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What to Eat After Tooth Extraction

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An illustration of how a dentist extracts tooth from the denture.

Recovering from oral surgery can come with a lot of questions, such as, “how can you make numbness go away?” or, “can you use mouthwash after a tooth extraction?” Your dentist can answer many of these questions, including one of the most important: “what can you eat after?”

You should always follow the recommendations of your dentist when it comes to recovery. What you can eat may differ, but in general, the foods you can eat after tooth extraction are soft foods that are not too hot, including smoothies, scrambled eggs, blended soups, yogurt, and ice cream

Following your dentist’s instructions for recovery helps ensure your recovery is not affected by potential complications. Learning not only what to eat but also what else to do during recovery can help you prepare to rest well after a tooth extraction. 

What Can You Eat After Oral Surgery?

Soreness near your mouth can last for several days after oral surgery. During that time, you may not feel motivated to eat much, but eating soft foods can help you get the nutrients needed for recovery while also giving your jaw a rest. 

In the first 2 days following minor oral surgery, it’s often best to only eat soft foods, but you may find that as your soreness wears off, you’re more interested in expanding your diet. During that time, try to eat foods that require less chewing. 

Soup can be a satisfying meal in the days following oral surgery, but when eating foods that are normally hot, such as soup or tea, be sure to wait for them to cool off. Hot foods can increase blood flow, which may cause your wound to bleed again. 

Foods you can eat in the first 48 hours after a tooth extraction include:

  • Smoothies
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Room-temperature soup
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce
  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Milkshakes

Foods you can eat after 2–3 days include:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Soft vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Warm soup
  • Salmon
  • Cheese
Food guide for what to eat after tooth extraction.

What Can’t You Eat After Oral Surgery?

Some like it hot, but your mouth does not—especially after oral surgery. Spicy and acidic foods can cause discomfort even when you’re not recovering from a dental procedure, so it’s often best to avoid them after a tooth extraction.  

You should also avoid eating anything crunchy or hard after a tooth extraction. Foods that are difficult to chew may make soreness worse, and bits of crunchy snacks may get stuck in your mouth near the area where the procedure was performed. 

Alcohol should be avoided following oral surgery because it may have adverse interactions with medication prescribed for your recovery. Alcohol can also make it harder for blood to clot and easier for infections to occur.

When you’re drinking smoothies, milkshakes, or other beverages, avoid using a straw. The suction created by using a straw can dislodge clots and cause a dry socket, which may result in discomfort and slow healing. 

Tooth Extraction Recovery Meal Plan

How can you avoid thinking too much about what to eat during the days following your procedure? Use this meal plan to mix and match options for your meals during the first 5 days of your recovery. Don’t forget which foods are recommended during the first 2 days while planning your meals.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Strawberry-banana smoothie 
  • Lunch: Cold cucumber soup 
  • Dinner: Cream of broccoli soup
  • Snack: Ice cream or sorbet
Broccoli soup in a bowl with a wooden spoon and fresh broccoli placed on the table next to it.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Tropical smoothie
  • Lunch: Chilled avocado soup
  • Dinner: Pumpkin Soup
  • Snack: Yogurt, pudding, or applesauce

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
  • Lunch: Roasted carrot and ginger soup
  • Dinner: Macaroni and cheese
  • Snack: Cottage cheese or greek yogurt

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Cheese and egg breakfast wrap
  • Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Dinner: Roasted butternut squash soup
  • Snack: Cheese or a banana 

Day 5 

  • Breakfast: Berry smoothie
  • Lunch: Pasta with olive oil and garlic
  • Dinner: Roasted salmon and mashed potatoes
  • Snack: Milkshake

What Else Should You Avoid After Oral Surgery?

Immediately following the procedure, your dentist may recommend that you avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours to ensure clots are not washed away. 

Try to avoid physical strain as well. It’s important to give yourself time to rest after surgery. Getting plenty of rest not only helps prevent discomfort that can be caused by moving around but can also help you heal. 

When it comes to oral care, you can brush and floss your teeth as usual, but take care to avoid the areas near the spot where your tooth was removed. You should also avoid using mouthwash while recovering from a tooth extraction. 

What Should You Do While Recovering from Oral Surgery?

In addition to getting plenty of rest, one of the most important parts of recovery is to follow the recommendations of your oral surgeon or dentist. Their directions can help ensure your recovery goes well and does not result in complications.

How Can You Reduce Swelling?

Applying a cold compress to your face in 10-minute intervals near the area where your tooth was removed can help reduce swelling when done in the first 24 hours after your procedure. Using a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel is a common method. 

After the first 24 hours, you can wrap a warm heating pad or hot water bottle in a towel to apply heat. Heat can help increase blood flow and bring down swelling, but it’s important to wait for a full day to pass, as heat applied during the first 24 hours may make swelling worse.

Comprehensive Dental Care to Meet Your Needs

At Shawnessy Dental, we’re here to help you during every step of oral surgery, from answering your questions before the procedure to providing advice and support for your recovery. 

Schedule an appointment today to get comprehensive dental care from our trusted team. 

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