Probably the hardest part of having your wisdom teeth removed is the recovery. Figuring out what you can and can’t do, and what you can and can’t eat can be tricky. One of the biggest things to remember is not to do this alone. We talked about that in Wisdom Teeth, Part 1, so make sure you have someone looking after you during and after your wisdom teeth removal. They can help you keep track of your medications, and help you prepare foods while you follow your oral surgeon’s or dentist’s instruction to rest.
When figuring out what to eat after wisdom teeth removal, keep in mind that you will need to stick to soft foods for the first 24 hours after your surgery. After that, you can begin to move to semi-soft foods. But you should definitely avoid sticky, chewy, or spicy foods since they could disrupt the healing process. Foods that have seeds or chunks are not best for recovery. Wait to eat foods containing these things until your wisdom tooth sockets are fully healed.
Here are some ideas we put together for foods you can eat after having your wisdom teeth removed.
- During the first 24 hours…only soft foods
- Mashed potatoes
- Very ripe bananas
- Fruit smoothies (just remember no straws or sucking for a week)
- Baby food (yes…that’s right)
- Pureed soups
- Milkshakes (just remember no straws or sucking for a week)
- Cauliflower puree
- Pureed guacamole
One important thing to remember while you’re healing is to stay away from extreme temperatures with your foods and beverages. Things that are hot or too cold can add to your pain, so keep things on the lukewarm side and avoid extremes after wisdom teeth removal.
- After your first 24 hours…begin adding semi-soft foods
- Polenta or cheese grits (and all you Southerners said, “Hallelujah!“)
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni & cheese (possibly overcook the pasta to make it easier to chew)
- Refried beans
- Soups with softened vegetables
Take some time before your tooth extraction to plan out some of your meals. However, keep in mind that what sounds good to you before surgery may not sound good to you after surgery. Have your caregiver look up some recipes, and have several items on hand to satisfy your post-extraction cravings. And don’t progress to more solid foods before you’re ready. Listen to your mouth, and if it hurts to eat a certain food, go back to eating softer foods. You don’t want to risk dislodging the clots in the sockets where your wisdom teeth used to be. It is important to pace yourself as you heal after wisdom teeth removal.
There are plenty of recipes out there for “dressing up” some of these soft foods and making them a bit more flavorful. And remember, your recovery won’t last forever. It’s just a few days, and then you will be back to pizza and steak. And if you have questions—maybe you’re asking yourself do I need to have my wisdom teeth pulled?—you can always bring us into the conversation. As your Charleston dentist, we can assess your situation and help you determine if you need to have them removed, and how best to work that into your schedule. Even though wisdom tooth extraction is a rather routine procedure these days, it may not be the best option for you, so we can help you figure that out. On the other hand, you may be experiencing symptoms that are directly related to pain caused by your wisdom teeth, and removing them could alleviate a lot of those issues. Talk to us the next time you are in our dentist office, and we can walk you through your best options.