If you have damaged teeth that are threatening the health of your other healthy teeth, your dentist may recommend having them extracted. You will be advised to eat a healthful diet featuring soft foods while you heal.
Though your schedule may differ depending on your dentist’s recommendations and other factors, we’ve compiled a general timeline of what should be safe to eat at different stages of recovery – and provided some important facts about when you’ll be able to enjoy all the foods you love again.
Why eat soft, healthy foods after teeth are extracted?
While having a tooth extraction is a common procedure, maintaining a healthy diet of soft foods, following your dentist’s instructions and managing self-care are critical to ensuring the recovery process goes smoothly.
You’ll want to do this to avoid complications or infections, which can result from bacteria or food particles becoming trapped in the extraction area.
What can I eat after a tooth extraction?
For 3 to 5 days
Generally, you’ll want to ensure you eat lots of soft, mushy food and drink plenty of liquids for 3 to 5 days. This can include:
- Apple sauce
- Blended soups (easy to eat, hydrating and rich in nutrients)
- Broths (filled with minerals and essential vitamins to help you recover)
- Pureed or mashed vegetables such as squash or carrots
- Regular ice cream or banana ice cream
- Seedless, pureed fruit
- Potatoes (regular, mashed or sweet)
As you start to heal, gradually integrate more regular, semi-soft foods such as:
- Instant oatmeal
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
Allow any hot food to cool before eating, and keep the area clean according to your dentist’s recommendations. Also, remember to take your medications as prescribed.
Which foods should I avoid?
For 1 Week or More
For those first few days, the extraction site will be vulnerable to infection. You’ll want to avoid foods that may inflame the area or lead to complications, such as:
- Grains (quinoa, rice)
- Crunchy, tough or crumbly foods (hamburgers, jerky, popcorn, pizza, etc.)
- Spicy or acidic foods (peppers, citrus juice)
For 2 to 4 Weeks
You may love these snack foods. However, you should avoid eating them until you’re fully recovered, as they may stick in the wound and disrupt healing.
When can I start eating normal food after a tooth extraction?
Many patients find they can eat normal food again within a week of having teeth removed. Eating a diet full of delicious, healthy and soft foods in the days and weeks following a tooth extraction is imperative to your quick recovery.
As long as you consume the right foods – and avoid foods that may delay or hamper your recovery – you’ll feel more comfortable and help reduce your risk of infection.