What to Eat After A Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth or third molars grow right at the back of the gum-line and are usually the last teeth to grow, sometimes even taking up to late adulthood. When they do grow, the four wisdom teeth occupy each corner of the mouth, and because there is not enough space there, sometimes, a wisdom tooth might emerge at an odd angle or may not fully emerge and this can lead to a plethora of complications. Known as impacted wisdom teeth, these teeth may get infected or damage nearby tooth, or begin to decay as they’re harder to clean than the rest. To solve these problems, many people tend to get their wisdom teeth extracted, even if they’re perfectly normal. Since this is a delicate surgery, dentists advice a set diet involving soft or mushy food that ensures quicker healing with minimum risk of problems. Here are some ideal types of food one should eat after a wisdom tooth extraction.
Blended Soups and Broths
The easiest meal to consume is one that is devoid of chewy bits; blended soups are great for eating after a wisdom tooth extraction. Tomato, pumpkin, potato, or green soups that have been blended make for a great and wholesome meal as these are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Also, as there is a strict restriction on many fruits and vegetables, this is a good way to retain hydration which is crucial after a surgery. Just keep in mind that most tooth-related surgeries call for cool or cold meals, so your dentist might suggest a cold soup such as a gazpacho or consommé. Just ensure it is well-blended and has no chunks. Alternately, broths are also a great option for post-dental surgery, especially bone broths that are excellent for non-vegetarian folks. Again, ensure that the broth is served cold or at room temperate at the very least to avoid causing irritation and pain.
Yogurt, rich in probiotic properties, is an excellent meal choice for anyone recovering from a tooth extraction. Cool, smooth, and creamy, a bowl of yogurt will sooth inflammation and even reduce numbness after surgery. Greek yogurt is also a great choice, and being rich in zinc, it helps in healing the affected region quicker. Additionally, yogurt, like other dairy products, is rich in calcium and proteins and provides a nutritious boost to the body, aiding in recovery and energy restoration. For best results, don’t forget to serve it cold. You may also switch regular yogurt with flavored yogurt, but do check if they contain fruit pieces or strain them with a fine-mesh sieve before serving. Freeze some full-fat yogurt and make popsicles out of it for some extra fun!
While an ice cream is not ideally a meal, and may discourage you from trying, don’t forget that it is necessary to eat smaller meals after a dental surgery rather than one huge sit-down dinner. In fact, most dentists suggest eating a small to medium serving of ice cream after the extraction. But if you’re feeling extra health-conscious, we suggest you opt for a frozen yogurt, or even better, frozen and mashed bananas. However, nothing beats the taste of real, rich, dairy ice cream, and it’s not every day you have a surgery anyway!
Food to Avoid
By all means, remember to avoid spicy food right after a wisdom tooth extraction because they can cause swelling, irritation, and pain. Also, avoid crunchy food such as cookies or chips, nuts, and more. They tend to get lodged within tooth gaps and can cause irritation. Skip food that need a lot of chewing; steak, fibrous meals, legumes and lentil, bread, and rice need to be chewed slowly and this might lead to pain and uneasiness around the affected region. It’s also advisable to avoid alcohol for a few weeks after surgery because it may cause irritation and further inflammation. And lastly, as tempting as it might be, avoid using a straw and use a spoon to scoop up shakes, smoothies, juices, and soups instead. Using a straw creates suction inside the mouth which might lead to a dry socket (the clot protecting the healing tooth gets dislodged before the wound heals and exposes the bones and nerves underneath) that can eventually cause heavy damage and a lot of unnecessary pain.
Remember, you’re not limited to eating anything as long as the meal is soft, easy to swallow, and doesn’t require much chewing or biting. Some other options can include oatmeal, mashed potatoes and peas, ripe avocados, scrambled eggs, applesauce, and of course, smoothies. You may add or skip any vegetable, fruit or protein/fiber in the meal as long as it heals the wound and ultimately aids in comfort and nutrition.
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