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What to eat after wisdom teeth removal?

You’ll need to get your wisdom teeth removed if problems occur when the third molars in the back start to emerge, because there isn’t enough space in your mouth.

Removing one or more wisdom teeth (there are four) is usually the only option to banish the pain that occurs with overcrowding.

Everyone reacts differently to the extraction procedure, which can be done under local or general anaesthetic – depending on how severe “impaction” is (the molar is trapped under the gums or positioned at an inconvenient angle).

There will typically be swelling, discomfort and bleeding for up to seven days after the procedure. During this time, you won’t be able to eat the standard diet and may have to go without your favourite foods. Thankfully there are plenty of delicious and nourishing alternatives!

What to eat after wisdom teeth removal?

You can only eat soft foods that are easy to chew, for a few days to a week (sometimes longer).

Try to include produce that contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, to promote faster wound healing. Make sure the temperature isn’t warm or hot, as this will irritate your wounds. Lukewarm or cold is fine.

Examples of suitable and nourishing food and beverages include:

  • Blended soups that are lukewarm or cold, to avoid irritation
  • Smoothies: choose fruits and other ingredients that taste good to you
  • Broth for its anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Mashed avocado: contains plenty of healthy fats and tastes delicious
  • Soothing Greek yoghurt, which contains plenty of calcium and zinc
  • Mashed potatoes or pumpkin to give you energy
  • Scrambled eggs: high in protein and other nutrients for wound healing
  • Applesauce: good source of fibre and vitamin C
  • Mashed bananas: high in potassium, vitamin B6 and folate
  • Coconut milk or cream: it has antibacterial properties
  • Hummus or bean dip for healthy fats and nutrients (but skip the bread and crackers this time)
  • Ice cream because everyone deserves a treat! (homemade banana ice cream is a healthy option)
  • Cottage cheese: it tastes good and goes well with scrambled eggs or salmon!
  • Salmon: soft, delicious and full of healing omega-3 fatty acids
  • Porridge with instant oatmeal: don’t rush into this one, wait a few days because oats can be chewy

A note about indulgent soft foods:

You may also be tempted to eat soft foods that aren’t nutrient-dense, such as jelly, custard, chocolate mousse, rice pudding and traditional ice cream.

This is fine in small amounts, but please don’t go overboard with the sugar, as you usually need to wait a few days before brushing your teeth with toothpaste (we don’t want plaque to accumulate in the meantime). Even when you can use toothpaste again, you need to brush very gently and avoid the area of the extraction.

What foods and beverages to avoid after wisdom teeth removal?

Avoid any food or drinks that irritate your wound until enough healing has occurred (this usually takes around one week, but could be longer).

  • Warm or hot temperatures
  • Spicy or chili foods
  • Anything that is chewy, crunchy or brittle
  • Crumbly foods like biscuits, as food particles can get trapped in the wound site
  • Alcohol: avoid this for the entire recovery period as it may clash with your medication

When drinking beverages, don’t use a straw because the suction motion creates the perfect environment for a dry socket to develop. This painful condition occurs when a blood clot fails to properly form at the wound site, which interferes with healing.

Please call your dentist for advice if you have any questions about diet or aftercare, to best support recovery. Remember, you should expect bleeding, pain and swelling but this shouldn’t be excessive or last beyond one week.

Our friendly team is based in Wahroonga, and we’re committed to providing the best dental care. Fill out this form or call us on (02) 9489 1107 to book an appointment.

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