At the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common procedures we offer. It is rare for wisdom teeth to erupt fully and be healthy. And removing them is the best option for your oral health.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth are third molars—the final teeth that grow as you approach adulthood. Healthy third molars emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. But if, like most people, you do not have enough space in the back of your mouth for more teeth, wisdom teeth present a variety of issues as they grow:
- Angled or sideways growth resulting in impaction
- Pushing or pressure on other teeth
- Crowding and misalignment
- Cysts or tumors in your jaw
Removing wisdom teeth can help you keep all your teeth in alignment and maintain good oral health.
How We Prepare You for Recovery
Our surgical team will spend time with you before your procedure to ensure you know what to expect. After wisdom teeth removal, we will do the following:
- Provide you with prescriptions for pain medication and, depending on your needs, antibiotics
- Ensure you have gauze and other materials to increase your comfort and ease your recovery
- Give you post-operative care instructions, including reminders about foods to eat and foods to avoid
Why Will Your Diet Be Restricted After the Procedure?
Most patients recover within a few days of wisdom teeth removal, but what you eat in the initial phase can ensure a successful outcome. A temporary change in diet after wisdom tooth removal protects the surgical sites and supports the healing process.
- Keeps the surgical site clear – Without a diet change, hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can enter the surgical sites, cause uncontrolled bleeding, or damage surrounding tissue.
- Prevents dry socket – If a blood clot dislodges before the site heals, bone and nerves are exposed. Dry socket causes intense pain in the surgical site and the nerves alongside your face.
- Minimizes jaw pain – Chewing exercises your jawbone and the surrounding muscles. You can prevent additional pain and soreness by following a restricted diet and letting your jaw rest.
When Can You Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Immediately after wisdom teeth removal, we will place gauze over the surgical sites and apply just enough pressure to promote clotting. After 45 minutes to an hour, you can remove the gauze to eat or drink.
What Can You Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
After wisdom teeth removal, you can eat soft, easy-to-chew foods that are room temperature or cold but not icy. Try to think less about the consistency of the food and more about how much chewing it involves. For example, pancakes are super-soft, but you will probably have to chew them extensively. And excessive chewing can irritate the surgical sites or dislodge a blood clot.
On the day of surgery and for the next day or two, you may eat:
- Ice cream
- Thin soup or broth
Within a few days, healing usually progresses enough to add other foods back into your diet gradually.
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Sweet potatoes
- Softer pasta (e.g., macaroni, orzo, spaghetti)
- Finely sliced and cut meats or fish
- Chew toward the front of your mouth—away from the extraction sites.
- Drink without a straw because sucking through it can dislodge blood clots.
- Feel free to ask our staff if a meal you would like to eat is a good option after surgery.
- While your diet is limited, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Foods to Avoid After Surgery
Some foods can irritate the surgical site and disrupt the healing process.
Avoid these foods after wisdom teeth surgery:
- Chewy foods – It takes more time to consume chewy foods. In the process, you can irritate the surgical sites.
- Crunchy foods – Apples, pears, chips, cookies, nuts—even uncooked vegetables like carrots or celery—can get stuck in the wound area, irritate it, and delay healing.
- Spicy foods – It is challenging to keep spicy foods isolated to one area in your mouth. As you eat, saliva distributes spiciness throughout your mouth and can irritate or burn the surgical sites.
- Grains and seeds – Tiny pieces of grain and seeds can enter the wound, irritate it, and cause infection.
- Alcoholic beverages – Consuming beer, wine, or other alcoholic drinks while you take pain medication can damage your liver, result in overdose, and impair function.
- Hot or icy cold foods – Extremes in temperature can irritate the surgical sites and cause sensitivity.
Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Even if you do not feel pain or discomfort, problems with your wisdom teeth might be lurking beneath the surface. If you live in the Baltimore area, request a consultation or exam at the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants. We have offices near Owings Mills, Hunt Valley, and Bel Air.