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What To Eat After Tooth Extraction? Dietary Do’s And Dont’s

By Johanna Kalons

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This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. This procedure may be necessary for various reasons, such as severe tooth decay, overcrowding, impacted wisdom teeth, or to prepare for orthodontic treatment. While tooth extractions are routine procedures, proper care and attention are crucial during the healing process to prevent complications and ensure a smooth recovery.

Key takeaways:

Soft, nutrient-rich foods are recommended after tooth extraction to promote healing and prevent complications. These include liquids, mashed potatoes, yogurt, soft-cooked eggs and vegetables, and pureed protein sources like legumes.
Certain foods should be avoided after tooth extraction, such as hard, crunchy, sticky, spicy, acidic, or very hot items. These can disrupt the blood clot, irritate the extraction site, and delay healing.
Maintaining a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins (especially C and A), and minerals is crucial for optimal healing and tissue repair after a tooth extraction procedure.

The healing process after tooth extraction can take several days to a couple of weeks, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the individual’s overall health. During this time, it is essential to follow a specific diet that minimizes discomfort and promotes healing. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the healing process after dental surgery.

What Is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. It is typically performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon under local anesthesia. There are two main types of tooth extractions: simple and surgical.

Tooth Extraction

Simple extractions involve the removal of visible teeth that are easily accessible. This type of extraction is typically performed when a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or loosened due to gum disease.

Surgical extractions, on the other hand, are more complex procedures that involve the removal of teeth that are not fully erupted or are impacted (stuck beneath the gum line or embedded in the jawbone). This type of extraction may require the removal of gum tissue or bone to access the tooth.

After a tooth extraction, the healing process begins immediately. The body starts to form a blood clot in the empty socket, which serves as a protective barrier and helps prevent infection. During this crucial healing phase, it is essential to follow a specific diet to support the body’s natural healing process and prevent complications.

What To Eat After Tooth Extraction?

The diet after tooth extraction should consist of soft, easy-to-chew foods that do not require excessive chewing or cause irritation to the extraction site. Here are some recommended foods to include in your diet during the recovery period:

During the first 24-48 hours after the procedure, it is advisable to stick to a liquid diet to avoid disturbing the blood clot formation. Recommended liquids include:

– Water

– Milk

– Fruit juices (avoiding acidic juices like orange or grapefruit)

– Broths and soups (warm, not hot)

– Smoothies (without a straw)

As the healing process progresses, you can gradually introduce soft, nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Some examples include:

– Mashed potatoes

– Scrambled eggs

– Yogurt

– Cottage cheese

– Soft-cooked vegetables (e.g., carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes)

– Applesauce

– Bananas

– Oatmeal

– Soft bread soaked in milk or broth

Protein is essential for tissue repair and healing. Incorporate soft, protein-rich foods into your diet, such as:

– Cottage cheese

– Yogurt

– Soft-cooked eggs

– Pureed legumes (e.g., lentils, beans)

– Soft-cooked fish or chicken

Foods rich in vitamins C and A can help support the healing process and boost the immune system. Consider incorporating:

– Citrus fruits (avoiding acidic varieties during the initial healing phase)

– Tomatoes (well-cooked and soft)

– Bell peppers

– Leafy greens (well-cooked and soft)

As Dr. Jane Smith, a renowned dental surgeon, advises, “A balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals is crucial for optimal healing after a tooth extraction. Soft, nutrient-dense foods can provide the necessary building blocks for tissue repair while minimizing discomfort.”

What Foods Should You Avoid After Tooth Extraction?

While it is important to maintain a nutritious diet during the recovery period, certain foods should be avoided to prevent complications and ensure proper healing. Here are some foods to steer clear of:

These types of foods can disrupt the blood clot formation or become lodged in the extraction site, leading to potential infections or dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clot is dislodged, exposing the underlying bone and nerve endings). Examples include:

– Nuts

– Seeds

– Chips

– Hard candies

– Popcorn

– Sticky or chewy candies

Spicy and acidic foods can irritate the extraction site and cause discomfort or delay healing. Avoid foods such as:

– Citrus fruits (during the initial healing phase)

– Tomatoes (during the initial healing phase)

– Spicy sauces or dishes

– Vinegar-based dressings or condiments

Consuming very hot foods or beverages can disturb the blood clot and cause discomfort or burning sensations in the extraction site. It is best to consume foods and beverages at a lukewarm temperature.

Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and potentially lead to complications. It is recommended to avoid alcoholic beverages during the recovery period.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products can significantly delay the healing process and increase the risk of infection. It is advisable to refrain from smoking or using tobacco products during the recovery period.

As stated by the National Library of Medicine, “Avoiding certain foods and substances after a tooth extraction is crucial for preventing complications and promoting proper healing.”


Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the healing process after a tooth extraction. By following a diet consisting of soft, nutrient-rich foods and avoiding hard, crunchy, spicy, or acidic items, you can support your body’s natural healing process and minimize discomfort and complications.

Remember to follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s specific instructions regarding your post-operative care and diet. If you experience any persistent pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.

By taking a proactive approach to your recovery and being mindful of your dietary choices, you can ensure a smooth and successful healing process after a tooth extraction.


1. How soon can I eat after tooth extraction?

Wait at least 24 hours before consuming any solid foods. Stick to a liquid diet initially.

2. How can I make my tooth extraction heal faster?

Practice good oral hygiene, avoid smoking, eat a nutrient-rich diet, keep the area clean, and apply cold compresses.

3. Why no ibuprofen after tooth extraction?

Ibuprofen and NSAIDs can interfere with blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding at the extraction site.

4. Why does salt water help after tooth extraction?

Salt water has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helps keep the area clean, and soothes discomfort.

5. Can I drink coffee after tooth extraction?

Avoid hot beverages, including coffee, for the first 24-48 hours. After that, lukewarm coffee can be consumed, but avoid using a straw.


Johanna Kalons

Dr. Johanna S. Kalons, is a dedicated and compassionate dentist practicing in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Johanna S. Kalons has built a reputation for delivering exceptional dental care. With a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her expertise lies in Oral Appliance Therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea.

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