After your wisdom teeth are removed, your mouth and gums will feel quite sore while they heal. This means that you will probably need to modify your diet to make eating a little bit more comfortable in the days after the extractions.
Soft foods are the most obvious choice but you should also make sure that you are still getting a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Treating yourself to some comfort food is fine but do keep in mind that vitamins, minerals and proteins can aid the healing process and may even speed it up.
Soups and Broths
Soup is a good standby for any time you don’t feel too good because it’s easy to create a delicious soup that is packed with vitamins and minerals, easy to eat and low in sugar. The main thing to remember is to blend your soup into as smooth a mixture as possible so that you don’t need to chew at all. You should also avoid eating soup that is too hot as this will irritate your gums even more. Lukewarm or cold soups such as gazpacho is ideal.
Broth is often recommended to people recovering from surgery as there may be some evidence that it has anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid healing.
Yogurt, Milkshakes and Ice Cream
When you are struggling to eat, choosing higher-calorie foods is often a good way to make sure you are still eating enough. Dairy products, including yogurt, milkshakes and ice cream, are great because they are soft, delightful to eat and are nice and cool, which will soothe your wounds. Dairy is also high in protein, which has been linked to faster healing times.
Adding fruits to your milkshake will give you another opportunity to get plenty of vitamins but do watch out for small seeds, which may be uncomfortable and could get stuck. Some fruits such as citrus fruits are also acidic, which may irritate your wound too. You should also be aware that yogurt, milkshakes and especially ice cream are quite high in sugar so are best enjoyed as a treat.
Just like dairy, eggs are packed with protein and are soft enough to enjoy after wisdom teeth removal. Try scrambling your eggs for easy eating and serving with avocado, yet another source of protein and healthy fats, and mozzarella, which should be soft enough to chew. If you like, you could also try stirring some soft cheese and herbs into your scrambled eggs to create a looser consistency that’s more interesting than just egg!
Mash It Up
Mashed bananas are high in potassium, which is always good for you. They are also easy to eat and feel like a treat, especially when microwaved for 30 seconds with a spoonful of chocolate spread. You might also like to try making banana ice cream by mashing your banana, adding a splash of milk and freezing overnight before putting the mixture in the blender and serving.
Mashed potatoes are another food favoured by people recovering from wisdom teeth removal because the dish is comforting and filling. You can stir in a bit of grated cheese for variation and top with a poached egg. Again, don’t eat while too hot; allow your potatoes to cool before eating.
Similarly, you can make mash from cooked broad beans, pumpkin or squash, or carrots and swede, which combine to make a delicious sweet mash. If you’re getting bored of soups, mashing your vegetables will provide a little more texture but won’t be difficult to eat.
Hummus is another soft food that goes down well and contains healthy fats as well as protein, vitamins and minerals. While you might not be able to dip a pitta or tortilla chips, hummus is still delicious on its own.
Oatmeal is another good, filling meal and is nice and easy to eat, just make sure you add more milk than usual so that your oats aren’t too claggy. You might want to wait a day or two before eating oatmeal as it can be more difficult to eat than other items on this list. Instant oatmeal is normally a little easier to eat because the oats are milled a bit finer.
You can top your bowl with a swirl of honey or mashed bananas for a bit of extra sweetness if you like. Again, don’t eat straight away, make sure you allow your oatmeal to cool first.
Food to Avoid
Acidic food is off-menu for now, including fruit juices, fizzy pop and tomatoes. Acidic foods and drinks will sting and irritate your wounds and can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation. Spicy foods should also be avoided as they can also cause a burning sensation, which is particularly unpleasant.
You should also avoid any solid, crunchy or chewy foods. The main thing is to avoid irritating or reopening your wounds by accident so sticking with soft or liquid foods is the best option for a speedy recovery. With this in mind, you should also avoid seeds, which might appear in smoothies, and cracked pepper, which is used to season soups.
Alcohol is also a bad idea while you are recovering as it can interfere with your pain medications and may lengthen your recovery time. Simply avoiding all alcohol for a few days is the best course of action.
Mouthwash is obviously not a food but should also be avoided unless your dentist has specifically recommended it.
Having your wisdom teeth removed can be uncomfortable and you will need at least a couple of days to recover. During this time, make sure that you only eat foods that are soft and comfortable and avoid anything you have to chew or crunch. Taking a couple of days outside your usual diet isn’t going to do any harm and you can return to a balanced diet of lots of fruits and vegetables once your wounds have healed.
If you have any concerns about the foods you can and cannot eat, or if you are worried about how long your recovery will be, you should ask your dentist for further advice.