After you get a tooth pulled and the pain begins to subside, you'll start to wonder about what to eat after tooth extraction. As you probably already know, it's important to stay away from hard foods that could cause you more pain at the site of extraction.
You should also stay away from foods with small pieces, as they could get lodged in the socket. Most importantly, you should follow the instructions that your dentist gives you, as they will likely vary from case to case.
But let's get to the point — after all, you're getting hungrier by the second. Keep reading to find out the best foods to eat after tooth extraction.
Table of contents
What can I eat after tooth extraction?
Soft foods will be your go-to after you get a tooth extracted. This list of soft foods to eat after oral surgery will get you off to a nutritious start on your path to a quick recovery.
Broth, whether vegetable, chicken, or beef, is a great food to eat (or drink) after you get teeth extracted, especially if your appetite hasn't made a full recovery.
Broth is hydrating and filled with nutrients and vitamins so that even if you can't stomach bulkier food, or your extraction site is too tender to risk something thicker, you'll still keep your energy and your health up.
Make sure your broth isn't hot, as high temperatures could cause more pain at the extraction site, and interfere with the formation of the blood clot and the healing process in general.
If you're feeling up to it, a blended soup may be just the ticket. Blend together your favorite vegetables, or for an extra protein hit, blend white beans, black beans, or chickpeas with broth.
Make sure to blend your soup thoroughly, so there are no smaller bits that could get stuck in the extraction site and hinder your recovery. And remember to let your blended soup cool to room temperature or just slightly above before you begin to eat it.
Regular potatoes boiled or baked to softness in the oven are also a good choice, but sweet potatoes take it a step further. That's because sweet potatoes have more antioxidants, as well as higher levels of vitamin A and C.
Bake a sweet potato in the oven, and the result is a creamy, soft, nutrient-rich, and not-too-sweet, light meal. Top it with some greek yogurt for an extra dollop of delicious.
Applesauce is the queen of get-well-soon foods, along with broths of course.
Where apples can be hard on teeth, and leave little bits left in your mouth, applesauce involves pureeing apples without the skin, seeds, or core.
While this does cut down on its nutritional value, it makes applesauce a great substitute when you've just gotten a tooth pulled. Plus you can still benefit from many of the nutrients that an apple provides, including vitamin C which can boost your immune response and potentially help with your recovery process.
If you can stomach dairy, you may want to consider adding cottage cheese to your diet, whether or not you've just got a tooth out. That's because cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories, plus it's brimming with healthy vitamins.
It's got a rich and creamy texture which makes it feel like a treat, and also makes it easy to chew and swallow — both important factors to consider when looking for foods to eat after getting a tooth pulled. Eat your cottage cheese on its own, or top it with some of the aforementioned applesauce for a sweet treat.
If you're recovering from tooth extraction, and you're looking for the perfect breakfast food or between-meal snack, smoothies will be among your best friends. Blend up your favorite combination of fruits, adding bananas or avocado for a creamy base.
Never had an avocado smoothie? Try a variation of the following for a recipe that serves 2:
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup
Blend it all together and add in extras if you want.
You've just had a tooth out — treat yourself! Ice cream works on two levels as a food to eat after tooth extraction. It's soft and creamy, so it won't aggravate the extraction site, and the cold can soothe discomfort and help the swelling go down.
And if you're in the mood for ice cream but you aren't ecstatic about the high levels of fat and sugar, you can make your own banana ice cream. To make banana ice cream to eat after tooth extraction you'll need:
- 1 frozen banana (chopped into smaller pieces before freezing)
- Optional add-ins, including smooth peanut butter, vanilla extract, or cocoa powder
Just blend your frozen banana together with your optional add-ins and voila!
Still have questions about what is safe to eat after tooth extraction? Why not ask a dentist – with Denteractive you can chat to a dentist online for free.
How to eat after tooth extraction
Almost as important as what you eat, like sticking to soft foods after oral surgery, is how you eat. After getting a tooth extracted you should:
- Only chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the extraction site.
- Never use a drinking straw, as this could cause dry socket.
- Avoid hot foods as this could cause pain and hinder recovery.
Other tips for eating after tooth extraction
Check out the following tips for some more guidance on how and what to eat after tooth extraction.
When can I eat solid food after tooth extraction?
After you get your tooth extracted, within a couple of hours you can try eating very soft foods or sipping on some room temperature or barely warm broth. Stick to this soft food diet for a day or two. You may need to stick with it for longer, depending on how invasive your procedure was. Your dentist will give you more precise instructions.
What to drink after tooth extraction
You shouldn't drink alcohol or coffee after tooth extraction. Alcohol will thin your blood, and this can make it more difficult for clots to form. Forming a clot is important in order for your extraction site to heal.
The alcohol could also interfere with the pain medication you're taking. If you'd like to know more, we have a whole article dedicated to when you can drink alcohol after tooth extraction.
Another drink you should stay away from is hot coffee, as it can cause pain to your nerve endings, which are particularly vulnerable after an extraction. Additionally, hot drinks can make it more difficult for blood clots to form and stay in place as well. Find out more about drinking coffee after tooth extraction in our guide here.
When can I eat after tooth extraction?
You can eat after a tooth extraction but stick with liquid or soft foods for the first 24 to 48 hours. When you do eat, make sure to chew on the side that doesn't have the extraction site. Read more about how to eat after extraction in our full article.
What not to eat after tooth extraction
We've spent a lot of time talking about what you can eat after a tooth extraction, so how about what you can't eat? Have a look at the following list for foods you should avoid after getting your tooth pulled:
- Hot foods
- Hard foods
- Foods with lots of small pieces
- Hot coffee
Find out more about what to do and what not to do after a tooth extraction here.
After getting your tooth pulled, you should stick to a diet of soft and liquid foods for the first 24 to 48 hours. You should also avoid hot foods and drinks, as the heat can cause more pain to your nerve endings, and interfere with the healing process.
When considering what to eat, think smoothies, applesauce, potatoes, broths and soups. Make sure to avoid alcohol, hot coffee and drinking through a straw.
Above all, follow your dentist's or oral surgeon's instructions on what to eat after tooth extraction. Chat with a dentist for free here if you still have questions.
NCBI: Dietary intake and the extraction of third molars: a potential problem. Consulted 25th February 2022.