If you’re scheduled to get your wisdom teeth out — or even if you’re just doing some preliminary research — you probably have a lot of questions, particularly about the recovery. It’s a good idea to be prepared, and part of this is knowing what you can expect in the hours and days after the procedure. Below, we answer how long after wisdom teeth removal you can eat again, along with the best foods to stock up on (and avoid) after getting your wisdom teeth extracted.
When You Can Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
There’s not one single timeline that works for everyone when it comes to eating after wisdom teeth removal. It depends on how many teeth were removed, whether they were impacted, and the type of sedation (if any) you had. Some patients go home feeling groggy and head straight to bed for a nap, while others are ready to eat as soon as they leave our office.
It’s a good idea to wait until any local anesthesia has worn off before eating anything solid, but there’s no other reason that you can’t eat immediately after your wisdom teeth extraction. The important question isn’t really when you can eat after wisdom teeth removal, but what you can eat.
Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
It’s best to stick with a diet of liquids and soft foods after getting your wisdom teeth extracted. Your jaw may be sore, so avoid chewing as much as possible to keep from aggravating any discomfort. Here are some of the best foods to eat in the first 48 hours after a wisdom tooth extraction:
- Smoothies (don’t use a straw for at least 24 hours after your extraction)
- Blended soups
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
After two days, you can start re-introducing soft foods that need some chewing, such as canned fruit, soft sliced white bread, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and chicken or tuna salad. If you’re introducing a new food back into your diet and you find it uncomfortable to eat, stop and try again another day. Use your common sense—if you don’t feel ready to bite into a bagel for breakfast, don’t push yourself!
Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Here are some foods that you should avoid eating after getting your wisdom teeth out:
- Very hot foods and beverages
- Spicy foods, which can cause irritation
- Acidic foods like citrus fruit and tomatoes, which can also irritate the extraction site
- Small grains like couscous, rice, or quinoa, and seeds like sesame and poppy, as they can get stuck in the soft tissue and cause infection
- Hard and chewy foods like almonds, beef jerky, tortilla chips, and caramels
You’ll be able to eat these foods again once you’ve recovered from your extraction, which typically takes about a week. If you’re still feeling jaw pain or soreness at the extraction site, don’t eat anything that could exacerbate your discomfort.