Soft foods are in, chewy or hard foods are out while you recover from wisdom teeth removal. Here, our Ottawa dentists give advice on which foods to stock up on and what to avoid.
If your dentist finds your wisdom teeth are impacted or coming in at crooked angles, they’ll often recommend having wisdom teeth removed and eating a healthful diet full of soft foods while you heal.
Though your schedule may vary depending on your dentist’s recommendations and other factors, we’ve put together a general timeline of what to eat at different stages of recovery - and answered the important question of when you’ll be able to get back to your regular diet.
Why maintain good self-care and eat soft, healthy foods after wisdom teeth are removed?
While having your wisdom teeth removed is a common procedure, maintaining a healthy diet full of soft foods, following instructions from your dentist and managing self-care are important to healing. You’ll want to avoid infections or complications, which can result from food or bacteria becoming trapped in the extraction area.
What can I eat after having my wisdom teeth removed?
For 3 to 5 Days
Generally, you’ll want to stick to liquids and soft, mushy foods for 3 to 5 days, including:
- Blended soups (easy to eat, nutrient-rich and hydrating)
- Broths (full of essential vitamins and minerals to aid recovery)
- Potatoes (mashed, sweet or regular)
- Apple sauce
- Seedless, pureed fruit
- Pureed or mashed vegetables (carrots, squash)
- Banana ice cream or regular ice cream
As you begin to heal, gradually incorporate more regular, semi-soft foods such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
- Instant oatmeal
Let any hot foods cool before eating, keep the area clean per your dentist’s recommendations, and don’t forget to take prescriptions as directed.
Which foods should I avoid?
For 1 Week or More
For the first few days, the extraction site will be tender and vulnerable to infection. You’ll want to avoid foods that may irritate the area or lead to complications, such as:
- Acidic, tough or spicy foods (citrus juice, peppers)
- Crumbly, crunchy or tough foods (pizza, jerky, popcorn, hamburgers, etc.)
- Grains (rice, quinoa)
For 2 to 4 weeks
These snack foods may be delicious. However, you should ban them from your diet until you're fully recovered. These can get stuck in the wound and disrupt healing.
Other Helpful Routines
For 3 to 5 Days
Avoid using a straw and spitting for 3 to 5 days after surgery. These create suction in your mouth, which raises the risk of developing dry socket - a painful condition where the clot that protects the area your tooth is removed from becomes dislodged. This exposes your bones and nerves to air, which hampers healing and causes pain.
Avoid smoking for 5 days, as the nicotine in cigarettes impedes healing and prolongs recovery time. Avoid chewing tobacco for at least a week.
One Week After Surgery
At the 7-day mark following your surgery, start to rinse your extraction sites to rid the area of debris and food (your dentist may provide a syringe for this). Do not rinse before this as you may also remove the healing blood clot.
When can I start eating normal food after wisdom teeth extraction?
Many patients find they can resume normal eating within a week of having their wisdom teeth removed.
Maintaining a diet full of soft, delicious and healthy foods in the days and weeks after wisdom teeth removal is crucial to your recovery. As long as you stick to the right foods - and steer clear of foods that can disrupt your recovery - you’ll feel more comfortable and help reduce your risk of infection.