Safe Foods to Eat After Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Wisdom teeth are a set of molars in the very back of the mouth. They usually come in your late teens or early 20’s. For a lucky few people, their wisdom teeth are properly aligned and healthy. For the rest of us, our wisdom teeth come in misaligned and in some cases – growing in sideways deep beneath the gum line.
Misaligned wisdom teeth usually come in at an angle to the jaw. They can crowd other teeth and cause issues with nerves or the jawbone. In some cases, they can be impacted – meaning that 90% of the tooth is below the gum line and only a small top portion is visible. In others, the wisdom teeth can come in at a horizontal angle and start pushing against other teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause some of the most excruciating pain you will ever feel in your entire life. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that people visit the dentist starting around age 18-20 to see if their wisdom teeth are about to cause problems.
The way your wisdom teeth are removed is entirely dependent upon the position they sit in your mouth. For some people, their dentist can easily extract the tooth under local anesthesia. For others, a visit to the oral surgeon is required. In very complicated scenarios, the wisdom tooth will have to be removed in sections and this can add significantly to the length and cost of the surgery.
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal is like other tooth removal surgeries. For the first 24 hours you will most likely experience some bleeding from the surgical area. Your dentist will have given you some gauze pads. Change the pads out every hour or so. If they gave you pain meds or antibiotics, be sure to take them as prescribed.
Immediately After the Surgery
You should avoid any hot/cold or hard foods (such as crunchy potato chips and pretzels) for the first 24 hours after the surgery. The surgical site is still considered an open wound (until the bleeding stops) and the slightest agitation from chewing hard food could cause it to open up and bleed again.
Your local pharmacy or grocery store carries nutritional meal replacement drinks. They sometimes come in chocolate or vanilla flavors. They taste very good and have all the nutrients and vitamins that can help speed up the healing process.
Many people who have had their wisdom teeth removed opt for these meal replacement drinks for the first 24 hours after the surgery. If you go this route, be sure to drink it straight from the bottle. Do not use a straw as the suction your mouth creates could cause harm to the surgical site.
1-2 Weeks Post-Surgery
As time goes by, your mouth slowly starts to heal. If you follow the after-care instructions of your dentist, perform daily oral hygiene, and take care of the surgical site, you’ll help speed up the healing process.
Here are a list of foods that you could eat/drink for the first 1-2 weeks after your surgery.
These drinks are not only healthy and good for you, but they won’t cause any agitation to the surgical area. Instant breakfast packets (that are to be mixed with milk) are also a great alternative to the food you would normally consume.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a blender, gather up some fruit, yogurt, and ice and make yourself a healthy and cold drink. You can even add some protein powder into the mix to increase the nutritional value. Avoid using a straw to drink the smoothie, as the suction can harm the surgical site.
Mashed potatoes are not only healthy, but easy to eat after you’ve had your wisdom teeth extracted. You can put gravy, butter, or even sour cream to liven things up. It’s advisable to not eat the mashed potatoes when they are hot – allow them to cool a bit before you eat them. The name of the game here is to avoid agitating the surgical site.
Soup is another nutritious and healthy food to eat after your surgery. It goes down easy and if you add some freshly cut vegetables to it, you can increase the nutrients your body receives. Avoid eating the soup when it’s hot, try to wait for it to cool down a bit.
Applesauce not only goes down smooth, but it’s very healthy as well. It contains vitamin C and dietary fiber which contribute to your healthy diet. There is very little jaw movement when consuming applesauce, so there is less risk of agitating the surgical area. You can use store-bought applesauce, or if you want more nutritional value, you can prepare homemade applesauce.
Instant oatmeal makes for a great quick snack or early morning breakfast. You should wait until the 3rd day after the surgery to eat oatmeal as the oats could cause irritation.
If you have the time, try preparing a homemade broth. It is very nutritious and will help speed up the healing process. If you decide to put beef or meat into the broth, make sure that it’s cooked very well. This will help you chew it better and kill off any bacteria/etc that may be present in the raw meat.
Millions of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed every year. It’s a safe, routine procedure that can alleviate the excruciating pain that some people feel when their wisdom teeth are impacted or are causing other dental issues. Proper after-care, such as watching what you eat, will help speed up the healing process and have you feeling better in no time.
The best time to detect potential wisdom teeth issues is when you’re in your late teens or early 20’s. If you or a family member are in this age group, give us a call at (312) 787-2131 or contact us to schedule an appointment to have one of our dentists perform an examination.
If you are currently suffering from mouth pain and suspect it might be your wisdom teeth, give us a call immediately as we can help stop the pain and chart a course to help fix your dental problems.