Dentistry of Highland Village

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction in Houston, TX

The Post-Tooth Extraction Diet, By Your Houston Dentists

Getting a tooth extracted can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience, but it’s a necessary procedure often recommended by dentists to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. One crucial aspect of healing after a tooth extraction is your diet. Eating the right foods can promote healing while consuming the wrong foods can prolong your recovery and even lead to complications.

At Dentistry of Highland Village, our experienced Houston, TX, dentists, Drs. Amy Milman, Mili Shah, and Rushi Dave, have put together this comprehensive guide of foods to eat to help you navigate your post-extraction diet. If you have any questions about healing after a tooth extraction, please contact our Houston dental office at (713) 360-7700.

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction: The Basics

After a tooth extraction, your mouth will be sore and sensitive, so it’s crucial to choose foods that are easy to chew and won’t irritate the extraction site.

Soft Foods Are Best

Soft foods are your best option after a tooth extraction. Some examples of suitable soft foods to eat include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Broth-based soups
  • Smoothies
  • Scrambled eggs

Avoid Hard, Crunchy Foods

Hard or crunchy foods can be painful and irritating after a tooth extraction surgery. Avoid these foods for at least a week after the procedure:

  • Nuts
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Raw vegetables
  • Steak

Be Cautious with Hot Foods and Beverages

Hot foods and beverages can increase swelling and pain. Stick to lukewarm or cold foods and drinks for at least a day after your tooth extraction.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential when healing from a tooth extraction because it helps prevent dehydration and promotes overall healing. When you lose a tooth, the extraction site is left exposed, and your body responds by sending blood to the area to form a clot. This clot is necessary for healing but also increases your body’s fluid requirements. However, avoid using a straw, as sucking can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a dry socket.

Foods That Can Aid in Healing

In addition to avoiding certain foods, some can help promote healing after a tooth extraction. While you may be limited in your food choices, there are recommendations to consider that can help you get the essential nutrients you need.


Protein is essential for tissue repair and can aid in the recovery process. Good sources of protein include:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Plain Greek Yogurt

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is crucial for collagen production, which helps with tissue repair. Foods high in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting, which is essential for the wound-healing process. Foods high in vitamin K include:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage

Tips for a Speedy Recovery

In addition to following the dietary guidelines outlined above, there are some additional tips you can follow to promote a speedy and successful recovery after a tooth extraction.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth gently and avoid the extraction site for the first day or two. After that, you can resume brushing your teeth, but be careful around the affected area. Avoid mouthwash for the first 24 hours, as it may irritate the site.

Apply Ice Packs

Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Use an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, with breaks in between.

Take Pain Medication as Directed

Our dentists may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort after the procedure. Take the medication as directed, and don’t wait until you’re in severe pain to take it.

Rest and Relax

Resting and taking it easy for the first few days after the extraction can help promote proper healing too. Avoid strenuous activity and get plenty of rest.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s best to wait until the anesthesia wears off before attempting to eat anything. Once you do eat, stick to soft foods and avoid hot foods and beverages.

It’s best to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure, as it can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Instead, drink water, broth, smoothies, and milk to keep your extraction site clean and healthy.

Yes, ice cream can be a good choice, as long as it’s not too cold. Stick to room temperature or slightly chilled ice cream, and avoid using a spoon or straw, as this can dislodge the blood clot.

It’s best to avoid spicy foods for at least the first few days after a tooth extraction, as they can irritate the extraction site and cause discomfort. Once the site has started to heal, you can slowly reintroduce spicy foods into your diet.

Attentive Care for a Successful Post-Extraction Recovery, Call Today!

At Dentistry of Highland Village, we understand that proper nutrition plays a crucial role in the healing process after dental surgery or a tooth extraction. Our experienced dentists are dedicated to providing comprehensive guidance and support throughout your recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns about what to eat or drink after a tooth extraction, please don’t hesitate to contact our Houston dental office at (713) 360-7700. We proudly serve patients from Houston, Pasadena, Sugar Land, Pearland, and surrounding areas in Texas.



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