What to Eat After Tooth Extraction

what to eat after tooth extraction

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction

Whether you need a tooth removed due to an infection, cavity, impacted wisdom tooth or because your tooth is broken, dental pain can be excruciating and it’s wise to have your teeth seen to as soon as possible. You might think that once the tooth is removed you’ll be pain-free, but a tooth extraction can be a long and uncomfortable procedure, and when the anaesthetic wears off, it can be very painful and difficult to eat. But there are foods that are easier to eat than others and some that you should avoid altogether.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about what to do (and what not to do) for the first 72 hours after having your tooth removed.

What to Do the Same Day as Your Tooth Extraction

Before you have a tooth extraction, what you eat depends on what anaesthetic you’re having. Some people who need to have all of their wisdom teeth taken out because they’re growing at an angle or there’s not enough room in the mouth for them to grow freely will require a general anaesthetic, but most tooth extractions can be performed under local anaesthetic.

If you have a general anaesthetic, you should stop eating six hours before your procedure, and should only drink clear water up to two hours before your procedure, being careful not to consume any food or drink (including gum!) in the two hours directly before your general anaesthetic. If you’re having a local anaesthetic, you can eat and drink as you please, just make sure you brush your teeth well before your procedure.

After your tooth extraction, you need to be more careful about what you eat and how you look after your teeth.

What to Do the Same Day as Your Tooth Extraction

Oral Hygiene

After having a tooth removed, you can brush your teeth as normal, although be very careful around the area that the tooth was removed from, as you don’t want to risk dislodging the blood clot that is preventing your gum from bleeding. You should avoid using mouthwash completely, or rinsing your mouth with any liquid, as this can also dislodge the blood clot in your oral cavity.

You should stop smoking as soon as you’ve had your tooth extraction as the nicotine can prevent the wound from healing well; it’s safe to resume again at least 72 hours after your procedure.

What (Not) to Eat

If you’ve had a general anaesthetic, you should follow your dentist’s advice, but generally speaking, you can eat again once the anaesthetic has worn off. After a local anaesthetic, you can also eat and drink once the anaesthetic has worn off, which will be shortly after the procedure. The food and drink you can and can’t eat is the same in the first 24 hours as it is in the first 72 hours, but if you’re experiencing discomfort or bleeding for longer, you should continue eating and drinking as advised until your dentist tells you it’s safe to resume your normal diet.

What to Do for the First Three Days After Tooth Extraction

What to Do for the First Three Days After Tooth Extraction

For the first three days after tooth extraction, you should only drink clear water, and be careful of what foods you consume. You should avoid:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcohol
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Crumbly and crunchy foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods

Most of these foods will cause extreme irritation in the oral cavity due to the sugar, spice or acid content of the product, however, caffeine and alcohol can also prevent the wound from healing well and potentially cause further bleeding.

Crumbly and crunchy foods means items like cereals, seeds and crisps must be avoided as they are often small hard pieces that can get stuck in the cavity left from the tooth extraction and cause discomfort, inflammation, bleeding or, if not able to be removed, can cause infections.

Foods that are safe to eat in the first 72 hours after tooth extraction are:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soup
  • Mashed potato
  • Soft bread with no crust
  • Boiled soft vegetables
  • Stewed or steamed spinach
  • Mashed beans
  • Soft, seedless fruits

These foods are safe to consume as they’re soft, so won’t cause any discomfort in your mouth from crunching, and don’t have small parts that can get stuck in the hole in your jaw. Well-cooked vegetables and soft fruits are full of nutrients that will help your body heal after the procedure, so vegetable soups and boiled veggies are great options while you recover. You may find them boring without spice or seasoning, however, you can rest assured you’re doing the best thing for your body.

You can make smoothies and drink fruit juices 24 hours after your tooth extraction if this is your preferred way of getting your vitamins, however, be very careful to sieve your juices before drinking them to avoid any pulp or seeds getting stuck in your oral cavity.

Oral Hygiene 24 Hours After Tooth Extraction

After your first day is over, you can begin to gently rinse your mouth with salt water to remove any bacteria that might be in your mouth and cause harm to your wound. Do this after each meal and before bed to keep your wound clean. If your wound opens and begins to bleed, you can put a clean cloth, gauze or handkerchief between your teeth and bite hard for ten minutes before removing the material and allowing the blood clot to form again, as you will have done following the procedure.

Why Should You Avoid Dairy Products After Tooth Extraction?

Why Should You Avoid Dairy Products After Tooth Extraction?

Most of the food and drinks you’re advised to avoid after having a tooth extracted make sense – sharp, spicy and hot foods will be painful, and alcohol and caffeine raise your blood pressure – so you might be wondering why dairy is on the list of foods to avoid in the UK, but not in some other countries.

Most milk in the UK is pasteurised, but not given ultra heat treatment (UHT), which kills the bacteria and makes milk last for longer. UHT milk is common in other countries where milk will spoil quickly in the heat, or the milk has to be transported further across the country to reach shops, like in the USA. So British milk and dairy products still contain lactic acid bacteria which can cause inflammation and infections in open wounds, such as the oral cavity after having a tooth extraction.

Supposedly milk can also interact negatively with anaesthetics as well as stitches, although there is little evidence for this. But milk products, like milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream and milky desserts should be avoided for 72 hours after you have a tooth removed.

Emergency Dental Care in Manchester

Emergency Dental Care in Manchester

Biting down on a toffee or nut and breaking your tooth or simply having agonising toothache all of a sudden can be unbearable, and you shouldn’t wait around to have it fixed. Emergency dentists like Didsbury Dental Practice are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year so you can always get the dental care you need, whenever you need it.

Private dentists don’t have to be expensive either. Our tooth extractions cost as little as £280, as all dental care should be affordable since it’s a crucial part of our overall physical health. You can sign up as a new patient so you can contact us around the clock about your dental health, or simply call us in an emergency and head down to the practice to have the care you need. If necessary, you can have a tooth extracted in an emergency appointment, or have your tooth restored if possible, but our dentists will advise on the best options for you accordingly.

Didsbury Dental Practice

Affordable dental care should be available for everyone, which is why Didsbury Dental Practice keeps its costs low and its service high-quality.

Have a look at our tooth extraction information, or simply book your appointment today!

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