What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal: Dos, Don’ts, and Care Tips

wisdom teeth after diet houston tx

Knowing what to eat after wisdom tooth removal is critical to avoid post-operative complications. The proper diet will speed up your recovery, whereas the wrong diet increases your risk of infection and dry socket. Below, learn about the “dos” and “don’ts” for eating after wisdom tooth removal surgery.

What you CAN Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

You have to pay close attention to your diet after wisdom tooth removal surgery to avoid complications. Your body needs the proper nutrients during the recovery process to reduce swelling, promote healing, and restore your strength. Use the list below to stock your kitchen with the right foods before your surgery day.

Immediately following your wisdom tooth removal surgery, you will awake from the effects of anesthesia in a recovery room under the supervision of your surgical assistant. Since you will have been fasting before surgery, you will probably be hungry, and you should put something in your stomach as soon as you are discharged into the care of your guardian. But you must follow Dr. Maida and Moya’s dietary instructions to ensure the surgical site is undisturbed during the healing process.

Liquid Diet: First 24 Hours After Surgery

For the first 24 hours, stick to a liquid diet, such as:

  • Bouillon
  • Warm broth
  • Smooth, pureed soups
  • Smoothies
  • Milkshakes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Nutritional supplement drinks (Ensure, Boost, Carnation, Glucerna, etc.)
  • Pudding
  • Sherbet

Do not use a straw or your first 48 hours of recovery after wisdom teeth extraction. Doing so will create a suction vacuum inside your mouth and risk dislodging the forming blood clot over your wisdom teeth extraction sites. Use a spoon to eat smoothies/milkshakes and avoid smoking for the duration of your recovery.

Soft Food Diet: Grocery List for Your Recovery

After the first 24 hours of recovery, you can switch to a soft food diet. A soft food diet includes:

  • Steamed (soft) vegetables
  • Apple sauce (pureed produce)
  • Bananas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soft bread (not crunchy)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Thinly Sliced Cheese

What NOT to Eat During Recovery

Just as your diet is an essential tool to aid your recovery, the wrong foods will hinder the healing process and increase your risk of developing complications. During your recovery from wisdom teeth extraction surgery, avoid eating these foods and beverages:

  • Acidic foods and drinks (lemon juice, orange juice, vinegar, etc.)
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Small grains, nuts, and seeds (rice, quinoa, poppyseed bagels, sunflower seeds, etc.)
  • Crunchy foods (crackers, chips, etc.)
  • Chewy foods (taffy, jerky, etc.)
  • High-sugar foods and drinks

Do NOT Use Tobacco During Recovery

Apart from smoking, you should also avoid any oral tobacco or nicotine usage, such as vape pens, chewing tobacco, and pouch tobacco. Products containing tobacco and nicotine can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Consider alternative means of nicotine cessation, such as the patch, for at least a week following surgery. Although complete nicotine sensation is the ideal recommended to ensure optimal healing.

Common Complications After Removal of Wisdom Teeth

It is uncommon for complications to arise after getting your wisdom teeth removed. But complications can occur if the blood clots can’t fully form over the extraction site, or it gets reopened. Possible complications after wisdom teeth removal surgery, from the most to least common (respectively), include:

  • Dry Socket
  • Oral infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Allergic reaction

A dry socket is a condition that occurs when the blood is unable to form a clot over the extraction site. The worst symptom of a dry socket is a throbbing pain in your gums or jaw where the bone is exposed. It can also produce an unpleasant smell and taste in your mouth. Dr. Maida and Dr. Moya will treat the dry socket with medication and flush out the socket’s debris.

Recovery Process/Timeline

The recovery process after wisdom teeth removal surgery progresses as follows:

Day 1

Upon completing your procedure and release from our office, you will feel hungry and tired from anesthesia. Stick to a liquid food diet for 24 hours. Do not use a straw or anything that creates suction in your mouth. You will not be able to use a mouth rinse until day two, so avoid overly sugary foods or beverages.

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Before your release, Dr. Maida and Dr. Moya will give you instructions on over the counter (OTC) pain medication and pain management techniques to minimize discomfort during recovery. They may also prescribe pain medication to be filled at your pharmacy and used if OTC pain relief medication is unsuccessful.

Days 2 and 3

You can gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or a prescribed rinse during your second and third recovery days and move to a limited soft food diet. A soft food diet will provide more nutrients for your body. There will still be sensitivity, and you should avoid chewing or placing food directly over the extraction sites. Avoid food and drinks that are especially hot or cold.

Day 4 and 5

On day 4 and 5, you can start reintroducing normal foods. Avoid anything hard or crunchy to avoid ripping the incisions. You can add more soft foods to your diet including macaroni and cheese, eggs, and other tasty soft foods.

Day 6 and Onward

By day six of your recovery, you should see a reduction in swelling and sensitivity. The incision sites are vulnerable to rupture if you are not careful. Avoid crunchy or chewy foods, like hard taco shells, beef jerky, and crunchy bread until the sockets are fully healed.

Maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine to avoid developing oral infections at the extraction sites. Starting on day two or three, you can gently floss and brush your teeth. Be careful not to brush over the extraction site to avoid opening the incision and exposing the jawbone.

Call our office today for answers about specific foods you can eat after your wisdom tooth removal or how you can meet nutritional recommendations with dietary restrictions.

Experience Exceptional Service & Quality Oral Surgery Care.

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Call us: 713-457-6337