Dietary Restrictions & Recommendations After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

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According to a study from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, 80% of young adults have at least one wisdom tooth that’s stuck under the gum, either fully or partially. This calls for a wisdom tooth removal to prevent damage to other teeth or other dental issues.

However, post-wisdom teeth extraction requires adherence to a specific dietary regimen to optimize healing and minimize complications for your oral health. This period necessitates a complete range of dental care that shifts from a regular diet to one focused on soft, easily digestible foods to prevent a painful toothache.

If you’re unsure what to consume or have concerns about your recovery, consulting with a Maple Ridge dentist is essential. You can find a dental clinic or dentist nearby for comprehensive dental care and recommendations for excellent oral health. 

Nutritional Demands During Healing

The post-operative phase following wisdom teeth removal in a dental office can heighten inflammatory activity. This requires an increased intake of essential nutrients, particularly:

  • Protein: Important for collagen synthesis. A vital component of new tissue formation at the extraction site. Studies suggest a daily protein intake of 0.8-1 gram per kilogram of body weight can enhance healing.
  • Vitamin C: Acts as a cofactor in collagen synthesis and promotes wound healing. Research indicates that adequate Vitamin C intake can reduce post-surgical pain and swelling.
  • Vitamin D: Regulates inflammation and bone health, both of which are needed during healing.

Dietary Guidelines

The First 24-48 Hours

A liquid diet is recommended post-surgery to minimize blood disruption, which is essential for hemostasis (bleeding control) and subsequent wound healing.


  • Liquids: Provides nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals while maintaining a liquid consistency, especially when formulated with low-sugar yogurt and protein powder.
  • Broths: Offer hydration and electrolytes. Important for maintaining blood volume and promoting healing. Strained or clear varieties minimize the risk of introducing food particles that could disrupt the clot.
  • Cream-based Soups: Provide calories and essential nutrients while remaining smooth and easily digestible. Ensure the soups are lukewarm to avoid thermal injury to the extraction site.

Maintaining a balanced osmolality (solute concentration) in fluids is necessary for the following reasons:

  1. Hypotonic fluids (low solute concentration) can lead to cellular swelling.
  2. Hypertonic solutions (high solute concentration) can cause dehydration.
  3. Opt for isotonic fluids (similar solute concentration to blood) to maintain optimal cellular function and prevent complications.

For individuals (especially new patients) with pre-existing nutritional deficiencies, a dentist or registered dietitian in Maple Ridge, BC, may recommend oral or enteral nutritional supplements.

Medications After the Operation

  • Studies show that ibuprofen (400mg) is more effective than a higher dose of acetaminophen (1000mg) for pain relief.
    • The maximum daily dose is 1200mg for healthy adults, which can be increased to 2400mg under a doctor’s supervision.
  • Acetaminophen (paracetamol) can be combined with ibuprofen for enhanced pain relief.
    • The maximum daily dose for adults is 4000mg.
  • Combining 1000mg acetaminophen and 400mg ibuprofen offers better pain relief and longer-lasting effects than either medication alone (every 8 hours).
  • Avoid aspirin before and after surgery as it increases bleeding risk.

Days 3-5

As swelling subsides, a soft food diet can be gradually introduced. These foods require minimal chewing, minimizing stress on the surgical sites and promoting healing. Examples include:

  • Eggs are loaded with protein for your body, crucial for collagen synthesis and tissue repair. Scrambled eggs offer a soft consistency, making them easily digestible.
  • Mashed potatoes provide carbohydrates for energy and are easily changed to a soft texture suitable for minimal chewing (consider adding protein powder for increased nutrient content).
  • Steamed/boiled vegetables offer vitamins and minerals while maintaining a soft texture. Avoid fibrous vegetables like celery and broccoli that can irritate the extraction site.
    • Beets (steamed or baked): A great source of folate, vitamin C, and iron for overall health.
    • Soft green leafy vegetables (spinach, turnip greens): Excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and K for a powerhouse of nutrients.
    • Squash (peeled and seeded): Choose your favourite – zucchini, eggplant, acorn, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, or yellow squash – all rich in fibre, magnesium, vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Cottage cheese offers a decent source of protein and calcium, both necessary for healing and teeth whitening. It also has a soft, creamy texture.

