Tooth extraction – What to eat and what not to eat

You may think that tooth extraction is a simple and short process. Well, technically speaking it is. The actual process of tooth extraction doesn’t take as long as the aftercare. Tooth extraction involves a long chain of events in which you have to take care of the extraction site for a couple of weeks.

Over the course of several weeks after extraction, patient should be mindful about tooth brushing and cleaning, refrain from strenuous activities and avoid putting extra pressure on the site either by sucking or smoking.

And even though you had your tooth extracted, you still need to eat food. However, there are certain Dos and Don’ts on what you should eat after the procedure. Hopefully these tips will help you.

How to eat after tooth extraction?

What you eat after tooth extraction is as important as HOW you eat. Dentists will highly recommend that you use the opposite side of the extraction site to chew and eat your food, at least after a few days. Now, some patients think that it’s best to use a liquid diet with a straw but this is actually NOT recommended. Suction can actually increase the risk of blood clot to get dislodged which will increase the healing time. So make sure that if you are on a liquid diet, you don’t use a straw.

What are you allowed to eat?

In the first 24 hours after tooth extraction, it is highly recommended that you stay away from solid food. Instead eat (or better yet drink) liquids and soft food such as mashed potatoes. Aside from this, you can also eat yogurt, pudding, scrambled eggs, applesauce and soup (but without meat chunks). And make sure that everything is at room temperature or colder. Ice cream is also allowed (the cold will help keep the swelling down), but without any crunchy or chewy pieces.

What you shouldn’t eat after tooth extraction?

Crunchy, chewy and hard food is a definite no-go at least for a week. Even avoid crispy and grainy food because they can disturb the healing process.

Now since chewing hard food will be difficult, and we get the majority of our proteins from hard food (for example meat) you need to find an alternative source, such as dairy products. Avoid consuming alcohol while you’re taking pain medication.

The recovery time after tooth extraction can take a few weeks, even if you follow every recommendation from your dentist. It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene of the extraction site, don’t irritate the wound and eat only the types of food that feel comfortable. Some pain and discomfort are completely normal and this is why your dentist will prescribe some pain medication that should help you through it.

If you experience severe pain or discomfort after switching over to more solid food, make sure that you contact your dentist and schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”