Dental and oral surgery are extremely common procedures that are important to keep your smile looking and feeling great. After any kind of surgery, you should follow post-procedure care instructions. This can include things like iced liquids, soft foods, and keeping the area clean. While surgery might leave you limited in what you can eat, there are still plenty of options that you can consume after the procedure.
Soft foods are foods that are easily chewable and can be softened by saliva. The term “soft foods” is usually used for people who have recently undergone surgery. Soft foods are generally easier to eat after oral or dental surgery because they require minimal chewing. We’ll be discussing the best soft foods to eat during recovery.
Breakfast is one of the easier meals to cater to a soft foods diet. A few ideas include eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, banana, and avocado.
If you’re craving a breakfast on the sweeter side, we recommend a strawberry banana smoothie with additional ingredients of your choice that blend well.
For a savory start to the day, eggs cooked to your preference topped with avocado will hit the spot and keep your oral recovery on track. A side of cinnamon oatmeal never hurts!
Our 7 recommendations for breakfast are:
- Soft fruits like kiwis and mango
For lunch, you have several options to explore. As always, avoid foods that will be difficult to chew or swallow.
If you have surgery on your gums or teeth, make sure to stay away from foods that contain seeds or kernels. You can have soup, noodles, rice, or sandwiches after oral surgery.
We love Mediterranean lentil soup or Japanese ramen with tofu for lunch. Always check to make sure it isn’t too hot!
Our 5 recommendations for lunch are:
- Softened pastas
- Bread and sandwiches
Like breakfast, dinner is pretty straightforward. You can have “real” food and you can even do some pretty intricate cooking if you’d like!
Our favorite easy dinner recipes include casseroles, pasta dishes, and stir fry. Just make sure to cut the food into bite-sized pieces.
If you’re craving meat, have a grilled chicken breast or salmon filet. You can eat bread or crackers with butter, as well as your usual dairy or egg-based sauces. Fresh or frozen steamed vegetables work well too.
If you need help getting the food ready for cooking, you can always ask a friend, family member, or a caretaker to help.
Our 4 recommendations for dinner are:
- Chicken breast
- Steamed vegetables
For dessert, we suggest something simple. Low calorie ice cream or sherbet will feel best on your mouth! Avoid hard candies and gum, as these can cause damage to your healing mouth.
The American Dental Association does recommend limiting sugar after oral or dental surgery. Consume dessert in moderation when healing, and look out for low-sugar or sugar-free alternatives.
Make sure to sip something throughout the dessert to aid in swallowing.
Our 4 recommendations for dessert are:
- Frozen yogurt
- Low calorie ice cream
Including snacks in your diet is a great way to keep your energy up and feel full. Try having some soft crackers, smoothies, fruit, or chewable vegetables during the day. You can always add in yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, or a savory pudding.
Many people find that they crave carbohydrates or sugary foods while they’re healing. Try to eat them in moderation, and balance it out with some protein.
Our 6 recommendations for snacks are:
- Cottage cheese
What not to eat after oral or dental surgery
It is important to avoid certain types of food after oral or dental surgery. These foods can either cause damage to your mouth or be hard to digest. Chewing requires strong, healthy teeth. If your teeth are healing, chewy foods can cause pain and discomfort. Hard foods can damage a healing mouth, especially if you’re still feeling sore.
Avoid caffeine, carbonation, and alcoholic beverages in the days after surgery. These can irritate your mouth and slow down the healing process. Stay away from extremely hot or cold foods/beverages as well. Spicy and acidic foods are likely to irritate the mouth. This may cause more blandness than you’re used to in your meals, but it’s best for recovery. Do not smoke in the days after oral or dental surgery. It can cause irritation and infection of your gums and mouth.
Some people struggle to find appetizing foods to eat after surgery. With time, your dietary options will open back up and you’ll be back eating all the foods you missed! While healing, try to stick with soft grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Ask your doctor if you are unsure about a certain meal!
10 Soft foods to eat after oral or dental surgery
Below are 10 recipes that you can eat after surgery.
Note: All of our recipes are created by our in house nutritionist.