Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come in and sometimes never come in at all. They often become impacted and can’t erupt properly, which can cause swelling, discomfort, or pain.
If you’re having your wisdom teeth removed, you may be wondering what you’ll be able to eat afterward as you heal. Read on to learn the recommended foods to eat and the foods to avoid after wisdom teeth removal. Most importantly, always follow your oral surgeon’s instructions.
What foods should I avoid when recovering from wisdom teeth removal?
While recovering from wisdom teeth extraction, don’t smoke or drink with a straw. Doing so can dislodge the blood clot that helps promote healing and cause a dry socket.
A dry socket is when the blood clot that forms in your tooth socket after surgery either dissolves or becomes dislodged. The clot protects the bone and nerves underneath, so you can get pain and possible nerve damage when it goes.
- Avoid hot liquids and carbonated beverages following your procedure.
- Stay away from hard, crunchy, or chewy foods because they can irritate the surgical site. Additionally, hard candy and sticky candy can pull on stitches and cause pain or discomfort.
- Foods such as chocolate, popcorn, and nuts can be dangerous for patients recovering from wisdom tooth extraction because they can easily become lodged in the surgical site.
If you’re unsure whether a food is safe for you to eat after surgery, try cutting it into smaller pieces or using an electric blender or food processor to make it easier to chew.
What should I eat after wisdom teeth removal?
Plan to eat a soft food diet after your wisdom teeth removal—this means that you should eat foods that are bland and easy to chew. It’s important to have the foods you need on hand at home before your surgery so you can rest and recover.
It’s a good idea to have appropriate foods on hand at home before your surgery.
Suggested foods to consume after a wisdom tooth extraction include:
- Chilled foods: yogurt, pudding, jello, ice cream
- Soup (not too hot)
- Mashed potatoes
- Smoothies (no seeds or nuts)
- Cottage cheese
- Scrambled eggs
- Steamed vegetables
After your procedure, it’s important to select foods that help promote healing and reduce the risk of infection or pain.
When can I eat solid food again?
Most patients will be able to return to their regular diet within 3-4 days following surgery, but there may still be some discomfort chewing certain foods. Patients must avoid smoking and using drinking straws for at least 72 hours after surgery to prevent dry sockets.
When you’re ready to ditch the soft foods, you may want to first begin by adding things like pasta and rice. These are easy on the jaw and won’t get stuck in the areas where your wisdom teeth were removed. You should be back to eating all foods about ten days after surgery.