Answer: Wisdom tooth removal is just like other tooth extraction procedures. Your dentist will advise you to take it easy for a few days and eat soft and cold foods. There are more diet restrictions and foods that you MUST eat so be sure to ask your dentist about this beforehand.
What you must not eat after wisdom teeth removal
Your dentist will inform you if your wisdom teeth removal or extraction is a simple procedure or may require extensive measures due to complications on your wisdom teeth growth. It may be due to impaction, infection or misalignment of the teeth, gums or bone. But regardless of being a simple or a complicated procedure, there are some foods that you must never eat after wisdom teeth removal.
- Hot foods – hot foods will increase blood on the area and will also increase the risk of bleeding. Your open wound needs to close and to heal completely otherwise it is a perfect haven for bacteria to grow and for infection to settle. Hot foods are also uncomfortable since the area is still open and sensitive to heat and even very cold temperatures.
- Hard foods – avoid eating foods that need to be chewed thoroughly since you need to use the molars to chew well. Pressure on the area will increase the risk of bleeding and also increase the possibility of opening the wound and causing infection. You may eat tolerable foods but avoid chewing on the area. For multiple extractions of your wisdom teeth, you must opt for liquefied foods for a while until your dentist advices you may eat otherwise.
- Spicy foods – avoid foods that will only irritate the open wound. Spicy foods will irritate, inflame and even make the area bleed or swell. This includes spicy condiments or sauces that you add to your food.
- Small bits of foods –small food particles could get stuck in the open wound and may be hard to remove. Food bits get stuck and may be a great place where bacteria can live and thrive. Dentists advice avoiding brushing or picking the area with a toothpick but to gargle (not too hard!) with water instead. Avoid strong mouthwashes as well since the alcohol may only irritate the area.
- Do not drink alcohol – alcohol will only increase the blood circulation on the area and may cause bleeding. Intoxicating with alcohol will also lead to forgetting your food restrictions so it is better to avoid drinking a week or two after your wisdom teeth extraction. Along with alcohol, another thing to avoid is smoking. Nicotine will also increase the blood circulation in the area and will also decrease the function of your immune system and will prolong healing time as well.
There is no benefit to smoking so it is better to quit as early as possible preferably weeks before your scheduled wisdom teeth removal.
What you may eat after wisdom teeth removal
Here are some foods and nutrients that you may eat after your extraction. You may consult your dentist or dietician for special precautions on your diet especially when you have allergies, diabetes, intolerance to dairy products and conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Cold foods – ice cream is a great treat after any type of tooth extraction since it eases pain, reduces swelling and is a perfect reward for a great behavior at the dentist for kids! But of course your ice cream must be plain which means there are no nuts, hard fruits, cookies or other ingredients that can affect the area. One of the most preferred treats are popsicles, cold shakes and floats.
- Protein-rich foods – proteins help build tissues and will improve wound healing time. You can get proteins from eggs, meats, fish, sea food and dairy products but make sure that these are soft enough to eat. Try scrambled eggs, milk shakes, protein shakes, cheese bites and soups. Your dentist will inform you when you can start eating solid foods especially in complicated extractions or multiple wisdom teeth extractions.
- Calcium-rich foods – calcium is needed for strong teeth and bones. You may get calcium easily from soft foods like milk, dairy products like cheese, butter and pastries as well as fruits and vegetables. As always, serve calcium-rich foods cold to prevent irritation and bleeding. If there are no calcium-rich foods handy or you cannot tolerate milk then you may take calcium supplements instead.
- Carbohydrate –rich foods – you need carbs for energy and to keep you feeling full; however carbohydrate-rich foods are often chewy and starchy and could only lead to bits of foods stuck near or on the open wound. To prevent this, you may opt for a soft diet of soup with noodles or pasta to augment your carbs for the day.
- Fruits and vegetables – you need nutrients like vitamins and minerals to increase wound healing time and to help improve the immune system. You can easily supplement with a multivitamin pill but who needs these when you can eat soft fruits and veggies as much as you want! Choose soft fruits like watermelons, melons, citruses, berries and bananas; hard veggies may be steamed or added in soups or casseroles. You may also juice fruits up as well as vegetables to get the most out of the nutrients that they have with the use of a portable juicer or food processor.
These are the foods that you may and may not eat after wisdom teeth extraction. Don’t forget the most important thing of all in every tooth extraction is to rest. Take it easy and just rest for a day to allow your body to recuperate. You are likely to feel sick after undergoing a complicated dental procedure and rest or sleep will do you well. If possible take the day off from work or school to recuperate.