What to Eat After Tooth Extraction: A Comprehensive Guide

Your Post-Tooth Extraction Diet

Getting a tooth extracted can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. However, it’s a necessary procedure often recommended by dentists to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. An essential aspect of healing after a tooth extraction is your diet. Eating the right foods can help promote healing, but consuming the wrong foods can prolong your recovery and even lead to complications.

Explore our Atlanta dentist’s guide below to learn what to eat to help promote healing after your tooth extraction procedure. If you have any questions about healing after a tooth extraction, contact our dental office today by calling (404) 524-1981.

young woman feeling anxious about seeing the dentist

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction: The Basics

After tooth extraction, your mouth will be sore and sensitive, so it’s crucial to choose foods that are easy to chew and won’t irritate the extraction site.

Soft Foods Are Ideal

Soft foods are your best bet after tooth extraction. Some examples of soft food that’s okay to eat include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Soup (broth-based)
  • Smoothies
  • Scrambled eggs

Avoid Hard, Crunchy Foods

Hard or crunchy foods can be painful and irritating after a tooth extraction. Avoid these foods for at least a week after the procedure:

  • Nuts
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Raw vegetables
  • Steak

Be Careful With Hot Foods and Beverages

Hot foods and beverages can increase swelling and pain. Stick to lukewarm or cold foods and drinks for at least a day after your tooth extraction.

Hydration is Key

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential when healing from a tooth extraction because it helps prevent dehydration and promotes overall healing. When you lose a tooth, the extraction site is left exposed, and your body responds by sending blood to the area to form a clot. This clot is necessary for healing but also increases your body’s fluid requirements. However, avoid using a straw, as sucking can dislodge the blood clot and lead to dry socket.

Foods That Can Aid in Healing

In addition to avoiding certain foods, some can help promote healing after tooth extraction. While you may be limited to certain foods, there are recommendations to consider that can help you get the essential nutrients you still need.

Protein

Protein is essential for tissue repair and can aid in the recovery process. Good sources of protein include:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Plain Greek yogurt

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is crucial for collagen production, which helps with tissue repair. Foods high in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting, which is essential for the healing process. Foods high in vitamin K include:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage

Tips for a Speedy Recovery

In addition to following the dietary guidelines outlined above, there are some additional tips you can follow to promote a speedy and successful recovery after tooth extraction.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth gently and avoid the extraction site for the first day or two. After that, you can resume brushing your teeth, but be careful around the affected area. Avoid mouthwash for the first 24 hours, as it irritates the site.

Apply Ice Packs

Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Use an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, with breaks in between.

Take Pain Medication as Directed

Your dentist will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort after the procedure. Take the medication as directed, and don’t wait until you’re in severe pain to take it.

Rest and Relax

Resting and taking it easy for the first few days after the extraction can help promote healing. Avoid strenuous activity and get plenty of rest.

woman brushing her teeth and smiling

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait to eat after a tooth extraction?

It’s best to wait until the anesthesia wears off before attempting to eat anything. Once you do eat, stick to soft foods and avoid hot foods and beverages.

Can I drink alcohol after a tooth extraction?

It’s best to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure, as it can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Instead, drink water, broth, smoothies, and milk to keep your extraction site clean and healthy.

Is it okay to eat ice cream after a tooth extraction?

Yes, ice cream can be a good choice, as long as it’s not too cold. Stick to room temperature or slightly chilled ice cream, and avoid using a spoon or straw, as this can dislodge the blood clot.

Can I eat spicy foods after a tooth extraction?

It’s best to avoid spicy foods for at least the first few days after a tooth extraction, as they can irritate the extraction site and cause discomfort. Once the site has started to heal, you can slowly reintroduce spicy foods into your diet.

Eat Well After Tooth Extraction Surgery

Whether you’re getting one tooth extracted, or you’re undergoing wisdom teeth removal, healing is essential. If you have any questions about recovery after a tooth extraction procedure, contact our Atlanta dentist today by calling (404) 524-1981.

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