Oral surgery can leave patients feeling nauseous and not all that interested in food, but it is really important to eat after oral surgery, and to eat well. By nourishing the body with high quality food, the healing time will be decreased and the patient will generally feel better as well. Fortunately, there are a wide number of foods to eat after oral surgery, so patients should not get bored or restless with their diet. As with any medical procedure, the advice of a doctor supersedes any other advice a patient may receive, and patients with questions should consult their doctors.
To begin with, it is sometimes useful to assemble a list of foods not to eat after oral surgery. As a general rule, patients should to avoid any food which is strongly flavored, such as spicy Indian food. Spicy foods can hurt the mouth, as can sweets or foods which are too hot or too cold. Crunchy, sticky, and sharp foods should also be avoided. These would include things like potato chips, peanut butter, and hard candies. Ask your doctor about foods to watch out for, as personal experience from his or her medical practice may include some additional dangerous foods.
Soft, easy to digest foods are the best thing to eat after oral surgery, especially within the first few days. On the day of surgery, sticking with water, tea, and juice can be a good idea. These neutral foods will sit well with the lingering anesthesia in the body. Staying hydrated is also important for a quick healing time. A doctor may also recommend that a patient use a mild salt rinse after eating, to ensure that no food particles are left in the mouth.
Soft foods are the name of the game after oral surgery. There are a number of deliciously varied soft foods ranging from rich eggnog to plain applesauce which patients can eat after oral surgery. Some of the choices include yogurt, smoothies, thin soups, broth, soft fruit, sorbet, ice cream, pudding, Jell-O®, and well-cooked rice. Cold foods like ice cream and sorbet can help with mouth pain, while pureed foods and drinks are easy to swallow, even after painful oral surgery. It is important to strive for a balance of protein and fiber when patients eat after oral surgery, since the temptation is to stick with foods like juice, which do not provide the necessary nutrition.
To get more fiber from the foods you eat after oral surgery, make smoothies with whole fresh fruit, and eat soft fruits such as bananas. Brown rice or other whole grains can be eaten as well, as long as they are thoroughly cooked. Some patients prefer to puree substances like these, to ensure that grains do not get stuck in the mouth. Protein can be provided in the form of carefully cut-up eggs and dairy products, along with nutrition drinks. Many companies such as Ensure make high calorie nutrition drinks to support the elderly and cancer patients. These beverages may not always taste superb, but they are packed with nutrition.
You may not be able to hold a dinner party with the foods you can eat after oral surgery, but you can eat rather well. If you have family members helping with your post-surgical care, you can get them involved by holding competitions for the most appetizing smoothie or most unusual ice cream flavor. In addition to making your care team feel useful, this may also expose you to new and unusual foods, like mamey ice cream or miso soup.