Most people have at least one wisdom tooth pulled at some point in their lives. This procedure commonly comes with a list of things you shouldn’t eat or do, but contains little information on what you can eat while your mouth heals.

Mouths heal quickly, so you shouldn’t have to rely on a soft food diet for long, but the initial period of healing will make eating most foods very uncomfortable. It’s important to maintain a good diet to promote healing, and you don’t have to eat only bland foods just because you’re stuck on a soft diet.

What Can I Eat?

  1. Applesauce – applesauce is often thought of as food for children, but it’s a nutritious snack packed with vitamin C and dietary fiber. You can even make your own applesauce or mix it up by making pear sauce or adding pears to applesauce. Applesauce also tastes great with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Mashed potatoes – add butter, salt, sour cream, or cream cheese to make them as creamy and delicious as you like. Gravy is a flavorful condiment that can keep your potatoes from tasting bland. Mash your own potatoes or pick up some of the newer instant mashed potato packs, which have improved greatly in quality over the past few years. You can even make mashed sweet potatoes.
  3. Smoothies or milkshakes – don’t drink these with a straw, but there are plenty of options for smoothies and milkshakes that taste great and are still healthy. There’s no better time than the present to experiment.
  4. Ice cream – What better excuse for ice cream is there than recovering from a tooth extraction? It tastes good and provides pain relief. If you’re eating ice cream in the first day or two, you might want to stick to soft serve. Avoid cones because they can develop sharp edges or work your traumatized jaw too hard. Avoid ice cream with fruit chunks or nuts for the first few days as well. Popsicles are also a great pain relief aid.
  5. Yogurt – yogurt and yogurt mousses are a great choice for adding a lot of flavor.
  6. Jell-o or Pudding – you can buy these in individual serving packs or you can easily make them yourself. Add whipped cream for extra fun. Pudding is also a good source of fat and protein from milk.
  7. Instant oatmeal – instant oatmeal is less textured than rolled oats, and easier to make. After the first few days, you should be able to eat oatmeal. Flavor your oatmeal with syrup, jam, or sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Soup – cream-based soups without a lot of chunks are good for the first couple of days, and after that you can branch out into more varieties that will still be easy on your gums. Soups offer a lot of nutrition and are easy to make yourself with a crock pot.
  9. Squash – butternut squash can always be mashed and served with garlic or other spices. Most baked squash is soft enough to eat and can keep your diet interesting and varied.
  10. Soft foods like eggs or risotto – after a few days you should be able to handle more texture and consistency. Find some softer regular foods to add to your diet while you transition back to a solid food diet.

You should only have to stick with softer foods for a week or two while your mouth heals. Avoid crunchy things that develop sharp edges for a while to avoid rude surprises. Your gums will appreciate it.