What to eat after Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental surgery that is performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. Some wisdom teeth extractions are more invasive than others, depending on whether the teeth have already erupted through the bone and gums or are still impacted in their sockets beneath the bone, and different procedures require different levels of anesthesia. While some patients prefer general anesthesia or sedation for the procedure, and some procedures necessitate these methods, many wisdom teeth extractions can be performed with local anesthesia. Of course, whenever you have a part of your mouth anesthetized, you should avoid eating until the numbness has completely worn off to avoid injuring the soft tissues of your mouth. Following wisdom teeth extraction surgery, there are similarly specific guidelines; following these guidelines will help keep your oral tissues safe and support the thorough success of your healing.

In many cases, patients are able to resume a normal diet after about a week of recovering from wisdom teeth extraction surgery. For the days immediately after the procedure, you should start with a liquid diet, incorporating soft foods as your comfort levels improve. Your jaw will be sore from being propped open for the procedure, and chewing will be uncomfortable; in addition to causing pain, chewing increases the risk of foods getting trapped in the surgical site or damaging the blood clots that help the sites heal. When these blood clots are disrupted, painful, harmful dry sockets form, interfering with healing and requiring a prompt visit to your dentist. Dentists recommend green smoothies, broths, and blended soups in particular, as these nutrient-rich liquids support effective healing, though very hot liquids should be avoided. Apple sauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes can also be good choices for balanced nutrition, and cold treats like pudding, Jell-O, and ice cream can help soothe discomfort after surgery. If you do enjoy these sweeter treats, make sure they’re not the only part of your diet; especially because you can’t brush your teeth for the first day or two following extraction, sugary foods should only be eaten in moderation. Additionally, when consuming smoothies and other liquids, patients should refrain from using straws until extraction sites are healed, to reduce the risk of dry sockets.

After the initial effects of surgery have subsided and you have started to heal, begin introducing solid yet soft foods like oatmeal and scrambled eggs into your diet. When you’re comfortable, fruits, vegetables, and softer meats like chicken can safely be eaten, paying attention to any discomfort or trigger foods and addressing this with your dentist as needed. Some foods and drinks are more likely to cause issues than others and should be avoided until the surgical sites have healed completely. Spicy foods and citrus fruits or juices could painfully irritate the oral tissues and should be avoided, along with alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can also irritate the surgical sites, and it is likely to have an adverse interaction with any pain medication being taken, especially prescription medication. Harder, small grains, like rice or couscous, and many types of seeds can easily become lodged in the surgical sites, and foods that are hard or challenging to chew, like beef jerky or nuts, can split stitches and reopen surgical sites, delaying healing. Most people recover smoothly after wisdom teeth extraction, but following your dentist’s guidelines is essential to comfortable, efficient healing.


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