When Can I Eat Solid Food After Tooth Extraction?


If you’ve recently had your wisdom teeth removed, you may be wondering when you can return to solid foods. While it’s tempting to eat something hearty after your procedure, solid food won’t be welcome in your stomach at this time.

As part of your recovery, it’s important to follow the instructions of your dentist and keep soft foods in your diet to help soothe soreness and manage swelling. By following these tips on when can I eat solid food after tooth extraction, you’ll be able to maintain good oral health while you heal.

Healing Process

The healing process of an extraction isn’t unlike that of other types of surgeries. Typically, it takes about seven to 10 days for all signs of swelling and pain to go away. During that time, you should take medication as prescribed by your dentist and avoid any activity including chewing that increases pressure on your mouth.

When you do start eating again, try soft foods such as mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs or smooth soups to reduce pressure on your gum line. If possible, chew with your front teeth only until you’re fully healed. For most people, full recovery takes three weeks, which is usually when dentists clear patients to brush their teeth and floss again normally.

Is Procedure Painful?

Naturally, you should expect some discomfort following your procedure. After all, you just had an operation and there will be swelling and maybe even some bruising around your extraction site. But what’s normal in terms of pain?

It varies widely from person to person, but most patients experience mild to moderate pain immediately following their procedure, which may last anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours or so. That said, those who take advantage of effective pain relief (analgesia) may find that they don’t need to deal with much if any pain after their procedure.

Solid Foods and Recovery Times

If you’ve recently had an extraction, it is likely that your dentist gave you a suggested protocol for eating post-extraction. Typically, patients are told to avoid foods and certain beverages such as; anything acidic, spicy or hard to chew for one to two days following an extraction.

If you have had any type of sedation prior to your procedure, you may be asked to wait even longer before eating solid foods. Normal recovery times range from 24 hours  up to seven days. Here are some suggestions on how best to proceed with eating solid foods following an extraction While these recommendations will vary depending on what kind of extraction was performed, most dentists will agree that ice chips are okay to consume immediately following surgery.

 Ice chips help reduce swelling and pain in your mouth while also allowing you to continue drinking fluids without having to worry about sipping through a straw. After an hour or so, if your mouth feels like it has recovered from anesthesia, try sipping warm liquids such as broth or tea without milk or sugar. Avoid chewing gum until at least 72 hours after surgery; if you do choose to chew gum during recovery time, make sure it is sugarless gum because sugary gums can cause bleeding in your mouth.

Protection after Having Extracted Teeth Removed

It is important to protect your mouth after having teeth extracted. It is wise to keep gauze in your mouth until you get home. This will help prevent bleeding and clear away any remaining bits of tissue.

The gauze should stay in place until you are home. When you are home, it is important to rinse with water, preferably warm water, and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Then brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush and some paste for about 30 seconds.

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

There are some things you need to know before you take that first bite of solid food after your tooth extraction. The main thing is to not try to eat too much right away; chew slowly and let your mouth become accustomed to chewing again. Your dentist will have given you some instructions on what foods are and aren’t allowed. Follow these carefully until your dentist has given you permission to do otherwise.

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