While dentistry has come a long way since its early days with procedures becoming a lot more painless and aesthetic treatments gaining dominance among dental services, there still are a few things dental patients must keep in mind before undergoing dental surgeries or treatments and should also take certain cautionary steps afterwards to make the healing process more effective.
We here at Doral Sedation & Family Dentistry have the statistics. About 90% of people have one of their wisdom tooth removed at some point in their life (others will have all four taken out altogether to prevent future dental complications). There’s a good chance that you or someone you know is awaiting their dental appointment to get their wisdom teeth removed. Knowing what to eat post-op is essential for the smoothest recovery possible.
With this being said, let’s see which soft foods should you need to eat after dental surgery.
The pureed, smooth texture of applesauce makes it a great for consumption after your dental surgery. Why? Apart from its soft texture, it contains a lot of vitamin C and dietary fiber which are both staples of a healthy and balanced diet.
Eating applesauce requires little jaw moment which can speed up the healing process and can prevent or ease soreness. Make sure to prepare it at home in order to cut back on sugar and processed ingredients.
Going through surgery is no piece of cake so it’s okay to treat yourself a bit! And, what better way to treat yourself than with little ice cream? Just make sure to stick to soft-serve, especially for the first couple of days post-surgery. Ice cream soothes the inflamed tissue and also speeds up the healing process.
Avoid cones since the crunch can stress your jaw and small bits can get lodged in extraction sites which can lead to inflammation or infection. Save flavors such as Rocky Road and Mint Chocolate Chip for later, when the surgical area has had enough time to heal.
Go with broth-based soups since these are great for patients who underwent dental procedures. While you may not feel like eating soup in the first few days following your surgery, it can serve as a great source of protein and as a healthy alternative for sugar-filled soft foods which you’d typically eat after dental surgeries.
Steer clear of soups with large chunks of meat or vegetables. Try going with chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, beef broth, or cream soup.
Mashed potatoes are also a great option. All you need to do is to whip the tomatoes to a smooth consistency and you made yourself a delicious soft meal that’s really easy to eat. Eat your mashed potatoes with gravy, butter or sour cream to avoid getting bored with your strict post-surgery diet.
Yoghurt is and always will be one of the best soft foods you can eat after your dental surgery. Just make sure you avoid yoghurts with granola or other added ingredients that have to be chewed. Light and creamy flavors such as strawberry or lemon are perfect since they give you some of the nutrients you need while being easy on your jaw.
SMOOTHIES OR MILKSHAKES
These nutrient and protein-packed foods are perfect for post-operative dental patients. If you want to enjoy added nutritional benefits, feel free to supplement your smoothies with protein powders or meal replacement packets. Add seedless fruits like bananas to keep your vitamin and potassium intake in check. Mix it with yoghurt and ice, blend it with milk, ice cream – you have a wide variety of options at your fingertips with these soft foods. Just make sure: don’t consume your shakes through a straw! The pressure can disrupt the healing site and lead to dry sockets.
WHAT TO AVOID?
After reading the list it’s quite self-explanatory, however, it’s equally important to know what not to eat after your surgery.
Steer clear of thick grains of foods that can get caught in the surgical sites. NEVER use straws (after wisdom teeth extraction), as the suction can remove clots that aid in healing and lead to dry sockets. Wait for at least a weak to eat crunchy, chewy or spicy foods. Also, avoid acidic foods that can irritate tissue and may cause pain.
All in all, recovering from dental surgeries can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. It is important to listen to your body and let your mouth to heal at its own pace. Plan your diet accordingly, with incorporating healthy soft foods that won’t strain your mouth post-surgery. If you have any further questions, don’t be shy, call Doral Sedation & Family Dentistry. We’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions.