Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars that grow in at the vey back of your gums. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 21. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each back corner of their mouth. Due to the lack of space in the back of your mouth, wisdom teeth usually don’t come in properly. This makes it more difficult to brush and floss these teeth, letting food become easily trapped and providing bacteria a place to enter your gums. Wisdom teeth that don’t properly grow can crowd or damage neighboring teeth. To prevent any oral health issues, many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth.
Even though wisdom teeth removal is common, it is still important to maintain a healthy diet, full of soft and nutritious foods following your surgery. A healthy diet reduces the risk of complications, helps minimize swelling, provides nourishment, and assists the healing process. We at Park View Family Dental in Colorado have put together our list of foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal, and foods to avoid, below.
Foods To Eat
Generally, you’ll want to stick to liquids and soft, mushy foods for the first 3 to 5 days, including:
- Blended soups, like tomato or pumpkin soup, are easy to eat, nutrient-rich and hydrating
- Broths, consumed either lukewarm or cold. They are full of essential vitamins and minerals to aid recovery
- Mashed potatoes
- Apple sauce
- Seedless, pureed fruit
As you begin to heal, you can slowly incorporate more regular, semi-soft foods such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
- Instant oatmeal
- Avoid drinking from a straw. Straws create suction in the mouth, which increases your chance of getting dry mouth.
- Let any hot foods cool down before eating and ensure you keep the area clean per your dentist’s recommendations.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. The nicotine in cigarettes and chewing tobacco impedes healing and prolongs recovery time.
Foods To Avoid
For the first few days, the extraction site will be tender and vulnerable to infection. You should avoid foods that can irritate the area or lead to complications.
For 1 Week After
- Acidic, tough or spicy foods (citrus juice, peppers)
- Crumbly, crunchy or tough foods (pizza, jerky, popcorn, hamburgers, etc.)
- Grains (rice, quinoa)
For 2 to 4 weeks After
You should avoid the following foods until you are fully recovered. These foods can more-easily become stuck in your wounds and disrupt or prevent appropriate healing.
Maintaining a diet full of soft, healthy, and nutritious foods in the days and weeks after wisdom teeth removal is crucial to your recovery. If you stick to the right foods while avoiding foods that can disrupt your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of infection or dry socket, and you’ll likely reduce the time it takes you to recover. If you have more questions or are having issues with your wisdom teeth recover, call our Greeley office at (970) 352-5448 or our Fort Collins office at (970) 732-4371.