Immediately following the surgery that removed your wisdom teeth, you might never want to chew foods ever again. We promise this feeling won’t last long, and the pain will fade completely before a month is up. Until then it’s best to stick with a certain type of food -- the liquid, soft sort of food.

This article covers:

  • Why it’s important what you eat
  • What to eat after surgery
  • What to avoid to eat after surgery
  • Foods you can eat several days in

Why the Soft and Liquid?

There are several reasons why you should be eating soft and liquid foods after surgery. The obvious reason being you mouth will be in a lot of pain after the procedure, and chewing is going to cause an unnecessary amount of anguish. Best to avoid all that suffering and stick to an easy, comforting soup. 

Another reason you may not have considered is certain foods will interfere with the healing process. Soft and liquid foods won’t irritate the affected areas of your mouth, which allows them to heal faster. Some soft and liquid foods however can contaminate the area and cause infection, so these foods should be avoided to prevent any further pain.

Acceptable Foods

Your favorite food after the surgery will be the type you don’t have to chew. Need some examples of acceptable soft foods?

  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Soup/Broth
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Smoothie
  • Pudding/Ice cream
  • Scrambled Eggs

Cold foods will be especially beneficial, like ice cream and smoothies. The cold soft foods will be comforting in your mouth and relieve you of some pain. Greek yogurt is high in protein as well as smooth and creamy which can numb your mouth.

Nutrition-packed foods like soup will help with the healing process. Soup will also keep you hydrated which is important in the healing stages. Make sure they’re blended to avoid any chewing, and warm or cold. Hot soup will cause irritation.

squash soup in a decorative ceramic bowl, with cream and chives dolloped in the middle. Squashes are arranged by the bowl.
Enjoy a cold soup that brings comfort to the healing process.

Scrambled eggs is one of the best meals to have after surgery -- filling and nutritious, not to mention delicious. Getting it served scrambled will make for easy swallowing. Eggs are high in protein and sure to help with healing, especially if they’re pasteurized or omega-3-enriched.

Stay Away From These Foods

Unfortunately, almost everything falls under the category of Do Not Eat. Some will cause pain and irritation, while others will interfere with the healing process. Luckily you only need to avoid these foods for about a week, before you’re on your way back to a functioning mouth that can enjoy all these forbidden foods.

Smoking tobacco is never good with you, but especially in this case. Do not smoke any type of tobacco at least 72 hours after the surgery. Chewing tobacco should be avoided for at least a week. Tobacco can cause complications with the healing of the affected area. 

Harder foods should be avoided completely in the first few days following your surgery. Not only will they cause you more pain, but they also hold the risk of damaging and contaminating the recovering areas of your mouth.

Spicy and acidic foods should also be avoided. These types of food may cause irritation and pain. So food and drink such as citrus juice and spicy chili are off the table.

You should also avoid alcoholic beverages which will irritate the recovering area. It also won’t mix well with the pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

You also can’t have any foods that can become easily trapped in the healing area. Small foods such as seeds and grains like rice and quinoa can contaminate the area and prolong the healing process.

Many hazelnuts with a small shovel jammed into the pile
Your favorite nutty snacks will have to be put aside for now, as they’ll only cause harm.

Difficult to chew foods are the last on the list. These foods cause pain, and put you at risk of reopening your stitches, which means you’re healing time was just extended. Foods such as jerky, chips, and nuts fall under this category and should be avoided for the first week or so.

Transitional Foods

As the healing progresses and the pain begins to fade, you can transition into a broader range of foods, which are semi-soft. Three days after surgery, you can have foods such as:

  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Toast
Sunny side up eggs on two pieces of toast
Just a few days after the surgery, you’ll be able to venture into some harder foods, such as toast!

If chewing still causes too much pain, go back to soft foods. Don’t rush the healing process and cause more damage. Listen to your pain and eat at your own comfort.

The aftermath of wisdom teeth removal isn’t all bad. You can sit in bed and enjoy the foods you don’t even have to chew! Just make sure not to eat the foods that will cause pain and hinder healing.