These Top 10 Foods to Eat After Dental Work will help you stay full after dental work or oral surgery, because even if your mouth hurts and you can’t chew!
Today’s post: Food to eat after dental work. I’ve always been one of those weird people who loved going to the dentist. I loved how clean my teeth felt after a cleaning, and how I never seemed to get a cavity. Recently, however, I had to switch dentists, AND get a few fillings, AND have oral surgery. Ouch. After the surgery I remember thinking.. “I’m so glad I can’t feel my face,” and “How much did I just pay??,” and “Did he really say I can’t chew anything for a week???” I found myself wandering around the food aisles at Target with the husband, looking sadly at all the food I couldn’t chew.
I can’t be the only one with this problem, right? What does one eat after getting their wisdom teeth out, or after a root canal, or gum graft, or after other super fun dental work? In my case, after surgery I wasn’t supposed to eat anything that needs to be chewed for 3 days, and then only soft food I could easily chew on one side for another 4-5 days. Was I really supposed to eat nothing but applesauce and Jell-o for a whole week? That wasn’t going to happen.. No one would want to put up with my hunger induced grumpiness. Thankfully, the husband puréed things and brought me mashed potatoes, my mom brought me puréed potato soup, and my cat reminded me that he usually doesn’t get the food he wants either.
Today’s post is a list of foods that I found worked for me. There’s all kinds of dental work out there, and some of these foods might not work for you, depending on if you have stitches, where your stitches are, etc. If you, like me, have to drink your food for a week or so, this list should help! The list will go from snacks, to light meals, to protein filled yumminess that will actually leave you full. If you’ve tried other foods that worked for you- let me know in the comments!!
Note: When you start transitioning back to food that needs chewed, go slowly! Your stomach won’t thank you for skipping straight to heavy and dense food. Start with soft food like pasta, and go with smaller portions. Make your way slowly back to your normal diet.
I know- I just knocked applesauce and said I couldn’t bear to eat it all week. Okay sure. But the truth is, as a snack, it’s quite tasty and it won’t hurt your mouth. It could even work as a breakfast. If you’re feeling up to making your own- this Homemade Applesauce is pretty hands off. If you don’t feel like cooking, get some No Sugar Added Applesauce and eat up.
2. Granita / Ice Cream / Fro-Yo / sorbet / sherbet
This one is another no brainer- but don’t overlook it, because cold and creamy really does feel amazing on a sore mouth. Skip the popsicles if you can’t bite down or can’t open your mouth big enough after your dental work. Try this Wild Berry Granita recipe to make your own frozen treat. Skip any add-on toppings (Unless it’s whipped cream. Always say yes to whipped cream). You could also eat ice cream on some really soft fluffy cake.
3. Green Smoothies
Are you craving vegetables? Do you miss salads? If you haven’t tried a green smoothie yet, this might be the time to do it. My favorite combination is spinach, plain Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, and a little coconut water or orange juice. You can also make them more protein filled by throwing in a few nuts or some nut butter. Make sure you get it blended extremely well, and taste it as you go to make sure it’s sweet enough.
You already know you love pudding. It’s creamy. It’s sweet. If you’ve had too much ice cream since your dental work, and can’t stand the thought of eating any more sugary sweets, try this Masala Spiced Chia Pudding for a healthier pudding that works for both breakfast and dessert. This vanilla or chocolate pudding recipe is also delicious and easy.
5. Greek Yogurt + Honey
This is a great option because it’s full of protein, is creamy, light, delicious, but still takes practically zero effort. You can even buy single serving containers of Greek yogurt that have honey in a separate section of the bowl. You could also do this with cottage cheese if the curds don’t bother your mouth.
6. Puréed Soup
Soup! Yes, that’s right, a “real” food! A food you can eat because you’re hungry and it TASTES GOOD! Okay- I admit- normally when I make puréed soup, I don’t blend the entire pot of soup, because it typically tastes a little better when there’s texture. But if you have stitches in your mouth and can’t do anything but sip or slurp, blend it all up. Skip any toppings. Skip the bread and crackers you normally use to scrape the bowl. It’ll be okay- you can eat all that next week. Make Tomato Soup, or try blending up a soup you normally eat chunky (like Potato Soup!). You can also find puréed soup pre-made in boxes (I like Trader Joe’s boxed soups- especially the Tomato + Roasted Red Pepper soup).
7. Mashed Potatoes
This carb filled dish doesn’t even need modified. Just make your mashed potatoes like you normally would – peel and dice potatoes, bring to a boil in water, simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes), drain, add butter and milk, and then blend up (blend well- this isn’t the time for chunky potatoes). Season with salt and pepper. Stir in some sour cream or feta cheese for added flavor and creaminess. Side note: you can also make mashed sweet potatoes, but I found that the stringy texture of sweet potatoes was too much for the stitched up palette of my mouth on the first few days. If you want mashed sweet potatoes, blend them up as well as you can (maybe even using an actual blender instead of a hand mixer), until your mouth heals a little.
Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts, because it’s healthy and filling. Some of you may find that you can just make oats and eat up after dental work with no problems. The rest of us probably need to get out the blender. Overnight steel cut oats are already pretty creamy, but you may find that it needs puréed to keep anything from getting stuck in your stitches. Try making Overnight Pumpkin Oats or Overnight Cranberry Oats, and then pour some into the blender and then sprinkle sugar if needed. Skip the toppings- no nuts or extra berries this time.
9. Refried Beans
Beans! Now we’re talking. Some of you may be laying home in bed for a week after oral surgery, but others have to go to work! Go to school! Operate a motor vehicle! And how, I ask, are you supposed to do any of those things without protein? Lets be honest- refried beans are BEST served with rice or tortilla chips or taco shells.. But that’s just not an option right now. Serve your beans with some hot sauce, a salsa that isn’t chunky, and some sour cream. Then sigh with happiness as you discover that your belly is actually full.
10. Soft Scrambled Eggs
As your mouth begins to heal, you might want to start including some soft food that requires minimal chewing. To make soft scrambled eggs, warm a nonstick pan on low heat, and spray with oil or allow butter to melt. Whisk eggs together with salt, pepper, and a little milk / cream / or sour cream. Pour it all in the pan and let it cook slowly. Remove before it’s completely solid (about 10 minutes), as it will continue to cook a little after the heat’s turned off. For more detailed directions, check out this tutorial on The Kitchn.