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The Ten Best Soft Foods to Eat After Oral Surgery
For Everyone

The Ten Best Soft Foods to Eat After Oral Surgery

If you’ve just had an oral surgery, or you’re an oral surgeon looking for recommendations to give your patients after a surgery, you know the despair most people feel when having to cut back on hot, spicy, or crunchy (three of the best culinary adjectives!) foods. But we’re here to tell you that all hope is not lost. There are still quite a few good foods you can enjoy that will also aid in the recovery process.

This post will provide you with a list of the ten best soft foods to eat after oral surgery, as well as diving into why it’s important to stick to soft foods after oral surgery. Hopefully, this guide will help make your or your patient’s recovery a little bit smoother.

Soft Foods to Eat After Oral Surgery

  • Smoothies - Packed with fruits, vegetables, and proteins like yogurt or protein powder, smoothies are nutritious and soothing.
  • Broths and soups - Warm (not hot) broths and creamy soups can be very comforting and provide hydration as well as nutrition.
  • Mashed Potatoes - Soft, creamy, and easy to eat; you can add some gravy for flavor and extra moisture.
  • Scrambled Eggs - Gentle on the stomach and rich in protein, scrambled eggs are a great soft food option.
  • Applesauce - Smooth and cool, applesauce is a nice snack that adds some fruit to your diet without needing to chew.
  • Oatmeal - Well-cooked oatmeal is soft and easy to customize with different toppings like banana slices or a spoonful of peanut butter for added protein.
  • Yogurt - High in protein and calcium, yogurt is smooth and can be soothing for sore mouths.
  • Cottage Cheese - Soft, creamy, and high in protein, cottage cheese can be eaten alone or mixed with other soft fruits like peaches or pears.
  • Pudding and Custard - These are not only easy to consume but can also satisfy dessert cravings.
  • Risotto - A creamy rice dish that is generally very soft and can be a comforting meal.

Make sure to avoid anything too hot, spicy, crunchy, or hard. If you’re like me, avoiding spicy foods can be difficult, but trust me, it’s better than dealing with the searing pain of a jalapeño seed in your surgery wound. Plus, soft, nutrient-rich foods can help ensure you stay nourished and aid in your recovery process.

Why Stick to Soft Foods After Oral Surgery?

Sticking to soft foods after oral surgery is crucial for several important reasons:

  • Protects the Surgical Site: After oral surgery, the affected area is sensitive and vulnerable to infection. Eating soft foods minimizes the contact and pressure on the surgery site, helping to protect it from mechanical irritation that could disrupt the healing process.
  • Reduces Pain: Soft foods require less chewing, which helps in minimizing movement and strain in the area of surgery. This can significantly reduce pain and discomfort, which is often exacerbated by the chewing motion.
  • Prevents Infection: Eating soft and easy-to-swallow foods reduces the risk of food particles getting stuck at the surgery site, which can lead to infections if not cleaned properly.
  • Promotes Healing: Following a diet of nutritious soft foods ensures that your body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for healing, without the stress of chewing hard, tough, or sticky foods.
  • Avoids Complications: Hard or sticky foods can dislodge the clot that forms over the surgical site, leading to complications such as dry socket, which is both painful and detrimental to the healing process.

By adhering to a soft food diet, you can help ensure a smoother, quicker recovery process while avoiding additional complications or damage to the surgery area.

What Are the Most Important Foods to Avoid After Oral Surgery?

After oral surgery, it's essential to avoid certain types of foods that can irritate the surgical site, disrupt the healing process, or cause discomfort. Here are the most important foods to steer clear of:

  • Spicy Foods: These can irritate the surgery site and cause significant discomfort.
  • Crunchy and Hard Foods: Items like chips, popcorn, and hard candies can aggravate the wound or even dislodge a blood clot leading to complications such as dry socket.
  • Very Hot Foods and Liquids: High temperatures can cause irritation and may also dissolve the protective blood clot.
  • Sticky Foods: Foods like caramel or chewy candy can stick to the surgical area and increase the risk of infection by dislodging the blood clot.
  • Acidic Foods and Beverages: Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and others can irritate the wound.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and should be avoided, especially if you are taking prescribed medications post-surgery.

Avoiding these foods helps ensure a smoother and faster recovery by reducing the risk of irritation, infection, and other complications.

Additional Tips to Make Your Oral Surgery Recovery Smoother

To help ensure a smooth recovery after oral surgery, consider these additional tips:

  • Follow Your Dentist's Instructions: Adhere strictly to any guidelines or instructions provided by your dentist, including how to care for your mouth post-surgery, medication schedules, and follow-up appointments.
  • Keep the Surgical Area Clean: Gently rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution or a prescribed oral rinse to help keep the surgical site clean and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Apply Ice Packs: For the first 24-48 hours after surgery, use ice packs on the outside of your face where the surgery was performed. This can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Rest: Give your body a chance to heal by resting and avoiding any strenuous activity for the first few days after surgery. Increased physical activity can lead to bleeding and swelling.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid using a straw as the suction can disrupt the healing site.
  • Avoid Smoking and Tobacco: Smoking can significantly slow the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
  • Eat Nutritious Foods: Once you can tolerate a broader range of foods, focus on nutritious, vitamin-rich foods that can aid in healing.
  • Elevate Your Head When Lying Down: Keeping your head raised above your heart can help reduce swelling and may reduce bleeding.

By carefully managing your recovery process through these steps, you can help ensure a quicker, more comfortable healing period.

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About the Author

Harry Gatlin

Harry is passionate about the power of language to make complex systems like health insurance simpler and fairer. He received his BA in English from Williams College and his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama. In his spare time, he is writing a book of short stories called You Must Relax.