How Soon Should You Eat After A Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction involves complete removal of a tooth from its socket, leaving behind a gap. There are several reasons as to why you may have your tooth/teeth extracted which range from tooth decay, to overcrowding or even having impacted wisdom teeth. Whatever the reason for undergoing the procedure is, it is important to have the right care instructions to avoid complication and promote quick healing.
A top concern for most people after having a tooth removed is what to eat and when. Usually, your dentist will provide you with instructions of what to do depending on the position where the tooth was extracted and the technique used in extraction. The set of instructions should take you through the next couple of days following treatment, until the time where you are healed enough to carry on with your regular life without any worries.
Immediately after an extraction, and in the few days following, the primary focus is usually to allow a blood clot to form on the site of extraction. You should experience low to no bleeding in the first 24 hours but in case there is active bleeding, make sure to reach out to your dentist asap.
Depending on the intrusiveness of the procedure, you may be allowed to start on liquid foods a few hours after a tooth extraction. Foods like ice-cream, soups, pudding, yogurt and cereal are okay. Completely avoid using a straw as the suction it creates can dislodge the clot covering your wound, leading to pain and bleeding which further delays healing. Rinsing, swishing, gurgling and spitting should also be avoided for the same reasons.
If by the second day there is less tenderness on site of extraction, you can begin to incorporate solid foods that do not necessarily require a lot of chewing. Within this period, you should not consume alcohol or smoke. Take any medications prescribed to you and have plenty of rest.
By now a clot will have properly formed on the extraction site. Aftercare involves keeping the clot in place and preventing any infection to the area. You can now perform saline rinses to kill any bacteria in the mouth that may cause infections. You can now begin to brush and floss like usual but while paying extra attention not to disturb the extraction site. For the areas you cannot brush or floss, a mouthwash or saline solution will do for the meantime.
When it comes to your diet, you will continue eating soft foods that are less likely to be trapped in the empty tooth socket. You can now eat foods with a thicket consistency like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, avocadoes, bananas, hummus and even salmon.
2 Weeks Later
Two weeks after the procedure, most people feel well enough to go back to their normal diet. Provided there was no complication you can resume eating more solid foods. You can also resume activities like exercise and sports. During your next dental appointment your dentist will also be able to start preparation to replace the extracted tooth/teeth.
Foods to Avoid
It is obvious that after a tooth extraction, whether simple or through surgery, you should avoid eating hard foods. But that is not all you should stay away from, spicy foods and foods that may get trapped on the empty socket can just be as bad. Spicy foods can cause pain and irritation while crunchy and crumbly foods or seeds and grains can get into the empty socket and disrupt the healing process. Foods that need a lot of chewing are also not goods as there is risk of biting yourself, especially when the anesthesia is yet to completely wear off. Lastly, alcohol and cigarette are a no-go to after any dental procedure.
At Starry Dental, our Westwood dentist uses a personalized approach for every patient to ensure a pleasant dental experience. We will only recommend a tooth extraction if it is the best chance you have at ensuring good dental health. The dentist and staff are friendly and gentle while providing effective and quality tooth extraction treatments.