If you had just gotten your wisdom teeth removed (or about to), you may wonder what food can you consume during this period of time. Nutrition and post-surgery instructions play a very important part in the recovery process. Eating the right foods will aid with wound healing, minimizing facial swelling and prevent an infection at the extraction sites.
By the end of this article, you will know what to eat after wisdom teeth surgery and be ready to go on a food hunt with our recommendations!
What Happens After My Wisdom Teeth Removal?
After your wisdom tooth extraction or surgery, you may experience minor bleeding at the extraction site. This is entirely normal and can be easily stopped by biting tightly onto a piece of sterile gauze for about half an hour.
For wisdom tooth removal via surgery, the dentist will usually prescribe pain medication, antibiotics to prevent infection, and an antiseptic mouthwash to help you cope better over the next few days. An ice pack will also be given to you immediately after the surgery to minimize facial swelling over the next few days.
The dentist will also provide you with specific instructions to care for your oral health. This includes the dos and don’ts, as well as foods to eat after a wisdom tooth extraction. It is recommended to wait for the anesthesia to wear off before starting to eat to avoid biting yourself or getting burned by hot food.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Surgery?
In the first few days (day 1 to 3), you will be advised to consume a healthful diet of soft foods. This consists of both liquid and soft foods. Here are 10 examples of recommended foods to eat that you can find in Singapore.
1) Mashed potatoes
Potatoes are packed with fiber and antioxidants which are beneficial to the body. It is also known to aid with digestion by improving gut health. Mashed potatoes are also comforting, delicious and easy to consume. After wisdom teeth removal, some people may not have a large appetite and for mashed potatoes, a little goes a long way as it is calorie and nutrient dense.
2) Ice cream
Ice cream is usually recommended after you had your wisdom teeth removed. Cold foods help to soothe your swollen gums and the wound which can help with reducing the swelling. You can go for regular ice cream or for a healthier alternative, banana ice cream can be made at home by blending frozen bananas with milk. This may be the only time your dentist is prescribing you with ice cream so do take advantage of that!
3) Blended soups
Blended soups, such as mushroom or tomato soup, are examples of liquid foods to consume. However, it must be blended so small bits and chunks of food do not get lodged in the wound, which can cause infections. Soups are nourishing and contain plenty of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It is also hydrating as it has a high water content.
Porridge is a local favorite dish as it is easy to consume and digest due to its simple ingredients. It is also a substantial meal which is filling to consume. Soft foods such as eggs, fish slices and meat floss can be added for extra protein and nutrients to improve the taste and health benefits. Porridge also hydrates the body as it is cooked with plenty of water or stock. However, porridge must be cooled down before consumption to ensure that it does not irritate the wound.
5) Scrambled eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain various different vitamins and minerals. It contains zinc which promotes wound healing, allowing the extraction sites to heal faster. Scrambled eggs are also inexpensive and easily prepared at home. It is easier to eat as it is semi-soft and mushy compared to other ways of preparing egg.
Avocadoes are incredibly popular and are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals. This superfood is known for its vast amounts of benefits to overall health and its versatility of preparation. Avocadoes can be blended into smoothies, eaten as guacamole and eaten plain. Its soft and creamy texture is ideal after a wisdom tooth removal.
7) Steamed fish
Fish contains high quality proteins and are a good source of nutrients. They contain Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids which are essential in keeping our brains and heart healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent wound infections and improve early wound healing. Steamed fish has tender and soft flesh which allows for easy consumption after you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed.
Tofu is rich in protein and contains all the 9 essential amino acids. It is rich in calcium and iron and does not contain cholesterol. Tofu can be served in several different ways: fried, braised or even in the form of dessert douhua/ soya beancurd. It is also eaten with different toppings and sauces, making it very versatile and easy to fit to one’s taste.
9) Mashed vegetables or fruits
Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes can be served mashed after undergoing wisdom teeth removal. They are rich in carotene which helps your body to make Vitamin A. You can also use fruits such as apples to be pureed into apple sauce. Apples are a good source of Vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system to combat infection. This is a good way of maintaining your intake of fruits and vegetables following the dental surgery.
Smoothies are also recommended after wisdom teeth removal. They are optimal for when you’re unable to chew on solid foods. You can also customize the ingredients inside the smoothie by adding different fruits, vegetables or yogurt. When adding fruits, do make sure you’re adding seedless ones as tiny seeds can lodge into the wound and cause an infection. Drinking straws should not be used either.
After the dental surgery, you may find some difficulty in eating food. Your mouth opening may feel limited and constrained which is normal. It is recommended to take small bites of food instead.
In the next few days (day 3 onwards), you can gradually introduce more solid foods and other regular food into your diet. This includes oatmeal, bread and soft noodles. In at least a week after the wisdom teeth extraction, you will be able to resume normal eating as usual.
Foods That Should Be Avoided
After you had your wisdom teeth removed, the extraction wound would feel sensitive and vulnerable to infection. To avoid infections and other recurring dental problems, the following foods should be avoided after wisdom teeth removal as they can cause pain and irritate the wound, prolonging the recovery process.
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods (citrus juice)
- Hard or chewy foods (nuts, seeds or jerky)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hot foods
Activities That Should Be Avoided
- Sucking through a straw
- Excessive spitting
- Excessive mouth rinsing
- Strenuous activities
- Touching or poking the wound
After you had your wisdom teeth removed, blood clot will form in the tooth socket as part of the healing process. However, vigorous activities such as those listed above may cause the newly formed blood clot to dislodge which leads to a painful condition known as dry socket. Dry socket is fairly common and leads to delayed wound healing.
Smoking will also prolong the recovery period and increase your chances of developing dry socket. It is recommended to avoid smoking for at least 72 hours after your extraction.
Different individuals will experience a different rate of healing. Therefore, you should proceed with eating more solid food at your own comfort and pace. For a faster rate of recovery, it is vital to consume a healthy diet of soft foods and avoid foods that may lead to pain or infection in the wound area. Ample rest is also important to speed up healing. You will be given 1-2 days of medical leave for a simple extraction and 5-7 days for surgical cases to recover.
If you suspect that you have an impacted wisdom tooth in need of removal, you should visit a dentist for a check up to confirm. It is wise to remove impacted wisdom teeth in the wrong position as soon as you can.
At Ocean Dental, we have our general practitioners for wisdom tooth removal as well as a regular visiting oral surgeon specialist coming in every month for more complex surgery cases. We also have dental X-ray machines for panoramic X-ray (OPG) and CBCT (for 3D scans). We care for your oral health and aim for every step to be done within our clinic for your own comfort and convenience.
Check out our wisdom tooth removal services!