After surgery to remove wisdom teeth – the last teeth that erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 – you have to modify your diet and your behavior to accommodate the now empty spaces where the impacted teeth used to sit. Wisdom teeth extraction limits your diet the most during the first 48 hours after surgery. After the first couple of days, you can begin to eat solid foods, but for at least a week, you will still want to avoid any type of food that can get lodged in the surgical site.
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After the oral surgeon takes out your wisdom teeth, drinking hot beverages is out of the question during the recovery period. This includes, but is not limited to, hot teas, coffees, hot chocolate and apple cider. You also cannot use straws or drink alcoholic beverages. The sucking from the straws can damage the stitches at the surgical site.
You do not want to eat anything that can get caught in the surgical site or cause you pain. This includes crunchy foods, such as nuts, chips and raw vegetables. Avoid anything that is hard to chew, such as seeds or kernels. Do not eat foods with small grains, such as rice. Stay away from spicy foods. Foods with sharp pieces could cut the surgical site. Stringy foods, such as meats, can also become stuck in the surgical site.
In addition to avoiding certain foods and drinks, you should avoid certain behaviors that can delay your healing time. For the first 24 hours, do not brush your teeth, rinse your mouth or spit. For the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, you should rest at home and not smoke. Then, for the first week, you should avoid strenuous activity. Bleeding is normal for the first day, but you should avoid constantly spitting out the blood. Instead, swallow small amounts of blood and use gauze packing at the surgical site as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon.
Staying healthy through a nutritious diet helps your mouth heal. For the first two days following your surgery, stick to a pureed or liquid diet. You can eat nutritional shakes or toss healthy foods into the blender to create your own shakes. Eat soft foods, such as pudding and applesauce. Every couple of hours, rinse your mouth with the solution your dentist or oral surgeon gives you. Spit out the solution after you rinse. You can also make your own solution from 1 cup of warm water and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Follow your dental professional’s pain-control regimen and use ice to reduce swelling.