There’s nothing quite like that feeling of relief when you finally get out of the dentist’s chair after some dental work. Your mouth might be numb, and you’re probably eager to return to your routine. But before you do, there’s an important question: what should you eat after dental work?
After all, you don’t want to accidentally eat something that could damage your teeth or irritate your mouth. On the other hand, you don’t want to stick to bland, boring foods either. Fear not! Plenty of tasty options will nourish your body while also being gentle on your mouth.
Whether you’ve just had a routine cleaning or a more involved procedure like a root canal or filling, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best foods to eat after dental work and some to avoid. So please sit back, relax, and let’s dive in, according to the American Dental Association!
What to Eat After Dental Work?
Dental work can leave your mouth sore and tender, making it difficult to eat or drink. Whether you’ve had a cavity filled or a tooth extracted, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat in the hours and days following your procedure. According to the Mayo Clinic, the right foods can help soothe your mouth, prevent infection, and promote healing.
So, what should you eat after dental work? Let’s start with the basics. You’ll want to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that could irritate your gums or damage any dental work you’ve done. This includes things like popcorn, nuts, chips, and sticky candy. You should also avoid hot or spicy foods and anything acidic like citrus fruits or tomato sauce. These can all cause pain and irritation.
Instead, focus on soft, easy-to-chew foods that won’t require a lot of effort to eat. Some good options include:
- Soup: A warm bowl of soup can be soothing and nourishing. Opt for a broth-based soup rather than a cream-based one, as the latter can be too heavy.
- Smoothies: Blended drinks like smoothies can be a great way to get nutrients without chewing. Stick to smoothies with soft fruits like bananas or berries, and avoid ice or frozen chunks.
- Mashed Potatoes: Soft, mashed potatoes can be comforting and filling. Try mixing in some butter or sour cream for extra flavor.
- Eggs: Whether scrambled, boiled, or poached, eggs are an easy-to-digest protein source that can be gentle on your mouth.
- Yogurt: Soft, creamy yogurt can be a good source of protein and probiotics. Look for plain or low-sugar varieties, as flavored yogurts can contain added sugars that could be irritating.
In addition to these foods, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You can also try rinsing your mouth with salt water to help soothe any irritation or inflammation.
The key is to listen to your body and avoid anything that causes pain or discomfort. Stick to soft, easy-to-eat foods and avoid anything hard, crunchy, spicy, or acidic. You’ll return to eating normally in no time with some care and attention.
50 Soft Foods to Eat After Dental Surgery
What to eat after oral surgery with stitches? After dental surgery, it’s crucial to stick to a soft food diet to help your mouth heal properly. Consider eating cold soft foods after oral surgery. Here are 50 soft foods to consider adding to your diet:
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Greek yogurt
- Cream of wheat
- Soft-cooked rice
- Protein shakes
- Broth-based soups
- Cooked carrots
- Soft-cooked quinoa
- Pureed vegetables
- Cottage cheese
- Refried beans
- Soft fish like salmon
- Tuna salad
- Butternut squash soup
- Mashed avocado
- Instant oatmeal
- Fruit smoothie bowl
- Lentil soup
- Soft cheese like brie
- Chicken noodle soup
- Soft-cooked noodles like spaghetti
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Pureed fruit like peaches
- Tapioca pudding
- Pureed butternut squash
- Soft scrambled tofu
- Chicken salad
- Banana soft serve ice cream
- Soft tofu stir-fry
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Mac and cheese
- Protein ice cream
- Fruit compote
- Pureed spinach
- Rice pudding
- Mashed black beans
- Soft turkey meatballs
- Soft steamed vegetables
- Green smoothies
- Pureed green beans
- Soft lentil salad
- Chocolate mousse
Remember always to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-surgery care and dietary restrictions. Stick to soft foods, stay hydrated, and avoid any foods that could cause irritation or damage to your mouth.
