Before having a tooth extracted, you will want to do some food prep. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is make food while recovering. Or maybe you are lucky and have a nice person in your life willing to take care of you and cook for you while you sleep and rest.
The food you eat after having a tooth extracted can be a huge factor in determining how quickly you heal and get back to your normal life.
For the first 24 hours, you want to consume as little as possible and eat soft foods to not disturb the extraction site. After I had my wisdom teeth taken out, for the first 24 hours, I only ate a little bit of applesauce as I had no appetite, but the next day it was back in full force.
You will want to stick with a soft diet for at least 3 days, and by days 4-5, you can start to introduce some harder foods.
A soft food diet is so important as it reduces chewing and things getting stuck in the extraction site.
Nutrient-rich foods to eat after tooth extraction
Good, healthy foods will boost your immunity, battle the bacteria, and help with cell healing and regeneration. It’s okay to indulge in your favourite vegan ice cream, but you don’t want your diet to only consist of ice cream.
Below are vegan and vegetarian soft food options that I recommend to my patients.
List of soft foods to eat after tooth extraction
Soft food that requires the least amount of chewing will be your best friend.
- Mashed avocados
- Pureed fruit and or veg example; applesauce, mushy peas
- Juice – try and have a not from concentrate version as it will have less sugar and more vitamins and minerals. Also, avoid orange juice as it can be too acidic.
- Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Oatmeal – make sure it’s instant! Thicker oatmeal can get lodged into the extraction site.
- Hummus (avoid the spicy versions, see the reason below) and you can eat it with a spoon – don’t eat it with crunchy vegetables or crackers/chips)
- Soup – try and have it pureed, or have the chunkier versions later in your recovery. My favourite is Amy’s Vegan Organic Chunky Vegetable.
- Overcooked pasta
- Hemp protein powder to add to smoothies
- Over steamed veg- you don’t want it crunchy
- Soft tofu and tofu desserts
- Squash; acorn, butternut, pumpkin etc. (Holly’s tip; I add in sweet potato to add more depth of flavour, YUM!)
- Vegan “yogurt”
- Nutritional yeast to add to pureed foods such as mashed potatoes.
- Olives with NO pits
- Vegan mac and cheese; my favourite is Annie’s Organic
- Nut butter; peanut, almond, etc.
- Vegan cheese
If you are vegetarian
- Eggs; scrambled is best, but you can transition to omelettes a few days into your recovery if you want to add in mushrooms, cheese, and or onions.
- Yogurt (greek) or Icelandic skyr has more protein to keep you full for longer.
- Cottage cheese
Foods to avoid after having tooth extracted
Seeds and nuts
Most berries fall into this category but one that specifically comes to my mind is strawberries, their little seeds can make their way into the extraction site and get stuck.
Chia seeds also fall into this category and you want to be wary of chia pudding, only eating it after a few days.
Nuts and seeds are hard and can fragment into small pieces when being chewed.
Scorching food can burn the area of the extraction site and around it. It can delay healing and cause more irritation and discomfort.
Tomatoes, oranges and orange juice, lemon water, hot sauce, soft drinks, pickles, vinegar. The acidity of these foods can cause irritation to the tissue around the extraction site.
Highly caffeinated beverages can cause your heart rate to rise, pumping the blood more vigorously throughout your body which can cause more bleeding and dislodge the blood clot.
Includes; coffee, tea, and some soft drinks (pop/soda).
Other foods to avoid post tooth extraction
- Lots of Garlic or garlic supplements
- Can thin the blood and if too much is consumed, it can increase the risk of dislodging the blood clot. By consuming a small amount it is fine, but if you ate a few cloves in one sitting it could have an impact
- Pepper; freshly ground. It is coarse and can have the same impact at seeds, getting trapped in the extraction site
- Popcorn; the sheath of the popcorn kernel is thin, making it easy to slide into the extraction site and become stuck
- Popsicles/ice lollies because of the “sucking” which can dislodge the blood clot
- Chewy foods such as toffee and create a suction in the mouth, disrupting the blood clot and impeding on healing
Why it’s important to stick to soft foods following tooth extraction
Those first 24-48 hours after extraction are crucial. You do not want to dislodge the blood clot that is forming. The blood clot is vital for a recovery post tooth removal. It contains cells to build bone, and blood tissue. If the blood clot is dislodged a dry socket can occur, which is extremely painful due to exposed bone and nerve tissue, which takes longer to heal.
Your body works hard at digesting the food you consume every day. By sticking to a soft food diet, you’re giving your digestive tract a rest, allowing you to recover faster.
Your diet isn’t the only thing you have to take care of following a teeth extraction. Refrain from strenuous activities such as sports, working out, even cleaning the house!
Also, stay away from using straws or smoking for at least 72 hours as the sucking can cause the blood clot to come out.
Every wonder how they actually take out the wisdom teeth? Read How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
My husband and I really try and adhere to a vegan and vegetarian diet. We don’t eat meat, and we avoid foods that have animal by-products in them. We do a lot of home cooking, and we have made swaps in some of our favourite dishes to convert them to a plant-based recipe. One of our favourite converted recipes is my vegan mashed potatoes. You can find the recipe below, enjoy!
Holly’s Vegan Mashed Potatoes
My husband loves these potatoes and often craves them with vegan gravy, mushy peas and sausages. Since moving to Canada from England 3 years ago, he misses the staple British meal; sausage and mash – vegan edition.
- Yellow potatoes such as russet or Yukon Gold
- High-quality olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Sea salt
- 1-2 Garlic clove crushed and finely minced
There is no set amount of each ingredient that you need to use; it really just comes down to personal preference. If you don’t want to use pepper, or you have a salt-restricted diet, you can omit them, even the garlic, although I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like garlic!
The amount of potatoes you use is completely up to you and how much you want. I usually use around 10 medium-sized potatoes. This allows for a few leftovers for the next day to make pan-fried mashed potato cakes.
I peel the potatoes and cut them in half and put them in a pot. Once all the potatoes are peeled and halved, I rinse them off thoroughly.
Fill the pot with water so the potatoes are covered completely with water. Bring to a soft rolling boil and add a generous dash of salt to the water.
Boil the potatoes until they are cooked through completely.
Drain the potatoes and put them back into the empty pot if you used a collider/strainer.
Add the minced/crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper to your preferred amount, and a few tablespoons of the olive oil.
Mash all of the ingredients together, you may need to add more olive oil, salt and pepper.
You will want the mashed potato to have a light fluffy appearance and texture. Don’t overwork the potatoes as it could leave them a little runny.
Serve with your favourite gravy and sausage (or eat it on its own… guilty!)
Hope you have a speedy recovery,