March 1, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

dentalstockphoto setb | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryIf you are preparing for wisdom teeth removal, you may be wondering what foods you will have to cut out while you recover. You want to be careful about what you eat and how you eat to help your healing process be as smooth, easy, and quick as possible.

Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Removal

When recovering from wisdom teeth removal, you should wait a minimum of a full hour before removing any of the gauze bandages placed over the extraction sites. Once you have removed your bandages, you can slowly start eating again. 

Your body forms blood clots in the sockets where your wisdom teeth used to be to help protect your nerves and underlying bone. To protect these blood clots so they can do their job, you should stick to soft and liquid foods during the first week of recovery. Depending on how your recovery progresses, you may need to extend this longer.

The general rule is to eat foods that do not require much chewing, if any, while still getting essential nutrients. And no matter what, do not use a straw. Straws are known to dislodge blood clots, which can lead to complications and infection.

Foods to Eat

Some soft and liquid foods you can consume after wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Applesauce
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mashed bananas
  • Soups and broths

Foods to Avoid

The list of foods to avoid is much longer than the list of approved foods, but for a good reason. These foods can delay your healing and even cause complications.

Sugary Foods

Sugar creates a breeding ground for oral bacteria to grow in your mouth, increasing the risk of infection. Some foods to avoid because they have high concentrations of processed sugar include:

  • Soda
  • Candy
  • Chocolate

Crunchy and Seedy Foods

Foods that are crunchy or contain seeds can also delay your recovery. The seeds and crunchy bits may get trapped near the extraction sites, leading to infection.

Some of the crunchy or seedy foods you should avoid consuming include:

  • Strawberries
  • Potato chips
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

Acidic and Spicy Foods

Foods that are especially acidic or spicy can cause discomfort at your extraction sites by stinging the sensitive areas. Once your mouth has healed, you can add these foods back into your diet.

Some of the acidic and spicy foods you should stay away from include:

  • Vinegar
  • Citrus fruits
  • Hot sauce and spicy peppers

Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Removal

At Mercer Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Bellevue, we help prepare our patients for wisdom teeth removal by giving them plenty of information on what to expect and how to recover. 

Learn more about wisdom teeth removal on our website.