How Long Do You Have to Eat Soft Foods After Oral Surgery?
The length of time you should eat soft foods after oral surgery depends on the type of surgery and the extent of the procedure. Most dentists recommend sticking to a soft food diet for at least a few days, up to a week or more, to give your mouth time to heal properly.
After that, you may gradually introduce harder, chewier foods into your diet. Your dentist will likely provide specific instructions on when you can do so and which foods to avoid during the healing process.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s recovery is different, and your dentist will provide personalized guidance on how long you should stick to a soft food diet. Following their recommendations is crucial to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
Tips for Proper Oral Care After Dental Work
Proper oral care is crucial after dental work to promote healing and prevent infection. Here are some tips for oral care after dental work, including recommended mouth rinses and saltwater rinses:
- Brush and floss gently: Brush and floss your teeth gently, avoiding the area where the dental work was performed. Be careful not to dislodge any stitches or temporary crowns.
- Use mouth rinses: Your dentist may recommend using a mouth rinse after dental work to help reduce the risk of infection. Chlorhexidine is a common mouth rinse prescribed by dentists for post-operative care. Follow your dentist’s instructions on how often to use the rinse.
- Try saltwater rinses: Saltwater rinses can help soothe the gums and promote healing after dental work. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth gently with the solution several times a day.
- Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes: Alcohol can irritate the gums and delay healing after dental work. Avoid using any mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of infection after dental work. If you smoke, avoid smoking for as long as your dentist recommends after your procedure.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Continue to brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent future dental problems.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions: Your dentist will provide specific instructions on how to care for your teeth after dental work. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
Foods to Avoid After Oral Surgery
After oral surgery, it’s important to avoid certain foods that could irritate the surgery site or cause damage to your healing mouth. Here are some foods to avoid:
- Hard or crunchy foods, like nuts or popcorn
- Spicy or acidic foods, like citrus fruits or tomato-based sauces
- Sticky or chewy foods, like candy or gum
- Tough meats that require a lot of chewing
- Hot or spicy beverages, like coffee or tea
- Carbonated drinks, which can cause discomfort and bloating
- Alcohol, which can slow the healing process and increase the risk of bleeding
- Foods with small seeds or kernels, like strawberries or popcorn
- Foods that require excessive jaw movements, like corn on the cob or a large sandwich
- Smoking or using tobacco products can delay healing and increase the risk of infection.
When Can You Eat After Dental Work?
When you can eat after dental work depends on the type of procedure you had and how extensive it was. Dentists generally recommend waiting at least one hour after dental work before eating, drinking, or rinsing your mouth.
For more extensive procedures, like a dental implant or tooth extraction, your dentist may recommend waiting 24-48 hours before eating solid foods. During this time, you should stick to a soft diet and avoid any foods irritating the surgery site.
It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-surgery care and dietary restrictions to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Sometimes, your dentist may provide you with a specific diet plan for a certain period after your procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about when you can eat after dental work, be sure to speak with your dentist. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and the specifics of your procedure.
What Can You Not Do After Dental Work?
After dental work, there are several things you should avoid to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Here are some things you should not do after dental work:
Things You Should Not Do After Dental Work
- Do not eat or drink anything for at least one hour after dental work. This includes drinking water and rinsing your mouth.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products, which can delay healing and increase the risk of infection.
- Do not consume alcohol, which can slow the healing process and increase the risk of bleeding.
- Do not chew on the side of your mouth where dental work was performed, as this can cause irritation and delay healing.
- Do not brush or floss your teeth near the site of the dental work until your dentist gives you the go-ahead to do so.
- Do not engage in strenuous physical activity or exercise for at least 24 hours after dental work.
- Do not ignore any post-surgery pain, swelling, or bleeding. Contact your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.
Following your dentist’s instructions for post-surgery care and activity restrictions is important to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Be sure to ask your dentist questions or concerns about what you should and should not do after dental work.
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