The Best Foods to Eat After a Tooth Extraction

The Best Foods to Eat After a Tooth Extraction
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The Best Foods to Eat After a Tooth ExtractionClinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. Foods to Eat
  2. Foods to Avoid
  3. References

For at least the first 10 days after having a tooth extracted, stick to soft foods that do not need to be chewed. Soft foods are not likely to get stuck in the empty tooth socket.1

Avoid crunchy, chewy, hard, sticky, or spicy foods, and those containing small seeds.

Do not use a straw, as this can lead to the painful condition called dry socket.

Aim for foods that are highly nutritious and easy on the mouth for the first two weeks or so.

Foods to Eat

It is best to eat foods that are soft and healthy to get the most nutrients possible into your body while it is healing.

For the first few days, cold foods will probably feel best on a new tooth extraction. Then, you can move on to warmer foods when you feel up to it.

Avoid sucking and chewing as this can disrupt the area. Avoid foods with small particles that can get stuck in the hole.

For the first 24 hours, you will need to be extra careful not to disturb the site of your tooth extraction.2 For the next several days to two weeks, stick to foods that are easy to eat without chewing. Then, you can proceed to chewing solid foods on the side of your mouth opposite your extracted tooth site.

Foods high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals can promote wound healing.3 Be sure to also drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.

Here is a list of some of the best foods to eat after a tooth extraction:

  • Applesauce: This can be a great way to get your fruit intake, as apples are high in vitamin C, which can boost your immune system. Applesauce is cold or cool if refrigerated, which can feel nice. It is also easy on the stomach, which can be helpful if you are taking pain medications that cause stomach discomfort.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is high in protein and can promote gut health. Greek yogurt also contains calcium, which supports bone health, and zinc, which is an essential mineral that can support wound healing.
  • Soups and broths: There are a wide variety of soups that can be rich in minerals and vitamins. They are also easy to eat after a tooth extraction. Broths, especially bone broth, can potentially have many health benefits. Soups and broths can also help to keep you hydrated.
  • Smoothies: A smoothie is another great way to get fruits in your system after a tooth extraction. Unless you have a blender that breaks down seeds, stay away from berries like strawberries. Do not use a straw when drinking a smoothie. You can add power greens, such as kale and spinach, to your smoothie. These can aid in wound healing and be a great way to get vegetables into your body during this time.
  • Squash: Squash, including pumpkin, can be mashed up well, so it is soft enough to eat after a tooth extraction. Squash is full of minerals and vitamins, including potassium and vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins can help to boost your immune system during the healing process.
  • Avocado: Often deemed a superfood, avocados are high in healthy fats and soft enough to eat after a tooth extraction. They also contain high levels of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They are easy to mash up as well.
  • Cottage cheese: A low-calorie food that is also high in protein and soft, cottage cheese is fairly easy to eat without much chewing. Just be careful not to get bits stuck in the site of your tooth extraction.
  • Eggs: Eggs are easy on the stomach, can be prepared in a variety of ways, and require little chewing. They can be a great way to get protein into your body after a tooth extraction, especially when they are scrambled.
  • Fish: Fish is a great source of protein and easy to eat without much chewing. Salmon in particular has a host of health benefits, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D, B12, A, and B3. It also contains antioxidants that can aid in supporting your immune system and promoting healing.
  • Banana: A soft fruit that is easy to eat, bananas are a popular choice after a tooth extraction. They can be mashed up and made into a healthy ice cream. They are a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and manganese.

Foods to Avoid

You will want to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing or have the potential to get stuck in your wound site. Stay away from potential irritants after tooth extraction surgery.

Foods to avoid include the following:

  • Nuts, grains, and seeds
  • Crunchy or hard foods
  • Crumbly foods
  • Chewy foods
  • Sticky or sugary foods
  • Spicy foods

After a tooth extraction, it is important to support your body’s immune system and wound healing by eating foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that are going to irritate your extraction site.

It is also beneficial to stay away from foods that are just going to add empty calories to your diet. Instead, opt for foods with higher nutritional value.

General References

Five Nutrition Tips to Promote Wound Healing. (July 2019). Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Date Fetched: July 26, 2021.

Wound Healing Diet: Eat These Foods for an Accelerated Recovery. (December 2018). Advanced Tissue. Date Fetched: July 26, 2021.

13 Salmon Benefits According to Nutritionists. (February 2021). Health. Date Fetched: July 26, 2021.

Medical References

1 Analysis of Tooth Extraction Causes and Patterns. (April 2020). Dental Sciences. Date Fetched: July 25, 2021.

2 Dietary Strategies to Optimize Wound Healing After Periodontal and Dental Implant Surgery: An Evidence-Based Review. (April 2013). The Open Dentistry Journal. Date Fetched: July 26, 2021.

3 Nutrition Guidelines to Improve Wound Healing. (July 2017). Cleveland Clinic. Date Fetched: July 26, 2021.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.