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No matter the circumstances, getting a tooth extracted is rarely much fun. Even though the worst is probably behind you once a dentist removes your tooth, practicing proper aftercare will help your mouth heal up quickly. Of all the questions people ask after this procedure, the most common one is simple: “After a tooth extraction, what can I eat?” 

While some foods can benefit the healing process, others can cause pain or other problems. That’s why keeping a close eye on your diet in the early days after your tooth extraction is the best way to facilitate an easy recovery. 

Best Foods For a Sore Mouth After a Tooth Extraction

During the first 24 hours after your extraction, you should only consume liquids and soft foods. Your tooth extraction food timeline will largely be determined by how you feel. If you’re still experiencing discomfort when you eat, give your mouth a break and stick to foods that won’t aggravate the tissue. Here are a few options which go easy on an inflamed extraction site:

  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Smoothies – no straw 
  • Jell-O
  • Applesauce
  • Ice Cream (without crunchy additions)

The goal of these tooth extraction meals should be to get as much nutrition into your diet as possible while sticking to soft foods. Aim for cool or lukewarm options rather than hot ones to avoid discomfort. Smoothies, applesauce, and yogurt are a great way to get fruits, vegetables, fiber, and probiotics into your system without needing to chew. Once your mouth starts feeling up to the challenge, you can move on to more solid (but still soft) foods:

  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Broth-based soups
  • Scrambled eggs

Foods To Avoid After A Tooth Extraction

The food you eat during your tooth extraction healing process can make a significant impact on your recovery. Hard, sharp, or chewy foods are a big no-no for at least a week after your procedure. Snacks like popcorn, chips, or chewy candy can aggravate your soft tissues and extend your tooth extraction recovery timeline even further. You should also make sure to avoid alcoholic beverages for at least the first 24 hours after your procedure or until you are no longer taking prescription pain medicines. 

It’s essential not just to ask, “what can I eat after a tooth extraction,” but also, “how should I eat after a tooth extraction?” With a few common-sense and straightforward techniques, you can help move your tooth extraction recovery along as quickly as possible. Try to only chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the extraction site. Avoid aggravating the site with your tongue, especially while eating. And lastly, don’t use a straw even while on a primarily liquid diet. The suction of the straw can disturb your healing tissues. 

After tooth extraction, what you can eat gets complicated. But with a bit of care and dietary creativity, you can make a world of difference in your recovery process. If you think you need a tooth extracted, call us at Pinnacle Dental Associates immediately at 541-928-9299.