Eating after dental work or surgery: keep it liquid or soft

Paula Duffy's picture

What do you eat after oral surgery or major dental work that is nourishing but doesn't make matters worse?

Eating and drinking the proper things is key to getting past the pain, discomfort and potential for infection after dental or oral surgery.

Humana advises:

"In some instances, you may have swelling around the surgery site. For the first couple of days after your surgery, you should put an ice pack on your face near the surgery site for 15 minutes at a time, and then rest for 15 minutes before putting it back on. After 24 hours, you should also start rinsing your mouth four times a day and after meals with salt water. environment, particularly if you have to remain in bed for a day or longer. "

After major oral surgery it can take up to a month for your mouth, gums and surgery site to fully heal.

Even without a tooth extraction or a root canal, major dental repairs can leave you sore, swollen and even slightly feverish. During that first 24-48 hours a body can get hungry.

What about nourishment and what foods and beverages to indulge in or to avoid?

Room temperature is best

Particularly if you have had a large dose of anesthetic, avoid hot or cold liquids or foods. While soup is great. make sure it feels like you were preparing it for a baby. Test it carefully and then proceed with caution. Always check with your physician to see what's best, depending on the extent of the work done.

Foods with Vitamins A and C are a good thing

Yogurt and soups can sustain you and provide Vitamins A and C which contribute to the healing process. A vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), getting plenty of vitamin C is one way oral surgery patients can ensure timely recovery

Crunchy is not for you

Hide the pretzels, chips, popcorn, carrots or even an apple. Applesauce is best or apples that are peeled and cored and cut into very small pieces. Fruit smoothies, yogurt shakes and mashed potatoes are perfect. Even scrambled eggs will do the trick. Soft bread, not toasted with a broth or soup is just fine.

Alcohol is a no-no

I know that it might feel like a good thing to slug a shot or two of your favorite whiskey or vodka but don't, at least in the first 24 hours. Read the instructions that come from your physician if the surgery was significant. It might take more than 24 hours for you to imbibe again.

Straws are not your friend

The sucking motion can actually interrupt healing and in the worst case, dislodge blood clots that are helping you recover. For that same reason, avoid smoking.

Use your food processor

For veggies that need a lot of chewing, pop them in and get them chopped up and soft. Mix them with soft cheese or sour cream and you might even enjoy them!

There's always baby food and prepared pudding

For those that don't want to cut or chop things or blend and process items, head over to the baby food aisle in your local grocer. Pudding and jello in individual cups that you can rip open and dive into might seem like the best things in the world for a day or so.

For more information on what to eat and what not to eat after oral surgery, your first call should be to your dentist or doctor.

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