Eating and drinking after oral surgery can be a frustrating process. You can’t eat lots of the foods you love and many comfort foods are forbidden when you need comfort the most! Not to mention the process of eating is cumbersome. But fear not!
We’ve put together a list of creative solutions to make sure you get your nutrients after tooth extraction. Whether you had a wisdom tooth removed or underwent jaw repositioning, these food ideas are safe after surgery. If you have specific questions about your diet restrictions following surgery, you can contact CVOS Oral Surgery for professional instructions.
What Foods to Avoid
Getting the right nutrients after surgery is an important part of the recovery process. But many of the foods you are used to getting healthy calories from can do damage to your mouth right after a dental procedure. We will discuss the alternatives, but avoid certain food categories including:
- Hard-to-chew foods can impact the surgery site, dislodge blood clots, and delay healing. This includes nuts, chips, beef jerky, and raw vegetables.
- Grains and seeds can get lodged in extraction sites and complicate healing. This includes rice and quinoa.
- Crunchy and crumbly food like cookies and burnt toast. Crumbs can also enter wounds in your mouth and lead to infection.
- Spicy or acidic foods can irritate wounds and cause discomfort. This includes citrus drinks that are high in acid.
Post-Surgery Drinking Tips
Even though you will be consuming lots of liquids and soft foods after oral surgery, do not use a drinking straw. Using a straw creates negative pressure in your mouth through the sucking action. This can dislodge blood clots that have formed and lead to dry sockets.
Dry sockets are areas of a wound that have bone and sensitive nerve endings exposed. It can be very painful. If you experience severe pain days after surgery, you may have a dry socket and should contact your oral surgeon.
Smoking and drinking alcohol are not recommended in the first days after surgery as they slow the healing process and can lead to complications.
- Drinking alcohol can irritate wounds while they are still healing. And alcohol acts as a blood thinner, making it harder for blood clots to form properly.
- Tobacco products can increase the chances of complications following mouth surgery. Avoid smoking cigarettes or vaping for 72 hours after tooth extraction. Avoid chewing tobacco for 1 week.
20 Soft Food Ideas After Oral Surgery
Adjusting your diet is usually necessary after oral surgery. But there are plenty of ways to get the nutrients your body needs for a speedy recovery. Some of the nutrients your body requires most for wound healing include protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and zinc. These soft foods have the nutrient-packed calories you’ll need.
- Smoothies, Smoothies, Smoothies
Your blender will become your best friend after getting your wisdom teeth removed. Smoothies are a fantastic way to mix flavours and foods while creating something easy to eat after surgery. They are convenient and versatile and can be topped up with protein powder or greek yogurt for protein.
Remember, avoid fruit with seeds in your smoothies. No strawberries or kiwis in your post-op smoothies.
- Pureed Soups
Just like smoothies, blended soups are versatile with a ton of flavour combinations at your disposal. Pureed soups provide lots of nutrition from whole foods that you otherwise couldn’t eat with oral surgical wounds. Make sure vegetables are totally blended with no hard chunks and no seeded fruits.
Try consuming your soups lukewarm as opposed to hot; the heat can irritate your mouth after surgery.
Broth, or liquid soups, are another option with almost endless flavour combinations. Chicken stock or bone broths provide valuable protein and an assortment of ingredients can be added.
Broth-based soups are a source of hydration as well. Eat your soups cold or warm instead of hot to avoid wound irritation.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and pairs well with many types of fruit (but only the seedless kinds). Add honey for sweetness!
Blending chickpeas and olive oil and some other ingredients gives you hummus. Chickpeas are a vegetarian source of protein, which is great for surgery recovery. Don’t dip hard raw vegetables (like carrots) or crumbly crackers. They can damage your healing wounds.
Pasta is a great choice as a surgery recovery food. But no al dente after the dentist. Cook pasta until it’s soft and a little bit mushy for ease of eating. Pasta serves as a great base for many types of blended sauces.
- Ice Cream
Scream for ice cream and not because your oral surgery wounds are in pain. Ice cream is a sweet treat that’s easy to eat without disrupting your mouth after tooth extraction. The cold temperature can also soothe your mouth if you’re experiencing pain.
But skip the crunchy cone and flavours with crunchy bits!
Salmon is a fish with almost unlimited health benefits. And it can be grilled, smoked, baked, or broiled. It’s soft and easy to tear without too much chewing from your molars. Even if it’s your favourite part, you might have to skip the crispy skin; it can flake and fall into surgery wounds.
- Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are super nutritious and can help your oral surgery recovery. Scrambled eggs give a nice smooth texture that can be consumed easily with a sensitive mouth. Here’s a great recipe!
Avocado is another versatile food that is robust in nutrition. Make some guacamole, make some avocado toast (soft toast only), or just eat it with some salt. Avocados contain lots of healthy fats to help you recover quickly.
- Mashed Potatoes
A staple in many Canadian diets — the potato. Mashed potatoes are the best way to consume this root vegetable in the days after oral surgery. They have a silky feel and can be complemented with other flavours, and even gravy. Your grandma’s recipe might be best, but here’s a recipe for delicious mashed potatoes.
That’s right, having your teeth pulled is a fine excuse for enjoying some Jell-O. Jell-O is slippery, smooth, and cold; all great things when your mouth is recovering. Pick your favourite colour and enjoy it worry-free.
- Cottage Cheese
Chock-full of vitamins and protein and easy to consume: the perfect food choice for a snack after oral surgery. Try it as an alternative to yogurt in a smoothie.
While you do want to avoid eating rice, some things on the sushi menu are good to go. Sashimi is soft and requires little chewing. And there are many benefits of eating fish. Avoid adding the wasabi, as it might irritate wounds.
Vegetarians can get their protein fix from soft tofu even after tooth extraction. Tofu provides fats, carbs, and essential amino acids, helping your mouth heal properly.
- Soft Cheeses
No need to stop being sophisticated after a little oral surgery! You can enjoy soft and creamy cheeses such as brie, camembert, chevre, and gorgonzola. Hard crackers aren’t a good choice, but add some seedless jellies and jams to your cheese plate.
- Instant Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice when you’re recovering from a tooth extraction. Instant oatmeal is the preferred choice as it is mushier than steel-cut oats. Cream of wheat is also a good option.
Another classic dessert that works when your teeth hurt. The creamy texture is perfect for a mouth on the recovery.
- Clams, Mussels, Oysters
All of these mollusks are packed full of nutrients and easy to eat. Oysters in particular contain a ton of zinc, which is essential for wound recovery. Whether you like your oysters stewed, steamed, or nude, they are a solid choice after oral surgery.
20. Ripe Skinless Fruit
Fruits like bananas, nectarines, peaches, and plums are a healthy choice for your post-surgery diet. Make sure the skin is removed and that the fruit contains no seeds. Mash or puree any fruit that is still hard until it can be eaten without much chewing.
The Oral Surgery Recovery Menu
Helping yourself fully recover from oral surgery or tooth extraction requires a little diet discipline. Remember to choose foods that are not hard or crumbly, or can easily fall into healing wounds. Blended foods like soups and smoothies are a great choice. Soft and creamy textures are ideal selections on your mouth-recovery menu.
Wisdom tooth removal, along with any other oral surgery, can be a little less frustrating when you have some meal options that inspire you. You can make both your teeth and your stomach happy with our recommended soft food ideas.