What To Eat After A Dental Procedure: Do’s & Don’ts

What To Eat After A Dental Procedure: Do’s & Don’ts

After having your teeth done (or undone), you need to be careful about what you put in your mouth. At least for a while. That’s because there are some foods that can most definitely cause irreparable damage. And so, to avoid any hassle, it’s important to know about both general and procedure-specific guidelines following a dental procedure. 

Now, considering that a lot of us have one or more dental procedures in our lifetime, we thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of food-related guidelines that you need to follow after some common dental procedures. 

What To Eat After Teeth Whitening? 

One of the least invasive cosmetic treatments is teeth whitening. Essentially, you get your teeth bleached so that they look brighter and whiter. And since this treatment doesn’t leave you with stitches or a gaping hole in your mouth, you wouldn’t expect any dietary restrictions. However, that isn’t so. 

There are some foods that you need to avoid after getting your teeth whitened. Otherwise, they’ll get stained quite easily again. Or they might not end up having the end shade you initially desired. So, for at least 5 days after teeth whitening, you need to avoid any foods that stain your teeth. It could be any of the following: 

  • Tea 
  • Coffee
  • Red wine 
  • Cola 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Mustard 
  • Ketchup Bolognese 
  • Curry 
  • Red meat 
  • All fruits (Except bananas) 
  • Chocolate 
  • Coloured alcoholic beverages

At least soon after the treatment, you should consider eating the following:

Drinks Savoury Sweet 
Still/sparkling waterSkinless chicken/Turkey (minus the fat)Banana
Tonic/soda waterWhite fishWhite low-fat yoghurt
White lemonadeWhite rice 
Skimmed milkWhite pasta
Clear coconut waterWhite cheese
Clear alcohol mixed with clear mixers (ginand tonic, vodka and white, etc.)Cauliflower
White onion
Egg whites
Cooked potatoes (without skin)
White bread (crustless)

Just make sure that you’re not eating anything that’s too hot or cold for at least 3 days. And remember that even after 5 days, if you eat too many teeth-staining foods, your pearly whites won’t stay that way for a long time. 

What To Eat After A Tooth Extraction? 

Tooth extraction is something that many people end up needing. It could be a wisdom tooth or a badly decayed/broken tooth that needs removing. However, once that’s done, you need to be careful about what you eat, especially when your mouth is numb.

That’s because you may end up biting your tongue, lips, or inner cheeks without knowing about it. So, while your mouth is numb (numbness can last for 5 hours after extraction), consider eating the following foods: 

  • Applesauce
  • Pudding 
  • Yoghurt
  • Ice chips 
  • Popsicles 

When the numbness is gone, you can eat the following foods: 

  • Mashed potatoes or pumpkins
  • Pasta
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pancakes
  • Creamed cereals
  • Soups (be careful-not too hot)
  • Avocado 
  • Hummus 
  • Salmon

While your mouth is trying to heal, you have to make sure that you don’t put anything in it that aggravates your situation. It’s also a good idea to eat from the other side of the mouth for a couple of days. Just avoid anything that’s spicy, chewy, hard or acidic. 

The same goes for alcohol, as it can interact with antibiotics and even slow down wound healing. Instead, make sure to drink lots of water. Although if you’re looking for something sweeter, juices and milkshakes can also work. 

But do not use a straw for drinking anything because sucking can dislodge the blood clot around the tooth socket and result in a condition known as a dry socket

What To Eat After A Root Canal? 

While a root canal isn’t as intense as an extraction, you’ll still have to alter your diet for a while. Keep in mind that it might take ten days to complete a root canal because it involves putting medicine in the root canals and waiting. 

Also, initially, you’ll have a temporary filling before the permanent one is placed. So, you have to be careful about not biting into hard foods or objects (pens, nails, pencils). 

In fact, it’s better to eat from the opposite side of the mouth for some time, even after you have the permanent filling. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least 2 hours after the procedure. But when you can, try the following: 

Drinks SavourySweet 
MilkshakeHummusPudding
Milk Scrambled eggs Applesauce 
SmoothiePasta Bananas 
Water Boiled/cooked veggiesMangoes
Soups Yoghurt 
Mashed potatoes Sorbet 
Tofu Ice cream (not the crunchy ones) 

A root canal will also leave you a bit numb for a few hours. During that time, if you’re hungry, it’s better to eat something that slurps. That way, you won’t end up biting into your lips, tongue or cheeks. 

To avoid this, it’s better to eat something before the procedure so you don’t feel hungry soon after. Other than that, the rule of thumb is to avoid anything that is too hard, sticky or has alcohol in it (no alcohol for 2 days at least). 

Lastly, it’s better not to eat anything that’s too hot or cold as you’ll have some hot/cold sensitivity for some time after the procedure. 

What To Eat After Getting Crowns or Veneers? 

With dental restorations like crowns or veneers, you need to wait for 2 hours before eating or drinking anything. That’s because the glue (with which teeth are bonded) is yet to dry. During that time, you should also avoid chewing gums or eating any sticky foods like: 

  • Caramel 
  • Toffee
  • Gummy candy 
  • Liquorice 
  • Tootsie rolls 
  • Taffy 

It would be even better to avoid such foods while you’re getting used to the new teeth in your mouth. Also, when you do start eating normally, don’t eat loads of sweets as it can cause decay in the underlying tooth and make the veneer/crown fall off

After 2 hours, you’re good to eat whatever you like, but still, it’s a good idea to not bite into foods that are too hard (harder than an apple) as it can break the porcelain. Consider cutting such foods down into bite-size pieces. 

What To Eat After Getting Dental Implants? 

If you’ve just had an implant fitted in your mouth, you’re likely to have stitches. And you’ll be advised against eating or drinking anything for at least 2 hours after the surgery. 

However, once you do start eating, it’s better to chew from the opposite side of the mouth (if you can) for 3 months. Also, while you’re still recovering, consider eating the following foods: 

  • Soups 
  • Ice-cream 
  • Smoothies 
  • Applesauce 
  • Mashed potato 
  • Yoghurt 
  • Broths 
  • Meal replacement shakes 

After 1-2 days, when your mouth’s feeling slightly better, you can move onto relatively solid foods like: 

  • Eggs 
  • Cheese 
  • Pasta 
  • Rice 
  • Soft bread 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Boiled/cooked vegetables 
  • Sweet potatoes 

As far as alcohol is concerned, you can start drinking when your antibiotics finish. And then, after a couple of weeks, you can start eating foods like chicken, beef, Turkey, raw veggies, etc. Of course, here too, you have to avoid hard foods like nuts, candies or ice, as they can damage your artificial teeth. 

Conclusion 

Now, of course, there are other dental procedures like bone grafting, gum contouring, root planing, etc. However, most of the time, the general rule is to eat something that’s soft, mushy and slurpy for a few days and then ease into solid foods. And while you’re recovering, you have to avoid anything that’s spicy, fizzy, hard, sticky, or chewy. 

That’s because these foods can cause irritation, and inflammation and slow down healing. Alcohol (and smoking) is also a no-no while your tissues are trying to heal. Once you’re well enough, you can get back to your normal diet. But before that, make sure you do as your dentist says. You will need to eat healthy to help with your recovery. 

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