Undergoing a tooth extraction is similar to having minor surgery. While it is a common solution to treat severe cavities, periodontal disease, impaction and other orthodontic conditions a tooth extraction is a serious procedure. As such, there are some important tips all patients need to consider after having a tooth extracted in order to ensure the mouth heals correctly.
This includes rinsing with salt water, getting adequate rest and drinking plenty of fluids. It also means eating the right types of foods. Certain foods can speed up recovery while preventing infection and further complications, including pain. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t eat following a tooth extraction.
Foods to Eat After a Tooth Extraction
Liquids and soft foods are recommended for the first 24 hours after an extraction. Make sure to get adequate protein, zinc, Vitamins A,C, E and B12.
This soft easy-to-eat food offers 29% of the needed daily value of Vitamin B12 as well as providing the essential protein, potassium, calcium and carbohydrates the body requires.
In the days following a tooth extraction, mashed potatoes are a welcoming comfort food. Potatoes can be creamed to a fine consistency for easy eating and provide healing properties due to their protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and Vitamins C and B complex.
Start with clear broth in the hours following oral surgery and then upgrade to pureed and blended soups that are full of nutrients. Soup should be served lukewarm to prevent tissue injury caused by hot food.
Protein, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium are found in the famous breakfast food of scrambled eggs. The best thing about this soft food dish is it can be enjoyed anytime of the day.
Ice cream has been unofficially awarded as the best medicine for oral surgery! This easy-to-eat treat can provide protein, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin A and D. The coolness can also soothe mouth pain.
Another cool treat is the mineral and vitamin-loaded smoothie. Add Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder and fruit to boost nutrients.
As hummus is made with chickpeas, this Middle Eastern dip is packed with protein, fibre, folate and other essential nutrients.
Salmon is known as a superfood and is one of the most nutritious meals to have, especially after any form of surgery. It is packed with high levels of omega-3 fatty acid which helps to lower inflammation. It boasts Vitamins B6 and C, protein, potassium and other essential minerals.
As an excellent source of more than 20 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, avocados can be transformed into delicious soft food to enjoy. The content of healthy fats helps to speed recovery, especially with oral surgery.
Tofu has essential amino acids, protein, and calcium to encourage healing of the wound. It can be combined with other ingredients to suit anyone’s taste.
Various fruits are recommended to retain the vitamins and minerals the body needs for healing. Avoid consumption of fruits with seeds as these can become engaged into the wound.
Foods to Avoid After a Tooth Extraction
Family dentists will recommend a number of foods and beverages to avoid after getting a tooth extracted to protect against infection and damage to the wound. These include:
Spicy & Acidic Foods
For those who love spicy and/or acidic foods, avoid these tasty dishes for at least a week after a tooth extraction. The main ingredients can cause pain, discomfort, and irritation to the healing tissue.
Crunchy foods such as raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and potato chips can impede the healing process. Any jagged pieces can puncture the delicate healing tissue.
Hard Chewing Foods
After a tooth extraction, the gums are sensitive and swollen, which can worsen with added pressure from biting. Chewy foods can dislodge blood clots, damage healing tissue and extend the recovery period.
Grains such as rice and quinoa provide nutrition but also can become lodged into the wound during the healing process. Avoid eating all grains and seeds until the recovery period is over.
Popcorn is another food to avoid until the wound is completely healed after an extraction. Not only is popcorn crunchy, but the hulls can also become lodged into the wound itself leading to infection.
Essential Tips for a Quick Recovery after a Tooth Extraction
To reduce the recovery time and discomfort during the healing process, there are specific dental care treatments to follow.
Get Proper Rest
Allow your body to heal properly by taking it easy for at least 24 hours after oral surgery. It is essential to avoid strenuous movement to reduce the risk of opening the wound. Elevate the head during rest and sleep to help reduce inflammation.
Use Ice on Swelling
The inflammation from a tooth extraction can also be reduced with use of ice packs over the first 24 hours. The cold sensation can also help with any pain or discomfort experienced at this time.
Maintain Your Oral Care Routine
After a tooth extraction, it is important to maintain proper oral care to prevent complications. Return to flossing and brushing the next day and prevent the risk of infection by rinsing with warm saltwater.
For all beverages, including room temperature water, avoid using straws and take only small sips from a glass. Sucking on a straw and extreme temperatures can lead to dry socket.
Keep Gauze Over the Wound
Following the recommended care will help ensure any gauze covering the wound will remain in place for the two hours after the procedure. This is used to protect the wound while the blood clot forms.
Book an Appointment with Princeview Dental for a Dental Checkup in Etobicoke
Princeview Dental Group offers a variety of dental services in Etobicoke. Our can provide personalized dental plans in a welcoming, no-judgement environment. Call us at (416) 231-4562 to book an appointment.