Dietary Restrictions After Dental Extractions

ExtractionIf you have a dental extraction at Okamoto Dentistry, it is important for you to realize that we perform this procedure on a regular basis. Since most people do not have room for a third set of molars, we perform an extraction on patients of various ages. They can come in sideways or impacted, push your other teeth forward, be uncomfortable, as well as trap plaque and food particles even after proper brushing. As a result, we remove them in our office.

The extraction process

When a patient comes in for an extraction, we will give the patient anesthesia to help them relax, not feel pain and remain comfortable during the procedure. In fact, many patients are asleep for the procedure. If one's wisdom teeth grow in fairly straight, we might be able to simply pull them out. Otherwise, the patient will need to go through oral surgery in which we create a flap within the gum tissue to remove the tooth or teeth.

This is more extensive of a procedure and the recovery time can be slightly longer. Regardless, patients can expect for the gums to be irritated for a few days and to experience some swelling in the face and jaw. Patients can ease the swelling and discomfort by taking ibuprofen and using an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time.

The other challenge that people have during recovery is learning what to eat and understanding the dietary restrictions. We can provide patients with a list of what one can and cannot eat after the dental extraction. As a general rule of thumb, however, patients need to avoid anything that is sharp or crunchy. That means that patients must not eat any chips, toasted bread, crackers, or cereal.

Patients also need to avoid anything that requires biting down with significant force or chewing a lot. Patients need to avoid pork, chicken and beef for a few days following the procedure. Fortunately, there are a lot of good tasting and healthy foods that patients can eat instead. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Single serving snacks. Before you have dental extractions, head to the grocery store and buy single servings of yogurt, Jello, pudding, and applesauce. Patients can head to the fridge and grab these instead of reaching for your chip bag.
  • Potatoes. Patients can do so much with potatoes but the best way to get your nutrition is to bake a sweet potato, drizzle olive oil on top and eat it. A baked sweet potato is highly nutritious and incredibly soft.
  • Soup. Patients can put a variety of vegetables into a soup and once softened, patients can eat and enjoy without worrying about the teeth and gums. Patients can also puree soup in the blender and eat it that way. Both carrot and potato soup taste good this way.
  • Meat substitute. Since patients need to avoid most meat for a few days, try a flaky fish, tofu, or cauliflower as substitutes in dishes.

Keep in mind that these dietary restrictions will only last for a few days. Once the swelling has gone down and you have your post-op appointment, you can return to your normal diet.

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