Many people have their wisdom teeth removed at one time or another. This news is often followed by some amount of anxiety. Will the surgery hurt? What will the recovery be like? What will you be able to eat? To ensure you don’t disrupt the healing process, it’s important to understand what to eat after wisdom teeth removal and what to avoid. However, you might be pleased to learn that a diet of soft or liquid foods is required after a tooth extraction – hello ice cream and pudding!
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
If you’ve ever wondered what your wisdom teeth are, you’re not alone. Hidden in the back of your mouth, your wisdom teeth don’t emerge until later in life. It’s not until you’re in your late teens or early twenties that these molars start to appear. Because of their late arrival, wisdom teeth often don’t have enough room to align with the rest of your teeth. This is why most wisdom teeth cause pain and aching in your gums as they appear. In addition, many wisdom teeth do not fully erupt and remain partially or fully impacted.
Because your wisdom teeth are not crucial to the overall health and appearance of your other teeth, dentists often recommend they be removed so that they don’t cause pain in the future or disrupt the alignment of your teeth.
What Is the Recovery Process?
After your wisdom teeth are removed, the recovery time will vary based on the intensity of the surgery and the type of anesthesia that was used. While some patients are able to drive home after surgery, others need a ride. Be sure to talk with your doctor before the surgery to determine if you should secure a ride after the procedure. If you experience pain and swelling after the surgery, don’t be alarmed. Mild discomfort and swelling is common and should subside in about three days. If the pain is severe or does not die down a few days after surgery, consult your dentist and/or oral surgeon. He or she will have helpful instructions regarding how to care for your mouth during your recovery. They may advise you to do the following:
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Gently open and close your mouth to exercise the jaw.
- Gently brush your teeth on the second day and thereafter. Avoid brushing against blood clots.
- Gently rinse your mouth with salt water to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Change the gauze pads once they are soaked with blood.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not drink through a straw.
- Do not spit.
- Take any medications prescribed by your dentist/oral surgeon.
What Can You Eat After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
While most of the pain and swelling in your mouth will subside a few days after your surgery, your mouth will still be sensitive for several weeks afterwards. Your wounds will also take a few weeks to heal, which is why you need to carefully consider what to eat after wisdom teeth removal. The safest option is to stick with soft and liquid foods. Smooth, creamy foods are best, because they don’t have chunks of food that could get caught in the extraction sites. For example, it’s best to avoid berries (which have tiny seeds) and rice. You might like some of the following options:
- Peanut butter shakes
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
If you decide to eat a milkshake or smoothie, remember to avoid using a straw. Spicy foods and carbonated beverages should also be avoided. Call the office of your dentist or oral surgeon if you have any questions regarding what to eat after wisdom teeth removal.
Are you wondering if it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed? You can count on Wilkinson Dental. We are committed to your comfort and are proud to offer a relaxing office environment while providing the care you need for a happier, healthier smile. If you’re ready to set up an appointment or if you have questions you’d like to go over first, please give us a call at 417-708-0556 or click here. We look forward to hearing from you!