquids should be your go-tos during this time. These items can include:
- Apple sauce
- Cottage cheese
- Potatoes (sweet, regular or mashed)
- Pureed, seedless fruit
- Pureed or mashed vegetables (carrots and squash)
- Blended soups (hydrating, rich with nutrients and easy to eat)
- Broths (vitamin and mineral-rich to help with recovery)
- Mashed pumpkin
- Mashed bananas
- Banana ice cream or regular ice cream
As you start to heal, gradually re-introduce regular, semi-soft foods such as:
- Instant oatmeal
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
- Non-salty salmon
What foods and substances should I avoid after my procedure?
Just as there are food items that will aid your recovery, some foods, drinks and substances can impede the process. Here are some foods to avoid within the first four weeks after the extraction.
For 72 Hours
We strongly recommend avoiding smoking or using any type of tobacco for at least 72 hours following wisdom teeth surgery, as it can leave you at high risk of complications. Refrain from using chewing tobacco for at least a week.
For 1 Week or More
The extraction site will be tender and susceptible to infection for the first few days after wisdom teeth removal. Aim to avoid foods that may lead to complications or cause irritation, including:
- Grains (rice, quinoa
- Tough, spicy or acidic foods (pepper, citrus juice, meat)
- Spicy flavors
- Sugar and sweets
- Solid meats
- Crunchy, crumbly or chewy foods (candy, chocolate bars, pizza, jerky, etc.)
For 2 to 4 Weeks
While these snacks may be among your favourites, you should refrain from indulging until you're fully recovered, as they can become lodged in the wound and impede healing:
Oral Hygiene & Infection Control During Recovery
Our Edmonton dentists recommend restricting your diet to only soft foods and liquids such as apple sauce, yogurt and ice cream for the first two days or so following the extraction. Cold foods may help to alleviate any discomfort.
When can I eat solid food after wisdom teeth removal?
As healing progresses, you can incorporate more normal foods such as chicken, fruits and vegetables. If you experience pain or discomfort while chewing, return to soft and semisoft foods.
Many patients discover they can resume normal eating within one week of having their wisdom teeth removed.
In the days and weeks after your wisdom teeth surgery, sticking to a diet full of healthy, soft and delicious foods will play an integral role in aiding your recovery. Eat the right foods and avoid the foods, beverages and substances such as alcohol and tobacco that can disrupt your recovery to reduce your risk of infection and keep your mouth feeling clean and comfortable.