Updated on March 19, 2024
3 min read

When to Eat Solid Food After Tooth Extraction

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

You should only eat soft foods for 24 hours after tooth extraction. However, you can begin to eat solid foods on the side opposite the extraction site whenever you feel comfortable doing so. 

3d render of lower jaw with tooth extracted by dental forceps

Wound healing consists of four phases:

  1. Hemostasis
  2. Inflammation
  3. Proliferation
  4. Tissue remodeling

In the proliferation phase, cells begin regenerating strong tissue over the wound. It occurs a few hours to several days after the extraction. By this time, you can safely chew solid food.

However, dentists recommend taking small bites at a time until the extraction site has fully healed. This can take a couple of weeks. 

Foods to Eat After Tooth Extraction 

Dentists recommend eating soft foods and drinking liquids for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction. These include:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cereals
  • Cheese
  • Smooth soups
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Beans
  • Fruit smoothies without using a straw
  • Protein shakes

On the second day, you can eat easily chewable foods. These include:

  • Soft-boiled, scrambled, and poached eggs
  • Fish
  • Bananas

Foods to Avoid After Tooth Extraction

Here are some foods to avoid after tooth extraction:

  • Hard and crunchy foods
  • Foods that require a straw to eat
  • Tough cuts of meat
  • Alcoholic beverages

What Else to Avoid After Tooth Extraction

You should also avoid the following after tooth extraction:

  • Applying heat on the face because it can increase swelling 
  • Smoking, using straws, or sucking on anything. These actions can dislodge the blood clot keeping the wound closed
  • Blowing the nose and sneezing with the mouth closed. Instead, wipe your nose and sneeze with your mouth open
  • Spitting for 24 hours after the procedure. However, you can brush your teeth as long as you avoid your extraction socket
  • Rinsing your mouth 24 hours after the procedure, which will help start the healing process

After a day, you can gently rinse with warm salt water after meals to remove any food that may have entered the socket and to speed up the healing process. The dentist may also prescribe Peridex mouthwash.

Types of Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions are either simple or surgical. 

Dentists only perform simple tooth extractions on fully erupted teeth. You may need this procedure if your teeth are:

  • Cracked or fractured
  • Untreatable with cavity fillings or root canals
  • Overcrowded 
  • Causing soft tissue trauma to the cheek

Surgical tooth extractions require making an incision in the gums and removing bone to extract the teeth. You may need this procedure if you:

  • Have an impacted wisdom tooth
  • Have a fractured tooth that is inaccessible without removing bone

Dentists also consider the sedation you prefer before proceeding with the extraction. Options include:

  • Local anesthesia
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Twilight anesthesia (sedative medications)
  • General anesthesia (administered intravenously)

Tooth Extraction Recovery 

Simple tooth extractions have a quicker recovery time than surgical extractions. You will likely need a day or two of rest until you can resume normal daily activities.

If you undergo surgical extractions with sedation, you need another person to drive you home. General and twilight anesthesia can make you too groggy to drive or move around safely. 


Bleeding should only occur during the first 12 to 24 hours after the extraction. Dentists recommend biting on the gauze they put in your mouth post-op for at least 1 to 3 hours.

Swelling can increase over the next 2 to 3 days after tooth extractions. However, it should gradually decrease from there. Contact your dentist if the swelling persists or worsens.

Dentists recommend applying an ice pack on the cheek of the affected tooth immediately after the procedure. Keep the pack on for 15 minutes with a 15-minute break. This can reduce swelling.

You can resume light activities at least a day after the procedure. However, you’ll need to wait a week or two before doing physically demanding activities.

Potential Risks

Severe complications after teeth extractions might include:

  • Prickling sensation in the face (paresthesia)
  • Excessive postoperative bleeding
  • Jaw bone necrosis (death of the bone due to lack of blood)
  • Dry socket


During the first 24 hours after tooth extraction, you can only eat soft foods and drink liquids without a straw. This helps you avoid any problems and complications after the procedure. 

If the extraction site doesn’t heal within a month, contact your dentist.

Last updated on March 19, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 19, 2024
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. Advice after dental extractions – Information for patients.” Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, NHS.
  2. After Your Oral Surgery.” Patient Education Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Washington School of Dentistry.
  3. Mezzomo, LA, et al. “Alveolar ridge preservation after dental extraction and before implant placement: A literature review.” Revista Odonto Ciencia Journal of Dental Science, 2011.
  4. Politis, C, et al. “Wound Healing Problems in the Mouth.” Frontiers in Physiology, 2016.
  5. Types of Tooth Extractions.” Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.
  6. Waasdorp, M, et al. “The Bigger Picture: Why Oral Mucosa Heals Better Than Skin.” Biomolecules, MDPI, 2021.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram