One procedure offered at our dental practice is tooth extraction. This might be for a patient who needs to have wisdom teeth removed, or for someone whose teeth were damaged or cracked in an accident. Other patients may need to have a tooth extraction due to decay, infection, or overcrowding. In some cases, compromised teeth may need to be removed as the result of certain types of medical care.
Depending on the cause, a tooth extraction performed by our dentist is usually a relatively quick, outpatient procedure. Some cases might be a bit more involved, though, if the tooth is cracked, impacted, or not fully exposed. Our doctor and staff will completely explain all aspects of the extraction and answer your questions, so you are comfortable about the procedure.
We will also discuss how to care for the affected area in your mouth in order to minimize the possibility of infection. One area that is often high on a patient’s mind surrounds the topic of eating after tooth extraction.
How Long Does It Take For A Tooth Extraction To Heal?
Each case is different, depending on the extent of work needed to remove your tooth, and your overall health. In general, most patients take about 7-10 days to heal. It is important that you follow our instructions carefully during this time so as not to interfere with the healing process.
Foods That You Can Enjoy After a Tooth Extraction
Here again, the foods you can safely enjoy after a tooth extraction depends on the extent of the work performed, and your other personal health factors. If any of these suggestions conflict with your normal health regime, ask our staff for safe alternatives. Some great ideas include:
- Yogurt: This is generally soft, does not require chewing, and is easy to swallow. Yogurt usually contains different nutrients and proteins that are healthy, and helpful to healing. Avoid yogurts with any crunchy extras that could damage the gums or area around the extraction.
- Cold foods: These often help to provide some relief from any mild discomfort you may experience. Look for cold items that melt easily, without causing gum damage.
- Soups: Easy-to-eat soups and broths can be a comforting source of nutrition and hydration. Try to stick with a blended pumpkin soup, or a vegetable soup containing potatoes or carrots that become soft when cooked. If the soup has too much texture, you can blend or puree it to make it easier to eat.
Timeline of What To Eat After Tooth Extraction Surgery
- What to eat the first 24 hours after tooth extraction: It is usually safest to eat only liquids or soft foods for the first 24 hours. This might include items like yogurt, pudding, soup, applesauce, gelatin, and ice cream without any crunchy pieces. Avoid swirling the liquids through your mouth as this may dislodge any clots that form.
- What to eat 48 hours after tooth extraction: As you start to feel better, you can start eating a little more variety. Try those solid foods which are easy to chew, such as eggs, soft toast, or oatmeal. You can try different tofu recipes, which are a great source of protein, essential amino acids, iron, and calcium.
- What to eat 3 days after tooth extraction: You can begin to mix in a wider variety of foods. Options might include mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soft rice or pasta, squash, and hummus. Ripe, soft fruits without seeds are good, as is a mashed avocado or guacamole. Concentrate on foods that are soft, and cut portions into small pieces that are easy to chew. Start to gently rinse with a warm water and salt combination to destroy bacteria.
- What to eat 1 week after tooth extraction: If your mouth seems to be healing well, you can start incorporating harder foods into your diet again. Take it slowly, though, and look for any signs of potential problems, such as bleeding gums.
What foods should I avoid after a tooth extraction?
In the first few days, it is best to avoid meat that is hard to chew. Instead of chicken, beef, or pork, look at tuna or flaky fish varieties that come apart easily. Avoid hard vegetables, spicy foods, crusty bread, fruit with a peel, nuts, chips, dried fruit, and any foods with seeds that could get caught in the extraction site. Do not chew gum, eat hard candy, or have sticky treats.
What drinks should I stay away from after tooth extraction?
Avoid alcohol, hot beverages, and drinks with ice, unless you make a fruit or veggie smoothie. Use a spoon instead of sipping from a straw for at least 24 hours. The sucking action can cause undue pressure inside your mouth and may dislodge any blood clots that form to stop the bleeding.
Continue to follow the instructions we provide for care and pain relief. If you feel ill or notice anything unusual during your recovery, do not hesitate to contact our office, so we can provide additional direction, or schedule an appointment if needed. Although it is rare, infection after tooth extraction can occur.
To learn more about some common questions that are asked by our patients about tooth extraction, visit our education page on the subject. We have taken all the questions that our patients commonly ask and had them answered by our dentists and oral surgeons.