Following on from my blog post on “Foods to Eat for Healthy and White Teeth” .. here is my blog post on what to eat and drink (and what NOT to eat and drink!) after you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed (or any teeth for that matter!).
The reason for this blog post is that I actually had all four wisdom teeth removed the other month and have been lucky enough to speak with one of the dentists involved in my surgery; Richard Greenhalgh who is a SHO Oral and Maxillofacial Dentist in Leeds. I had my wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthetic (where you get knocked out!) and apart from bleeding into a joint thanks to a mini bleeding disorder, I was home after a few days and my mouth began to open slowly!
Although I looked fairly ‘normal’ after a week, what I was left with was four gaping holes where the teeth had been taken out.. oh and a little bit of pain (resolved with pain killers!) (!). So if you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed or if surgery is imminent, carry on reading for tips on how to cope!
1) Why would you need your wisdom teeth removed & what are the risks?
Dr. Richard: “.. Since there are risks in surgical removal of wisdom teeth, specific criteria should be met before removal is offered. This list includes wisdom teeth with unrestorable decay (or causing such decay in the adjacent tooth), pathology in the tooth (pulpal) or around the roots (periapical), fracture, abscesses, cysts, tumour or if the tooth lies within the field of surgery. The risks of removal include: pain, bleeding, swelling, infection, dry socket, difficulty mouth opening (temporary), altered sensation to the lower lip, chin or tongue (occasionally temporary, rarely permanent).”
2) Is there anything you can do leading up to surgery to speed up recovery?
Dr. Richard: “Generally speaking as with any surgery the better health you are in the more likely you are to recover well and avoid complications. It would then follow that a good nights sleep and eating a balanced diet would be beneficial; this is completely anecdotal however!”
3) What are your top tips after teeth removal?
Dr. Richard: “I would suggest to….
- Avoid hot foods and drinks due to numbness from local anaesthetic and also as heat increases vasodilation and therefore bleeding
- Avoid exercise/heavy lifting or anything to raise blood pressure; again could increase bleeding risk
- Try not to disturb a clot in place; for 24 hours avoid vigorous rinsing
- No smoking for as long as possible following the procedure as this increases risk of dry socket
- Brush teeth as normal but be gentle around surgical site(s)
- Take medications as normal
- After 24 hours start salt mouthwashes; 1 teaspoon of salt in warm water rinsed for 30-60 seconds three times a day – more is fine”
4) How to you keep the ‘holes’ clean? – the ones that your teeth leave behind!
Dr. Richard: “Holes acting like a food trap are common and it’s often surprising there aren’t more infections considering the food and bacteria in our mouths. Using syringes is about the best you can do if you can get your hands on one. In terms of packing sockets, it is not a routine practice.”
Thank you Richard so much for your time.. and for taking my teeth out!!
So what about my experience? The following picture shows my essential ‘teeth kit’ for after having wisdom teeth removed..
- Salt water mouth washes (using slightly cooked boiled water) after main meals – only after 48 hours
- Syringe to flush out the bottom two wisdom tooth holes – once I could open my mouth properly!
- Baby tooth brush & mini tooth paste – to gently clean my teeth once I could open my mouth a little bit!
- Multivitamin – because I didn’t achieve my usual 5-9 portions of fruit and veg a day!
- Baby fruit pots – I quickly realised that fruit skins got ‘lodged’ in the holes and so avoided them for at least a month!
I had a fairy soft diet for the first week or so and avoided ‘bits’ that could get stuck in the holes..
- Banana Ice cream
- Baby Fruit Pots – as pictured
- Green Smoothies
- Greek Yoghurt and Honey
- Protein Shakes – or simply 1/2 frozen banana, protein & milk!
- Meal Replacement Drinks e.g. Purition Superseed Smoothie
- Avocado Mousse
- Peanut Butter
- Scrambled Eggs
- Salmon mashed with Cream Cheese
- Weetabix with lots of milk, mashed banana & honey
- Chips (yes naughty but I LOVED them once my appetite came back as they were easy to eat!!)
I avoided (because these foods got stuck in my ‘holes’!):
- Porridge (dam little gooey oats!) & granola
- Smoothies with grapes
- Any fruit skin
- All nuts and seeds
I really hope you’ve found this blog post useful for what to eat and drink after teeth removal. I would love to know if you have any tips in the comments down below.. and do look out for an up and coming blog post “what to eat with FIXED BRACES” .. *eek*.
*This advice is not personal and should not be taken as a substitute to tailored advice given by your dentist or surgeon.