Overcoming the discomfort and pain phase after a wisdom teeth removal procedure is often challenging for patients. One of the primary concerns is what to eat after wisdom teeth removal. While the dentist or oral surgeon may give specific instructions based on the individual’s unique case, general dietary guidelines can be followed post-surgery.
These guidelines on what to eat after wisdom teeth removal are carefully designed to ensure a smooth recovery. They help the mouth heal effectively while catering to the body’s nutritional requirements. Knowing what to eat after wisdom teeth removal isn’t just about comfort—it’s also crucial for healing.
Nutrients You Need for a Speedy Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
Protein plays an essential role in healing after wisdom teeth removal. It aids in wound healing by helping to repair body tissue damaged during the surgery.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties and also helps in collagen production which is essential for wound healing.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for the formation and maintenance of skin, the first line of defense against infections. It promotes the production of collagen, a protein that’s necessary for wound healing. It is also known to enhance immune function. It helps maintain the health of the cells that line your mouth and throat, which can help prevent infections during the healing process.
Zinc acts as a co-factor for numerous enzymes involved in the synthesis of proteins and collagen, which are critical for wound healing. It also helps in the formation of new tissues and skin over the wound area. Furthermore, zinc boosts the immune system, which helps prevent infections during the healing process. It promotes the growth of white blood cells that fight off bacteria and viruses.
Ultimately, studies show that it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation following surgery.
After surgery, some people may experience constipation due to the pain medications. Including fiber in your diet can help alleviate this.
First 24 Hours After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
Following your wisdom teeth removal, eating might be challenging due to mouth tenderness and swelling. Nonetheless, knowing what foods to eat is crucial for a healthy recovery.
In the initial 24 hours post-surgery, focus on consuming soft foods or liquids only. These food options aid in faster extraction site healing and ensure you get the required nourishment. Despite the discomfort, maintaining a balanced diet post-surgery is achievable with the right choice of foods.
Here are some examples of the best foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal:
- Baby food or other pureed food
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Ice cream
- Warm broths and creamy soups
- Smoothie (no straw)
- Juice (avoid citrus)
Note that hot foods and beverages are likely to irritate the surgical sites. If you have soup, let it cool a bit before eating. In addition, avoid using a straw because the suction can cause blood clots to become dislodged. So, if you want a smoothie or a milkshake, eat it with a spoon.
In the 24 hours following your dental surgery, do not drink any alcohol, do not smoke anything, and do not vape.
2 Days After Wisdom Tooth Removal: Reintroducing Solid Foods
As you gradually regain strength after the first 24 hours of recovery, you can cautiously reintroduce soft, semi-solid foods into your diet. Extremely hot foods should still be avoided, as these could potentially cause discomfort. Certain foods, like acidic and spicy variations, should also be sidestepped to avoid agitation in your system. You should continue choosing foods that are easy to chew and digest.
Options may include:
- Soft noodles
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed bananas
- Mashed avocados
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed and mashed veggies (cauliflower, zucchini, squash)
- Potato or sweet potato
Foods to Avoid in the Days Following Wisdom Teeth Removal
In the following days after your wisdom teeth surgery, you should still follow a strict diet to ensure proper healing and avoid complications. This means avoiding the same foods that you shouldn’t consume in the first 48 hours that may irritate the surgical site or cause discomfort.
Such items include hard, crunchy foods, alcohol, and hot beverages, or activities like strenuous chewing.
Some examples include:
- Raw vegetables
- Carbonated beverages
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods
- Hot beverages (coffee, tea)
- Grains (rice, quinoa)
- Crusty bread
- Chewy candy
You can begin with other solid foods when you’re three days post-surgery. But if your mouth is still tender, stick with soft foods until you can eat comfortably again.
The General Rule
Soft Foods Are Key, Including Soups, Broth, and Yogurt
After wisdom teeth removal, patients are generally advised to start with a liquid diet such as broths, smoothies, or soups that have been cooled to room temperature. Gradually, you can incorporate mushy foods like mashed potatoes, soft fruits, yogurt, and scrambled eggs. These foods are rich in vitamins and easy to swallow, helping you stay nourished during the initial healing period.
Once your gums feel less sensitive, try semi-soft foods like overcooked pasta, pancake, oatmeal, or soft-baked fish.
The key is to avoid foods that require much chewing, like steak, raw vegetables, or whole fruits. You don’t want to put any unnecessary stress on your healing gums.
Avoid Hard and Crunchy Foods to Avoid Dry Socket
It’s crucial to avoid foods that might disrupt the healing process for the first few days after wisdom tooth extraction. Eating hard or crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, raw vegetables, and whole fruits could dislodge the surgical site, causing pain and delaying healing. These food items often have hard textures, and the process of biting and chewing can put pressure on the surgical site. Instead, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew and swallow.
Additionally, these foods could leave particles lodged in the surgically exposed area. Therefore, it’s best to wait at least a week or until your oral surgeon gives the green light to reintroduce these types of foods back into your diet.
Stay Hydrated to Promote Healing
Staying hydrated is essential to the recovery process after wisdom teeth removal. Proper hydration aids in the healing process and helps flush out food particles that can accumulate in the open sockets. Water is the top choice as it is the healthiest option. Non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, non-carbonated, and non-acidic beverages can also be consumed. These include lukewarm herbal tea, diluted fruit juice, or milk.
It’s recommended to gently sip the drink from a cup to avoid dislodging the blood clot necessary for healing.
Do Not Use Straws to Reduce Risks
Drinking from a straw post wisdom tooth removal can lead to a painful condition known as a dry socket. The sucking action required to drink from a straw creates a vacuum in the mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot that’s formed in the tooth socket. This can reveal the underlying bone and nerves, causing extreme sensitivity, pain, and even infection.
Even though using straws may seem convenient, avoiding them for at least a week after surgery is ideal. This also means you should avoid other actions that create a similar sucking pressure, like smoking or highly vigorous rinsing.
When Can I Eat Solid Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Determining when to eat solid food after wisdom teeth removal can be challenging. As mentioned, following a soft food diet for the first three days after surgery is recommended. You may need to extend this period based on your healing pace and process, and eating solid foods shouldn’t be rushed.
However, as you start to feel better, around the third day post-surgery, you can try incorporating more solid foods like eggs, toast, or oatmeal. But for up to 2 weeks (or up to 8 weeks if you had lower wisdom teeth extracted), you should avoid hard, crunchy, or very chewy foods like European bread, pizza crust, steak, etc
Remember, everyone heals at a different pace, so it’s important to listen to your body and not rush into eating solid foods too quickly. Always follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care. Also, ensure to choose food items rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals to aid in healing and maintain good overall health.
Experience Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Smooth Recovery With Miller’s Family Dentistry
After wisdom teeth removal, it’s essential to stick to a soft food diet for the first few days and slowly reintroduce solid foods as recommended by your dentist or oral surgeon. Avoid hard and crunchy foods irritating the surgical site, and stay hydrated with non-sucking beverages. Should you have further queries or concerns, do not hesitate to call Miller’s Family Dentistry in Tracy, CA. Remember to follow specific instructions your healthcare provider gives for a speedy and successful recovery.