Can You Eat After a Tooth Extraction? Safe Foods & Meal Ideas for Healing

Can You Eat After a Tooth Extraction? Safe Foods & Meal Ideas for Healing

April 1, 2024

After having a tooth removed by your dentist near me, you must stick to soft, nutritious foods that won’t irritate the extraction site as it heals. But what exactly can you eat after a tooth extraction near you? And when is it safe to return to your normal diet? Please keep reading for our dentist-recommended foods, meal ideas, and timeline for eating after an extraction procedure.

When can you start eating after a tooth extraction?

Not having much appetite immediately after a tooth is pulled is normal. This is due to numbness from anesthesia and minor discomfort. Focus first on adequate fluid intake, then gradually add soft foods once bleeding stops and anesthesia wears off, usually a couple of hours after your procedure.

Don’t suck on a straw or smoke during the first 24 hours since this disrupts healing blood clots. Slowly progress your diet from cool liquids to soft foods as tolerated without chewing directly on the extraction site during the first few days.

What soft foods are recommended after an extraction?

Until the extraction site starts to heal over, stick with a soft food diet consisting of foods that are soft, smooth, and simple to swallow. Great options include:

  • Yogurt – Try fruit-flavored, vanilla or Greek yogurt. Cottage cheese is another option.
  • Mashed potatoes – Yukon gold or sweet potatoes work well.
  • Broth-based soups – Chicken noodles, vegetables, tomatoes, or minestrone without chunks of meat or veggies.
  • Scrambled eggs – Eggs provide protein for healing without crunchy toast.
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat – The soothing warmth feels nice.
  • Applesauce – Unsweetened is best.
  • Pudding and custards – Stick to chocolate or vanilla flavors without fruit chunks.
  • Smoothies – Banana, berry, or green smoothies without seeds or pulp. Use a straw with care.

Which foods should you avoid after a tooth extraction?

Knowing what you must eat is just as important as knowing which foods to exclude from your meals after an extraction. Steer clear of anything spicy, crunchy, chewy, sharp, or acidic that could disturb the blood clot and delay healing. Foods to avoid include:

  • Popcorn, chips, nuts, seeds
  • Raw veggies and salads
  • Whole grains like toast, granola, crackers
  • Tough, chewy, or crispy meats like steak
  • Hard candies and chewing gum
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Carbonated beverages

Read labels and stop eating any food that causes discomfort. Stick with a simple, smooth, soft diet for 3 to 5 days.

Are cold or hot foods okay to eat after an extraction?

Extreme temperatures can cause throbbing pain after an extraction, so avoid piping hot or icy cold foods. Instead, consume foods at room temperature or slightly warmed, like oatmeal. Cold foods like ice cream and smoothies are okay if tolerated, but avoid hot coffee, tea, or soup to prevent irritation.

What are some nutritious meal ideas after a tooth removal?

Getting adequate nutrition is vital while healing after an extraction procedure. Some healthy, satisfying soft food recipe ideas include:

  • Breakfast: Creamy scrambled eggs or oatmeal bowl with bananas, honey, and peanut butter blended in.
  • Lunch: Mashed avocado, tuna salad, or tomato basil soup with cheese toast.
  • Dinner: Macaroni and cheese with steamed broccoli florets or chicken fried rice with soft veggies.
  • Snacks: Chocolate pudding with whipped cream, applesauce with cinnamon, or vanilla Greek yogurt with honey.

Get creative blending and pureeing your favorite healthy recipes to make them extraction-friendly.

How long should you follow a soft food diet after an extraction?

Most patients can gradually add some firm but soft foods as healing progresses after 4 or 5 days. But everyone heals differently based on factors like:

  • Which tooth was extracted
  • Gum health at the surgery site
  • Medications and compliance with post-op instructions

If you still have severe discomfort after several days, chat with your dentist in San Clemente. They may prescribe you additional medications to continue the healing process if needed. Most extraction sites heal within two weeks.

Ready to Safely Eat Comforting Meals Again

Following tooth extractions or oral surgery, eating a nutritious soft food diet allows your mouth to heal while giving you the energy and nutrients you need to recover. Avoid irritating the site so you can return to firmer fare quickly. Contact Seascape Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry if you have concerns about your extraction recovery.