What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal? (BEST & WORST Foods)

Category: Adult Dentistry, Dr. Advocate's Insights

Dr Advocate Avatar IconBy: Dr. Advocate
Updated: September 19, 2022

Dry Socket Blood Clot | My Dental Advocate

So you just had your wisdom teeth removed; you’re exhausted but hungry and ready to eat. Unfortunately, the oral surgeon wants you to stay on a soft food diet for at least two weeks, and you don’t know what to eat. This article explains what foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal, including the best and worst foods. In addition, follow our 7-day dentist-recommended eating plan to decrease your pain, increase recovery and maintain health.

Before diving into the best and worst foods, we must discuss 5 helpful tips to prevent dry sockets and learn how to decrease recovery time. In addition, we will review soft-food diet serving size suggestions to maximize healthy food intake and minimize the risk of complications after the procedure.

Recommended Reading: Wisdom Teeth | The Ultimate Guide

5 helpful tips to prevent dry socket

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot fails to form or falls out of the socket. As a result, the exposed bone becomes infected and causes severe pain, predominantly in the lower extraction sites. Dry sockets commonly occur around day 3 or 4 and are highly unlikely to occur after one week.

According to the literature, the dry socket pain can last 7-14 days after surgery, and the total healing time is increased. We’ve listed 5 helpful tips to prevent dry socket.


Recommended Reading: Wisdom Teeth Pain: Symptoms, Relief & Home Remedies (Helpful Tips)


  1. Soft-food diet 1-2 weeks – Soft food diet restrictions are essential for many reasons. Soft food prevents irritating sensitive gum tissue and disturbing blood clot formation. Also, soft foods are less likely to damage fragile sutures/stitches. In addition, your jaw muscles will be incredibly sore so it won’t be easy to open and close your mouth for 1-2 weeks. Soft foods eliminate the need for chewing while still providing adequate nutrition.
  2. Avoid crunchy, hot & spicy foods – As much as you want to chow down on your favorite chips, spicy foods or hot comfort foods, it’s important to remember that your mouth needs time to heal. Avoid crunchy foods that can damage the blood clot or stitches/sutures. In addition, avoid spicy foods that irritate gum tissue and increase healing time. You should avoid hot foods as they can break down blood clot formation and increase the chances of dry socket.
  3. Avoid spitting, swishing & straw for 48 hours – The blood clot is vital to protect the healing socket and prevent foods and other irritants from entering the area. Avoid vigorously spitting as this can dislodge the blood clot. In addition, refrain from swishing or using a straw for 48 hours. All three actions can apply a suction force to the blood clot and lead to dislodgement.
  4. Avoid smoking & chewing tobacco for 48 hours – Avoid smoking as it delays healing time and limits adequate blood flow to the healing site. In addition, smoking requires a sucking action that can dislodge the blood clot. Tobacco irritants can inadvertently enter the healing area and cause irritation, dislodge the blood clot and delay healing time.
  5. Eat, drink (water) & sleep – After wisdom tooth removal, it’s important to rest your body, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water (8 oz x 8/day) and sleep often. Your body spends many calories and requires rest and replenishment during the healing process—schedule surgery around holidays, school/work breaks or weekends to maximize rest time.

Recommended Reading: Wisdom Teeth Removal (What’s Involved?)


Serving size suggestions (soft-food diet)

Serving size eating plan | My Dental Advocate

Your oral surgeon will advise you to stay on a soft-food diet for 1-2 weeks. The diet allows time for your mouth, jaw muscles and gums to heal.

A change in diet after wisdom tooth extraction can prevent you from getting adequate nutrients. The amount of food intake begins with the number of servings and serving size.

Serving size suggestions
  • 2 servings of protein
  • 2 servings of carbohydrates & dairy
  • 5 servings of fruits & vegetables

Recommended Reading: 101 Foods to Eat After Dental Surgery, Implants or Wisdom Teeth Removal


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal? (BEST foods)

During wisdom teeth surgery, your body spends countless calories; now, it’s time to replenish your body with healthy, nutritious foods. How is that possible with a sore mouth and soft-food diet restriction?


Pulling wisdom teeth can improve long-term taste function, research finds

Fortunately, many foods are nutritious, soft and high in protein. For example, scrambled eggs contain protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. Protein is vital to repair and heal your mouth after surgery. Other high-protein foods include cottage cheese and fish.

Carbohydrates are also crucial as they provide energy and stamina. Foods rich in carbohydrates include oatmeal, pasta and applesauce. In addition, carbohydrates are filling and satisfying, which is essential when it’s uncomfortable to eat. Other healthy foods include:


BEST foods (protein)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese + fruit/salsa
  • Smoothies
  • Protein shakes (Boost)
  • Salmon (flaky fish)
  • Tuna (shredded)
  • Chicken (shredded)
  • Ground turkey/beef
  • Hummus/refried beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
BEST foods (carbohydrates)
  • Pasta (mac & cheese)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Ice cream
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond)
  • Pudding
  • Soft bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Cooked rice
  • Gelatin desserts (Jell-O)
BEST foods (fruits & veggies)
  • Bananas
  • Seedless fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Watermelon (seedless)
  • Veggies (steamed)
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Avocado
  • Melon
  • Grapes
  • Mango

Stay hydrated

Don’t forget about the importance of staying hydrated after oral surgery! Your body relies on water for all aspects of living, including breathing, pumping blood and tissue repair. Consider the 8×8 rule. Drink 8 oz of water 8 times per day. In addition, water helps improve blood flow and increase blood volume. Both are essential to blood clot formation.

