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Updated on January 18, 2023
8 min read

What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Wisdom tooth removal is generally a quick surgery. However, the healing process differs for everyone. While some people feel fine and are back to work within a day or two, others feel discomfort for a few weeks or more.

During this time, you will only be able to eat soft foods. These foods don’t require chewing, helping prevent pain, discomfort, and complications. Staying hydrated with water also helps the healing process. 

Harder foods should be avoided because they can become trapped in the recovering areas of your mouth. Firm or sharp foods can damage or even dislodge the blood clot(s), leading to dry socket formation.

15 Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Here are the top 10 foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal:

15 Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

1. Blended Soups

Blended soups, like tomato or pumpkin soup, are easy to eat and don’t contain pieces that could irritate the surgical site.

Additionally, soups are typically rich in vitamins and minerals. This helps you meet the daily nutrition recommendations when you can’t eat many whole fruits or vegetables.

Make sure your soups are either lukewarm or cold. Hot soups can cause irritation. You should also blend vegetable soups well to avoid chunks.

2. Broths

Broths are also an excellent source of nutrition after wisdom tooth surgery. They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. Likewise, broths help you stay hydrated.

Bone broth is a type of broth renowned for its health benefits. It is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue.

While there are no direct studies on the health effects of bone broth, research on the components of bone broth shows it may have anti-inflammatory benefits.2

Be sure to consume broths lukewarm or cold to avoid irritating the extraction site.

3. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a nutritious and high-protein food that is easy to eat following wisdom teeth surgery. It provides a creamy and smooth texture that can help soothe and numb the mouth.

Greek yogurt is rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins like calcium and zinc. 

High-protein foods also help the recovery process. Some studies have linked a low-protein diet to a slower recovery.4  Additionally, studies show that zinc may promote wound healing. 

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be a comforting food after having wisdom teeth removed. They are rich in calories and nutrients, which are essential for recovery.

Patients have slightly higher energy requirements following surgery. Mashed potatoes allow you to consume plenty of nutrients and energy in just a few bites. This is helpful if you are struggling to eat enough food.

5. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are easier to chew and swallow than fried eggs.

Eggs are also a source of high-quality protein. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

When purchasing eggs, look for pasteurized or omega-3-enriched varieties. Omega-3 fats may help with wound healing.5

6. Applesauce

Apples are hard and crunchy. This is not ideal after having your wisdom teeth removed.

However, eating applesauce is one way to increase your fruit intake while avoiding irritation.

Applesauce is made from pureed apples, an excellent source of vitamin C. This vitamin helps boost the immune system and aids in wound healing.6

7. Mashed Bananas

The soft texture of bananas makes them easy to chew and swallow after wisdom teeth removal.

Mashing bananas can soften the texture even more.

Bananas are also very nutritious and provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Folate 

8. Smoothies

Smoothies are an excellent way to boost your health when you cannot eat a solid meal. They are easy to drink and are highly versatile.

You can change the smoothie ingredients to suit your tastes and meet your nutrition goals. Adding some fruit and vegetables also improves their nutritional value. 

9. Hummus

Hummus is an excellent soft-food option after wisdom teeth removal. It’s full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and plant protein. You can buy pre-made hummus from most supermarkets or make it at home.

However, don’t eat hummus with chips or pita bread. Their crunchy texture can damage the extraction site.

10. Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest fish you can eat. This flaky fish is also excellent to eat after wisdom teeth removal because it's soft and easy to chew.

Wild-caught salmon is high in protein and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. 

These fats may help with wound healing by reducing inflammation. This is especially if you already have low omega-3 fatty acid levels. 

While inflammation is essential for wound healing, excess inflammation can affect recovery if it lasts too long.7

11. Avocado

Avocados are another great option for soft foods. They are creamy, delicious, and contain nutrients that promote good health.

They are high in potassium, magnesium, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients support overall well-being and won't hurt your recovery.

12. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food. However, oatmeal is also a great option for soft foods after wisdom teeth removal.

This grain is rich in fiber and other important nutrients. Fiber promotes digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Eating instant oatmeal is recommended since it's less chewy than regular oatmeal.

13. Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are a quick and convenient way to get nutrients if you can't chew anything after wisdom tooth removal. They provide extra protein, and you can mix up any kind of milk with different flavors.

You can also blend your protein shakes with a banana or avocado for a more filling and nutritious meal. The extra protein can also help with recovery.3

14. Jello and Pudding

Jello and pudding are often considered dessert options. However, they're also great as soft foods after wisdom tooth removal.

Both jello and pudding are made with gelatin, which is derived from animal bones. Gelatin helps improve joint pain and increase bone strength.

15. Well-Cooked Pasta

Although cooked pasta is already soft, it can still be hard to chew after wisdom teeth removal. That’s why it’s recommended to overcook pasta a little bit, so it becomes mushier.

Pasta is also a good source of carbohydrates, giving you energy throughout the day. You can also use different pasta sauces to add flavor.

Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Foods to avoid for at least a week following wisdom tooth extraction include:

Acidic and Spicy Foods

These foods have a pH level lower than 4.6. The acidic environment can irritate the gums and cause discomfort. Spicy foods can also irritate the mouth and gums, delaying healing.

Some examples of these foods include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Citrus juices
  • Peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Vinegar

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can irritate the extraction site and interact negatively with the pain medicine prescribed by your doctor.

In addition, drinking alcohol can hinder your body's healing ability. This may also increase your risk of infection. It's best to avoid alcohol for at least 7 to 10 days after wisdom teeth removal.

Aside from alcoholic beverages, you must also avoid drinking any caffeinated or carbonated drinks. Stay away from hot beverages during the first 24 hours after surgery.

Grains and Seeds

Grains and seeds can easily become trapped in the healing site. Having these foods stuck in your mouth can be extremely painful.

It's best to avoid grains until your oral surgeon has given you the signal to do so. Some grains and seeds to avoid include:

  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Quinoa
  • Corn

Hard or Difficult-to-Chew Foods

Food that's difficult to chew can re-open the stitches and delay healing. For instance, eating chewy candy can cause swelling and irritation.

It also increases your risk of biting your cheek, lips, and tongue. This will make it harder for you to heal properly.

How Soon Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal? 

For the first 24 to 48 hours following wisdom teeth extraction, eat only soft foods like:

  • Yogurt
  • Apple sauce
  • Smoothies

Cold foods can help with discomfort. As you begin to feel better, try introducing more solid foods.

On the third day following surgery, try foods such as:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon

Gradually increase your consumption of solid foods if chewing does not cause pain.

If you experience any pain when chewing, go back to eating soft and semi-soft foods. 

Many people can resume normal eating within a week.

Other Healing Tips During Recovery 

It’s best to take a day or two off work after having wisdom teeth removed.1

You should also refrain from:

  • Brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, or spitting for the first 24 hours
  • Exercising strenuously for a few days
  • Smoking tobacco for at least 72 hours and chewing tobacco for at least a week (tobacco significantly increases the risk of complications)
  • Drinking alcohol for a minimum of 48 hours to prevent postoperative bleeding

Here’s how soon you can drive following wisdom teeth removal:

  • Immediately if a local anesthetic was used
  • For at least 24 hours if a sedative was used 
  • For 48 hours if a general anesthetic was used

Summary

After wisdom teeth removal, you must eat soft food that's not difficult to chew. Avoid eating anything that could potentially damage the healing site. If you’re unsure if something is safe, ask your dentist before consuming it.

Last updated on January 18, 2023
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 18, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Recovery: Wisdom tooth removal.” National Health Service England (NHS), 2021.
  2. Zhong, Z., et al. “L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 2003.
  3. Russell, L. “The importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing.” British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing), 2001.
  4. Lansdown, AB., et al. “Zinc in wound healing: theoretical, experimental, and clinical aspects.” Wound repair and regeneration: official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society, 2007.
  5. McDaniel, JC., et al. “Omega-3 fatty acids effect on wound healing.” Wound repair and regeneration: official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society, 2008.
  6. Moores, J. “Vitamin C: a wound healing perspective.” British journal of community nursing, 2013.
  7. Tipton, KD. “Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 2013.
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