Caretaking for Loved Ones: A Health and Medical Blog

Five Tips for Preparing Meals and Snacks After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you're planning to have your wisdom teeth removed or if your children are getting their wisdom teeth removed, you or they may need to eat soft foods for a few days. To prepare, you may want to do a bit of shopping and cooking prior to the oral surgery. Here are a few ideas to help keep you or your children full during the healing process.

1. Stock up the cupboards.

There are a lot of relatively soft foods that you may want to stock in your pantry before the wisdom teeth removal. Snack foods such as potato chips or popcorn can get stuck in your healing gums and are nearly impossible to chew while your mouth is swollen. Instead, focus on naturally soft snacks that don't require chewing such as applesauce, oatmeal, and pudding. If you crave salty foods, consider canned soup or marmite on very soft bread.

2. Freeze some soft meals ahead of time.

Dentists often prescribe pain killers after dental surgery, and in some cases, they can create fogginess that makes it hard to cook. In other cases, it's useful to cook ahead of time so that you can focus on relaxing after your surgery. In other cases, cooking in advance ensures you have something ready to reheat whenever your kids are hungry.

To prepare, consider making a cottage or shepherd's pie. This features a mixture of ground beef or lamb and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes. It freezes well, and it's soft enough for a post-surgery meal. Homemade macaroni and cheese, chili with ground beef rather than chuck steak, and pureed vegetable soups are also soft to eat and simple to freeze ahead of time.

3. Treat yourself to sundaes.

When you're recovering from a dental surgery or any other type of surgery, you may want to treat yourself a bit and a sundae is the perfect solution. This is especially great for kids who may need an emotional boost of happiness after the extraction.

Grab a few different kinds of ice cream — avoid flavours with chunks as they can be hard to chew, but welcome flavors with tasty swirls. Then, buy some sauce, whipped cream, and a can of cherries. You can even add a ripe banana if you like, but  green banana may be a bit hard. Then, when you're feeling blue, pop everything in a bowl and enjoy. The coldness of this treat can even have the side effect of helping with swelling.

4. Pack power into smoothies.

Some patients experience a decline in appetite after an oral surgery. If that happens to you, you may want to focus on packing as much energy and protein into a smoothie as you can. That allows you to drink meals quickly and efficiently without losing out on nutrition.

For example, you may want to buy some protein powder so that you can add extra calories to your morning smoothie. Alternatively, you may want to check out some new smoothie recipes featuring vitamin- or fat-packed ingredients such as kale, spinach, avocado, or peanut butter for your lunch or dinner meals. The healthy fats work to keep you full, and the vitamins promote healing, which is ideal after a wisdom tooth extraction. To make it easier after your surgery, look up some recipes and buy the ingredients before your dental appointment.

5. Don't forget salt water.

Focusing on soft foods is essential, but in some cases, you may find that even soft foods can get stuck in the hole in your gum. To remedy that, you may want to gargle with salt water. To make that possible, make sure that you have some salt on hand in your home.

For more tips on what to eat after oral surgery, talk with your dentist directly.