If the blood clot prematurely falls out, a dry socket will form. This severe condition should be avoided at all costs.


What not to eat after wisdom teeth removal? (WORST foods)

Foods that are spicy, hot, crunchy, crumbly or chewy can delay wound healing. In addition, alcohol may irritate the healing tooth socket and interfere with prescribed pain medication. Finally, avoid seeds as they can get lodged in the tooth socket, aggravate gum tissue, and disturb blood clot formation.


Types of food to avoid
  • Spicy foods (irritates gum tissue)
  • Hot foods (damages blood clots)
  • Crunchy foods (irritates sore jaw)
  • Chewy foods (irritates sore jaw)
  • Acidic foods (irritates gum tissue)
  • Seeds & nuts (Irritate tooth socket)
  • Alcohol (delay healing)
WORST foods
  • Chips
  • Hot soup
  • Steak
  • Pizza
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
WORST foods (continued)
  • Hard bread
  • Gum & candy
  • Raw vegetables
  • Unripe fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Jerky
  • Granola

Immediately after wisdom teeth extraction, your lips and mouth will be numb so stick with liquid foods for the first 24 hours, including smoothies and shakes. Check out our 7-day dentist-recommended eating plan for healthy suggestions.


Eating plan after wisdom teeth removal | My Dental Advocate

7-day dentist-recommended eating plan

Hours after surgery, you’ll want to follow your post-op instructions and recommended guidelines for eating. Healthy and nutritious foods are essential for the best recovery possible.

Remember that your mouth will be incredibly sore, so be patient when eating as it may take longer than usual. In addition, your jaw muscles will be tender, so you may have difficulty opening and closing your jaw.

Follow this 7-day dentist-recommended eating plan to optimize your recovery without neglecting your nutrition.

Recommended Reading: How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal? (BEST Tips)


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 1

Breakfast – Protein smoothie (milk, bananas, yogurt, ice)
Lunch – Cottage cheese + fruit/salsa, Jell-O
Dinner – Cooked pasta, steamed veggies, soft bread
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), applesauce, pudding


Comments – You will be incredibly sore and tired on day 1. In addition, you will probably be hungry but have no desire to eat as you manage the pain and exhaustion. Stick to liquid foods if you have difficulty opening and closing your jaw.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 2

Breakfast – Protein smoothie (milk, bananas, yogurt, ice), scrambled eggs
Lunch – Mac & cheese, hummus, Jell-O
Dinner – Cooked rice, ground turkey, soft bread, avocado
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), watermelon (seedless)


Comments – After 24 hours, you can replace liquid-like foods with soft foods. Avoid hard, hot, spicy and crunchy foods the day after surgery. You will still have sensitivity around the extraction sites, so keep the food away from those areas.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 3

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, pancakes/waffles
Lunch – Lentils, cottage cheese + fruit/salsa
Dinner – Salmon, steamed veggies, soft bread
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), banana, Jell-O


Comments – After 48 hours, your jaw muscles should begin to loosen up, allowing you to open and close with less pain. Don’t be alarmed if you still have difficulties opening your mouth wide. Continue eating soft foods, and be sure you drink enough water (8 oz x 8 times). Allow any hot foods or hot beverages to cool to room temperature.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 4

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal
Lunch – Cooked rice, cottage cheese + fruit/salsa
Dinner – Shredded chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), applesauce, pudding, ice cream


Comments – After 72 hours, you can begin incorporating different types of protein, including shredded chicken or ground turkey. In addition, you can start adding cold foods, including ice cream and popsicles. They will help soothe the irritated gum tissue.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 5

Breakfast – Protein smoothie (milk, bananas, yogurt, ice), pancakes/waffles
Lunch – Hummus, lentils, cottage cheese + fruit/salsa
Dinner – Cooked pasta, steamed veggies, soft bread
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), applesauce, pudding


Comments – Continue sticking to soft foods and ensure you get the recommended servings and adequate water intake. In addition, be sure you sleep 7-8 hours each night to allow the gum tissue to heal.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 6

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal
Lunch – Cooked rice, cottage cheese + fruit/salsa
Dinner – Tofu, steamed veggies, soft bread
Snacks – Protein shakes (Boost), watermelon (seedless), ice cream


Comments – The sutures/stitches will begin to dissolve, so don’t be alarmed if you feel loose strings in your mouth. Be careful not to catch any food on them as they will damage the tissue. Contact your dentist if you are having any discomfort.


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal: Day 7

Breakfast – Protein smoothie (milk, bananas, yogurt, ice), scrambled eggs
Lunch – Mac & cheese, hummus, Jell-O
Dinner – Salmon, steamed veggies, soft bread
Snacks – Protein shakes (boost), applesauce, pudding


Comments – Recovery should be on track, so continue to eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water. After eating, it’s important to keep the teeth and gums clean. Use a soft bristle toothbrush to cleanse the area gently. In addition, your dentist may suggest you rinse with salt water to clear away harmful bacteria.


Final thoughts

Wisdom teeth removal is stressful enough; Follow this 7-day eating plan, so you don’t have to stress about what soft foods to eat. In addition, replacing essential vitamins and minerals will put you on track to faster healing so you can get on with your life.


The more you know, the more healthy habits you can develop, saving you and your family from avoidable and potentially expensive dental procedures. Talk to your dental professional for more suggestions on improving oral health and check back for more blog posts and relevant information. Please share this site and let us know what else you’d like to know!




Dr Advocate Avatar IconAbout the Author

Dr. Advocate is an actual board-certified dentist with clinical practice experience and a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources presented in layman’s terms with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.