Here are some considerations for your dental health:

  1. The soft food diet should provide nutrients like protein, vitamins (particularly Vitamin C and D), and minerals. 
  2. Gradual texture progression is recommended as healing progresses. Start with very soft options and slowly introduce slightly firmer textures. 
  3. Bland or slightly sweet flavours are often preferred during this period due to taste alterations caused by post-surgical medications.

Day 7 Onwards

Following the initial healing phase, a gradual transition back to a regular diet can commence.

  • Opt for soft, solid foods that are easily chewable. Examples include cooked fish, well-cooked chicken, and soft cheeses. Avoid tough meats like steak or overly crunchy vegetables.
  • Gradual introduction of chewier textures to prevent muscle atrophy in the masticatory muscles.
  • The diet should continue to have nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals to support ongoing tissue remodelling and maturation.

Foods to Avoid During Recovery

Certain food types can impede healing or increase the risk of complications like alveolar osteitis (dry socket).

Crunchy & Crumbly Foods (Chips, Crackers)These can fragment and become lodged in the extraction site, potentially causing irritation and secondary infection.
Chewy & Sticky Foods (Gummy Candies, Taffy)These can adhere to the extraction site and disrupt clot formation or healing tissue.
Spicy Foods (Chilies, Paprika)Capsaicin, the compound responsible for spiciness, can irritate the surgical site and exacerbate post-operative discomfort.
Acidic Foods (Citrus Fruits, Tomato-Based Sauces)The acidic nature of these foods can cause stinging and discomfort at the extraction site, potentially delaying healing.
Seeds & NutsThese pose a risk of becoming lodged in the extraction site and causing irritation or infection.
Hot BeveragesThese can disrupt clot formation at the extraction site, potentially leading to complications like dry sockets.
Straw UseSuction created by using a straw can dislodge the blood clot, hindering healing.

Habits to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Strenuous Activity

Strenuous activities like heavy lifting, running, or intense exercise can elevate blood pressure and disrupt clot formation at the extraction site. This can lead to bleeding or dislodging the blood clot, which may cause oral health issues like dry sockets. 

Research suggests that a period of relative rest, particularly in the first 24-48 hours after surgery, is necessary for optimal healing.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

These vices impair wound healing. Smoking creates suction, which can dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site. Tobacco chemicals constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the healing tissues and hinders oxygen delivery.

Alcohol Consumption

Liquor acts as a blood thinner and can interfere with the coagulation cascade, leading to post-surgical bleeding. Alcohol can also dehydrate the body, further hindering the healing process.

Aggressive Rinsing and Brushing

Gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution and careful brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended for good oral health. 


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Optimize Your Dental Health with a Dentist in Maple Ridge

A carefully planned post-operative diet is necessary for successful wisdom teeth extraction recovery. Having a supportive dental team by your side can help you optimize healing and maintain your oral health.

Go for a dental office with a comfortable and welcoming environment. Schedule dental visits and get quality dental care from Maple Ridge dentists, with dietary recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

Westgate Dental Centre understands proper nutritional support and provides dental services during this healing phase. We offer comprehensive dental services for all our patients, including dental implants, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and dental emergencies in Maple Ridge, BC.

Contact our dental professionals today to schedule convenient appointments for cosmetic dental services and discuss your post-operative dietary plan for you and your entire family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Avoid carbonated beverages during the initial healing phase, according to a Maple Ridge dentist. The bubbles can irritate the extraction site and cause discomfort after the dental treatment. Instead, opt for still water, clear broths, or sugar-free electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated.

Be mindful of your body’s signals during recovery. Here are some signs that you might need to adjust your diet:

  • Increased Pain or Discomfort: If chewing certain soft foods becomes too painful, revert to softer options and consult your family dentist if necessary.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding after resuming a regular diet might indicate a need to revisit your dietary plan, guided by your old or new dentist.
  • Difficulty Chewing: Difficulties chewing beyond your tolerance level could indicate insufficient healing. Consult your dental team for guidance on adjusting your diet or managing chewing difficulties.

Yes. Open communication with your dentist is necessary. They can help you create a modified post-operative diet plan and dental practice that adheres to your specific dietary restrictions.

  • Gluten-Free or Dairy-Free: Many soft, easily chewable options are naturally gluten-free or dairy-free. Explore alternatives like gluten-free pasta or tofu scrambles for protein.
  • Vegan or Vegetarian: Vegan or vegetarian diets can still provide adequate protein for healing. Consider incorporating options like lentils, beans, tofu, and tempeh into your soft food repertoire.

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