We dread dental extractions for the needles, the oozing blood or the pain. But the problem doesn’t end with removing your tooth. What follows is days of disparity about how to keep the area clean, what to eat, and how to replace your missing tooth. By the end of this article, you will know what to eat after tooth extraction.
Also, you will know what not to eat after tooth extraction. As a principle, soft food, such as ice cream, soup, milkshakes, etc., clear liquid diet and full liquid diet are good for you. On the other hand, you must avoid anything hard or spicy such as toffees and chips.
What is good for you and what isn’t after tooth extraction?
Once you get your tooth extracted, the socket requires a few days of healing. A blood clot will form within the cavity to stimulate healing and new bone formation. Anything you eat should not disturb this clot. Cold and soft food is recommended for the soothing effect.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid anything that is too sticky or can get lodged in the space. You are going to find it hard to brush in that area for a while, so you don’t want to eat something that needs over-cleaning.
If your extraction is slightly complicated or you have got multiple teeth, or your wisdom tooth removed, your dentist may give you sutures. You should not eat anything that can get stuck in between these small threads or cause them to snap.
Acidic and spicy food is not suitable for you either. These foods irritate your tissues more than normal food and will make you want to clean your mouth over and over. Spicy food can even cause that area to burn or itch.
Foods to eat after tooth extraction
In general, you can go for soft foods after tooth extraction. There are several options available and they are –
- Suggested read: What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Ice cream is the gold standard for post-extraction food. Your dentist will advise you to have ice cream after your extraction, keeping a gap of one or two hours.
The ice is soothing for the mouth and helps to prevent swelling (1). Since it is soft and requires no chewing, there is no danger of biting or hurting your lip or cheek.
Be careful, however, that you eat plain ice cream of a flavor of your choice. It should not have any chips, nuts or sprinkles. Simply put, avoid anything hard in your scoop.
Also, eat in a cup, not a cone, since the key is to avoid anything hard or crunchy. If you have over-sensitive teeth, do not have it very frequently.
Milkshakes are a filling option when you can’t eat well. You can add any fresh fruits of your liking and blend them all in with some sugar. Try to keep the consistency moderate without making it too thick.
You can also add flavored syrup or fruit extract to milk. Drinking milkshake gives you some required protein and calcium that you need while you’re off solid food.
Like milkshakes, smoothies are a good beverage choice too. A smoothie is a blend of fruits just by itself, or with frozen yogurt. If you are not too fond of milk, you can have this instead of a milkshake.
You can also add probiotics to your smoothie for added nutrients.
Just like a lot of us rely on soup when we are sick, we can also drink soup after an extraction. But you should be careful to avoid hot soup. Cold soup, one with not very acidic contents is ideal for a healthy post extraction meal.
Soups are rich in vitamins and minerals, giving you your daily supply of nutrients that you would usually get from eating fruits and vegetables. They also help to keep you hydrated through your healing.
Avoid having large chunks of vegetables in your soup, or anything that needs too much chewing.
The bone broth has the same benefits as soup. It is nutritious, keeps you hydrated and is easy on the mouth. Any cold broth of your liking is good for the healing. In fact, bone broth is also anti-inflammatory, accelerating wound healing. (2)
Greek Yogurt is a high source of protein and calcium. It also has a right amount of zinc which is said to promote wound healing. (3)
The soft, creamy texture of yogurt is comforting in the mouth and helps you feel better since it gives a mild numbing sensation.
Scrambled eggs are the way you should have your eggs after extraction. They are soft and more comfortable to chew on, simultaneously giving you the required nutrients.
Eggs are a rich source of superior quality protein. They contain omega fats and promote wound healing. (4) Avoid eating very hot scrambled eggs.
The best thing about potatoes is that you can cook them in uncountable ways. After a dental extraction, mashed potatoes are good for you. They are soft and rich in calories. The high-calorie value fulfills your increased energy requirement after tooth extraction.
To avoid irritation to your wound, have your potatoes cold with a mild flavor which is not too strong to cause a burning sensation.
Avocados are rich in potassium and Vitamin K. Unlike most other fruits, they are also low in carbs. Thus, if you eat them after tooth extraction, it will help you meet your nutrient requirement. Mashed or whipped avocados are comforting to eat.
Cottage cheese or cheese is soft and highly nutritious. You can have it with soft bread or eat in plain form. It is also an option for you to eat after tooth extraction.
Tanned baked beans are perfect to have if you are craving something flavorsome but not too harsh. These are soft and have the taste of tomato to give you some idea. Make sure you don’t eat them too hot.
Jelly and puddings are of an excellent consistency for your post extraction meal. They are soft, don’t contain anything chewy and do not irritate the wound. Any flavor that you like, without any added chunks of chips or toppings, is excellent for you to have.
Pies, Pastry, Mousse
These are foods that will make you feel less sick during your recovery. To satiate all your sweet cravings, you can have a soft pastry or a mousse of any flavor. Like with all other food, it should contain no nuts or anything that needs excessive chewing.
Tea contains tannins that promote wound healing. Iced tea combines the benefits of tea along with giving you the right temperature and consistency to keep you comfortable and hydrated.
The hardest part about recovering from tooth extraction is not being able to eat something wholesome. All these soft and cold foods cannot replace a complete meal. But having some soft plain rice can help you feel a little full and satiate your hunger.
What to avoid?
- After you get an extraction, you will have swelling and some pain for a few days. Immediately after your tooth is removed, your tongue and lips will feel numb or heavy. To avoid any injury to your soft tissues, your dentist will advise you not to have anything hard, sticky or spicy.
- Avoid chips and wafers and crunchy and excessively salty. You should strictly avoid such foods at least a week after extraction.
- Avoid acidic foods like pickles or pungent dips irritate your tissues and delay wound healing.
- Avoid small seeds, grains or chips can get stuck in the socket and require excessive chewing.
- You should also avoid alcoholic drinks while you are recovering. Alcohol delays healing and iirritateyour tissues. Also, it can have interactions with the medicines prescribed to you.
- It is imperative that you do not use a straw to have any of the beverages while on your recovery period. The sucking action of the straw creates suction which poses a very high threat to develop a dry socket. A dry socket is a complication of extraction where there is dislodgement of the clot. (5) Due to this, you may experience increased pain as your nerves are exposed.
Over to you on foods to eat after tooth extraction
It is difficult to find something that will soothe the pain and satiate your hunger at the same time. After tooth extraction, every dentist recommend that you have a high liquid intake, with nutritious soups, milkshakes, and yogurt till you can get back to eating whole foods.
Be careful to avoid anything that will increase your pain and delay your recovery, and you should be back to your regular eating regime in about a week. Follow your dentist advise about keeping a cotton gauze in the mouth, salt water gargles and application of an ice pack to recover faster.