Best Foods to Eat After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Be smart about your post-op meals!
Photo By: Sheri L. Giblin/Getty Images
Photo By: Jessica Boone ©© Jessica Boone/FoodPix
Photo By: Antonio MuÃÂ±oz palomares
Photo By: minadezhda
Photo By: MiljaPhoto/Getty Images
Photo By: choness
Photo By: AlexPro9500
Photo By: Sheri L. Giblin/Getty Images
Photo By: Peter PolÃ¡k
Photo By: bbostjan/Getty Images
Photo By: mphillips007
You've Had Your Wisdom Teeth Removed — Now What?
Recovering from wisdom teeth surgery can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, which means you're going to have a significant period of time where your diet will be altered. After surgery there are foods you’ll need to avoid as your jaw and gums heal, but more importantly, you'll need to keep your nutrition up so that your entire body get the nutrients it needs. We checked in with experts Dr. Michelle Yanover, DDS, who is a practicing dentist in Connecticut, and Sandra P Schoenbach, DMD, a general dentist practicing in White Plains, NY and New York City, to get their top tips.
Support healing with a dose of plant-based protein. The texture of tofu also makes for easy chewing for sore jaw and gums.
The probiotics in cultured products like kefir and yogurt help promote the healthy bacteria in your mouth and gut. But if you do make a smoothie, make sure to ditch the straw, says Yanover, stating, "You do not want to create suction in your mouth. This can lead to dry socket."
Sweet smoothies can get boring after a while. Instead, sip on nutrient dense creamy soups made with lentils, tomato, cauliflower pumpkin or other squash to help keep the nutrient coming in when your diet might be a bit limited. According to Schoenbach, "The liquid nature of blended soups or broths helps keep you hydrated, and their lack of hard pieces ensures that the extraction site does not get irritated."
Whether you prefer the warm version or cold, overnight oats, this fiber-rich meal is perfect for fighting hunger. Cozy up with a few bowls of oatmeal when you heal!
Spice up your healing with antioxidant-rich turmeric. Add this golden spice to soups, smoothies and marinades.
Don’t neglect your hydration while healing from oral surgery! Aim to drink about half your weight in ounces spread out throughout the day. As an added bonus, extra fluid will also help avoid potential constipation that can come along with taking pain meds.
The cold texture of this thick, creamy yogurt is soothing to the extraction site and can also help numb it, which is one reason Schoenbach recommends it post-op. Greek yogurt is also brimming with proteins and minerals like calcium and zinc, which help in the healing and speed up the recovery process. "Low protein diets have been linked to a slower recovery," explains Schoenbach.
Mashed potatoes can be prepared in various ways and are rich in nutrients and calories. "Patients often struggle to eat enough post-surgery, so this gives them the energy and nutrition they need in a few bites," says Schoenbach who recommends eating the mashed potatoes at a lukewarm temperature.
"Eggs are among the best foods to eat post-surgery," says Schoenbach. Scrambled eggs are easy to chew and swallow, plus they’re budget-friendly. They’re also abundant in high-quality protein, vitamins and nutrients.
This popular and easily accessible fruit is soft in texture, filled with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. "Mashing them makes them even easier to eat and provides further comfort to the raw extraction site," explains Schoenbach.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are definite no-nos post wisdom tooth extraction. Steer clear of seeds, "which can get stuck in the wound and may cause infection," warns Yanover. It’s also wise to avoid spicy and acidic foods that can cause irritation and slow healing in the removal sites.