After certain procedures like tooth extraction, braces, wisdom tooth extraction/surgery or dental implants, your dentist may recommend a soft food diet.
Eating food that can be easily swallowed with minimal-to-no chewing is a great idea when your mouth is sore. It keeps pain and inflammation in check while allowing the wound (if any) to heal faster. Since your primary objective is to avoid pressure on your achy teeth (for braces) or healing wound (for extraction cases), it’s best to avoid anything hard, chewy or crunchy.
Types Of Dental Surgeries
Depending on the type of dental surgery you undergo. Your dental office will advise you on post-care requirements. Some of the most common dental surgeries that call for you to adjust your diet – at least for a few days – include:
- Wisdom Teeth Removal: This a very common procedure when molars cause overcrowding or shifting in other teeth and need to be removed.
- Full Mouth Reconstruction: This dental surgery can involve several aspects as it is unique to each smile. The overall purpose is restoration of oral health, rather than solely a cosmetic improvement.
- Dental Implants: These are a permanent restorative dentistry solution to missing teeth – an excellent option for those with excellent bone health.
- Maxillofacial Surgery:In cases of certain jaw-related issues, this surgery helps to realign the jaw and ease pain and discomfort.
- Veneers: These porcelain additions to your natural teeth are a long-lasting option for those wanting to restore their smile.
foods you can eat after dental works
Eating soft foods right after surgery can speed up the healing process by building and repairing muscle, skin, and tissue, as well as fighting off infections.
After wisdom teeth removal surgery, root canals or tooth extractions, it is critical to aid your body with nutritious foods that are low in sugar.
The first thing many people will tell you is to load up on ice cream to make milkshakes, but there’s a good chance you’ll be on a strong dose of antibiotics which can damage your gut microbiome. You can soothe your aching gums and work on stabilizing your gut health by making smoothies with tons of probiotic-rich yogurt. Try adding Greek yogurt into your smoothies, then tame its tang by mixing in naturally sweet additives like frozen fruit, bananas, or even cocoa powder. You probably won’t be able to use a straw, so add plenty of milk, or even a bit of water, to ensure the consistency is really thin. Tilt your head back and enjoy!
Soups and Canned Broths
Soup is a great option right after dental work because it is easy to eat, rich in nutrients, and keeps you hydrated. Soup should be served at a warm to lukewarm temperature so it doesn’t irritate the wound.
Chicken noodle soup sounds like a safe bet, but chunky add-ins aren’t a good idea until you’re able to slowly move your jaw without causing pain. For the first few days, use a strainer to separate any noodles, vegetables, and meat from your soup. You can add them back into your broth after you’ve chopped them up (or even blended them) in order to swallow without any trouble. Of course, you can also whip up broths and soups from scratch, which gives you the control to add in as many ingredients as you’d like—or none at all.
Eggs are such an easy protein source that are also easy to eat. While not necessary, you can purchase enriched varieties that give you a boost of omega-3 fatty acids. Feel free to eat your eggs scrambled or over easy after dental surgery.
Cheese can also be a good source of probiotics, and so if you’re looking to snack on something, soft cheese is a great option. You should be able to swallow small pieces, and shredded cheese is a great addition to any meal you may be eating throughout your recovery. In a hurry, cottage cheese is also an excellent snack.
Homemade or from the packet, oatmeal is a good food after dental surgery. If the traditional cooking method doesn’t do it for you, try cooking your oats in coconut or almond milk. Adding soft fruit such as mashed bananas brings additional nutrients to this breakfast or snack.
You may be tempted to reach for a box of instant mashed potatoes as you recover, but you can make creamy, soft, and delicious mashed potatoes at home with as little as three ingredients and a hand blender . Mixing in small additions to your mashed potatoes—like herbs or even minced bacon—is a safe option, as long as you take the time to finely dice them.
What to avoid
Anyway you slice it or dice it, roasted vegetables are not easy to chew and swallow when you’ve just had oral surgery.
You might be disappointed to hear this, but the best way to enjoy vegetables after oral surgery is to puree them into a warm soup.
Unless you’re eating a chopped up slice of meatloaf , you can forget having poultry, beef, or fish at mealtime. dentists advice would be to cut your protein into tiny pieces. Even then, there’s a chance that chicken can turn into a choking hazard.
bread is something you simply can’t have during the first few days of your recovery. Toast, muffins, bagels, and crusty bread are off the menu for now, as these can do some serious damage to your gums. If your jaw and gums are feeling stronger after the first five days, sweet Hawaiian rolls are a good place to start since they’re so soft.
Salt and pepper are normally a home cook’s best friend, but you’ll want to avoid adding these in excess if you hate lingering stinging and burning in your mouth after mealtime. Ditto for spices like cayenne pepper or chile powder.
Crackers, Pretzels, Chips, Seeds, Nuts, etc.
If you eat it at snack time, there’s a good chance you can’t eat it for up to three weeks after your procedure. The sodium content will likely irritate sensitive gums, plus, there’s a good chance crunchy snacks can get stuck in any healing holes (ouch!)
The only noodles you’ll be able to eat are macaroni and cheese—a lifesaver, to be honest—and overcooked wide egg noodles that have been broken into manageable pieces. Penne, rigatoni, and most other popular varieties are too rigid to swallow easily.
What to Eat If You Have complications
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. If you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist or doctor. Dry mouth can be a sign of certain diseases or can be caused by certain medications or the result of medical treatments. If you have dry mouth:
- don’t use tobacco
- drink water regularly—with and between meals
- avoid drinks that contain caffeine such as colas, coffee and tea since it can dry out your mouth
- chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate saliva flow
- avoid spicy or salty foods if they cause pain in your mouth
- moisten dry foods with soup, broth, gravy, butter or margarine, or sauce. Dip or soak your food in what you’re drinking.
Chewing problems may be caused by tooth loss, gum disease, cavities and ill-fitting dentures, so your first step should be a visit to your dentist to help determine the cause of your problem. Meanwhile, eating soft foods (see tips for braces) can you help maintain your nutrients until you can see your dentist.
Swallowing problems can occasionally happen, but if it persists, talk to your doctor since it could be related to something serious. Causes of swallowing issues vary and treatment depends on what is causing the problem.
If you are having trouble swallowing, to prevent choking and aspiration avoid these foods:
- alcoholic beverages
- extremely hot foods and beverages
- spicy foods
- bran cereal
- cottage cheese (unless pureed)
- skins of fruits
- dry, crumbly, or sticky foods (such as bread, cake, peanut butter, banana)
Depending on level of swallowing difficulty, the following foods may be included in the diet. These foods are grouped into four different categories:
- Thin liquids that dissolve quickly in the mouth such as frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatin and broth.
- Nectar-like liquids where liquid coats and drips off a spoon such as nectars, milkshakes, cream soup and vegetable juices.
- Honey-like liquids that flow off a spoon in a ribbon like in yogurt, tomato sauce and honey.
- Spoon-thick liquids that are thickened to pudding consistency such as pudding, custard or hot cereal.