While it’s normal to suffer from soreness after having your wisdom teeth removed, eating can be quite a challenge. Therefore, sticking with soft foods like broths, soups, yogurts, and ice cream can make your recovery a bit easier. This article discusses a range of safe foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal along with tips to help your healing process run smoothly.
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What are Wisdom Teeth?
Also known as our third molars, our wisdom teeth grow at the back of our gums and will usually be the last to emerge in a developing mouth. Most people will have four wisdom teeth; these are located in every corner at the back of your mouth. However, there are times when a wisdom tooth develops at a wrong angle or may only partially emerge, which are known as impacted wisdom teeth.
Today, wisdom tooth removal is commonly done for optimal dental health, helping to lower the risk of infection, tooth decay, and overcrowding. After the wisdom teeth removal, it’s important to get the right nutrition to make sure that you get the most out of your recovery process. During this time, it’s best to only eat soft foods and drink liquids — during your first week, you won’t be able to eat solid foods at all.
Safe Foods After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Putting together a nutritious diet will help to minimize the risk of complications, provide nourishment, and aid with wound healing. Unfortunately, you’ll need to avoid cold and hot foods to prevent the irritation of the surgical sites. Thankfully, there are many types of foods that you’ll still be able to enjoy after your oral surgery.
Below are some of the best foods to eat after your wisdom teeth surgery.
1. Greek Yogurt
This is a high-protein food that can be enjoyed after wisdom tooth surgery, offering a smooth and soft texture that may help to numb and soothe the mouth. Greek yogurt is known to be rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, zinc, and calcium. High-protein foods have also been linked to a faster recovery time, compared to a low-protein diet.
Moreover, adequate zinc intake is known to promote healing around the area of surgery. Even if you already have enough zinc in your body, getting more than needed may provide you with more health benefits. Unfortunately, many of the usual zinc-rich foods we usually look for will be hard to eat after dental surgery, which is why Greek yogurts serve as a great alternative.
2. Cottage Cheese
This is a great option that’s packed with minerals and vitamins while being low in calories. Because it has a soft and creamy texture, it’s easy to swallow and chew whenever you need to recover from wisdom teeth removal. Cottage cheese can be easily incorporated into a nutritious diet; try adding some to smoothies or scrambled eggs.
3. Instant Oatmeal
These are one of the most nutritional foods you can eat at this time, offering a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while also providing a filling option. Oats are slightly sticky and chewy foods, so it’s best if you wait at least three days before starting to include them in your diet. Be sure to look for instant oatmeal such as steel-cut oats which are easier to consume and are less chewy. You can avoid irritating the extraction site by cooling your oatmeal before eating them.
If you’re looking to add healthy fats to your diet, salmon is a great source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fats. They provide essential fatty acids that assist in wound healing, working to reduce inflammation, especially in those with already low levels of fatty acid. While inflammation is vital to the healing process, too much of it can stop recovery should it last too long — salmon helps to regulate inflammation, making it a great option for wisdom teeth removal.
5. Blended Soups
Pumpkin soup can be a great addition to a healthy diet and are easy enough to consume after having your wisdom teeth removed. When prepared properly, soups can be rich in vitamins and minerals, and don’t contain any crunchy foods that could irritate your gums. Because they come with plenty of nutrition, soups can help you meet your daily nutrition recommendations when whole fruits and vegetables aren’t an option.
Blended soups also help with hydration, which is essential for wisdom teeth removal recovery. However, hot soups can cause irritation, so it’s best to wait for it to reach room temperature or when it’s lukewarm. When making vegetable-based soups, be sure to blend everything to a smooth consistency to eliminate big chunks.
Broths can be an excellent source of nourishment, offering a variety of vitamins and minerals. This nutritious stock is known for its range of health benefits; components of bone broth include connective tissue and animal bones. While there aren’t direct studies on the health effects of bone broth, there have been studies that suggest its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Avocados are great for post-wisdom teeth removal recovery, providing plenty of healthy fats while staying low in carbs. They are also a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, where a study found that avocados may be able to speed up the process of wound healing. While this fruit is usually easy to consume, it’s best to have them mashed or whipped to further assist with your recovery.
8. Mashed Potatoes
These root vegetables can be served in many different ways; mashed potatoes, in particular, can be very comforting after you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removal. This option provides a lot of nutrients and calories, which can aid in a speedy recovery, which is helpful since we have higher energy requirements at this time. While potatoes are generally considered to be hard foods, mashed potatoes are semi-soft foods that offer plenty of energy in just a couple of bites. You can also use sweet potatoes as a substitute that’s just as healthy and packed with nutrients.
9. Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are some of the best foods you can eat after your wisdom teeth surgery, providing you with a good source of high-quality protein that’s rich in minerals and vitamins. However, not all eggs are made equal, and some will be better than others; look for omega-3-enriched varieties, where these healthy fats may help heal wounds. When preparing a meal, opt for scrambled eggs which are easier to chew and swallow than other kinds of eggs.
10. Mashed Bananas
We all know that bananas are among the most popular fruits around and are also soft-textured foods that make it easy for us to eat even after dental surgery. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, potassium, folate, and manganese. You may mash your bananas to further soften them and reduce the risk of biting any part of the mouth, which could lead to excessive bleeding.
11. Ice Cream
While ice cream may be a cold food, it’s fine to consume some after a wisdom tooth surgery. However, you will need to allow it to soften first — let it sit out at room temperature between five to ten minutes, which may help to soothe gum inflammation temporarily. Be sure to enjoy your favorite flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry; avoid any flavor with hard add-ons like chocolate chip, rocky road, and mint chocolate chip.
These types of ice cream may only slow down your healing process and may even get stuck inside the extraction site, which could lead to irritation or even infections.
Liquid foods like smoothies provide a great solution to boosting nutrition when you’re unable to eat solid foods. Because you can adjust the different ingredients to use in smoothies, they are highly versatile and can be easily consumed, helping you meet your nutritional needs. For instance, you can mix protein powder with Greek yogurt, along with your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that a low intake of protein may impair your ability to recover from wisdom tooth removal. This is why it’s important to blend some fruits and vegetables along with a good source of protein. Be sure to use seedless fruits — avoid blackberries and strawberries to keep seeds from getting stuck in the extraction site.
Foods to Avoid
There are many kinds of foods that may irritate the wounds left as a result of extraction — these will not help with your recovery and should be avoided, such as:
- Spicy foods which cause irritation and pain
- Crunchy foods such as cookies or chips, which may become lodged within the wound and prevent timely healing
- Seeds and grains which can also get stuck in your wounds and prevent healing
- Chewy foods which could increase the risk of biting your lips, tongue, and cheeks, which is especially true right after the surgery when your mouth is still numb
- Alcohol which could irritate your wound or even interact with prescribed medication for your recovery — it’s best to avoid this entirely while you’re healing.
You will also need to avoid using straws as you recover from your wisdom teeth removal. Straws can create suction which could increase your chance of developing a dry socket in the mouth. This is a painful condition where the blood clot that protects the area of tooth extraction becomes dislodged. When this happens, the underlying nerves and bones become exposed to air, which not only delays healing but will also cause you pain.
Stick with Safe Foods After Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you’ve recently had a wisdom tooth pulled out, it’s vital that you create a nutrient-rich diet that consists of soft-textured foods to help with your quick recovery. Nutrient-rich foods won’t just help with your recovery but also help to prevent discomfort on your road to healing. Even if you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed just yet, it would still help to stock up on these great options ahead of time to ensure that you’re properly nourished and eat your fill after your surgery.
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