Before I got my wisdom teeth out, I thought my recovery period would only be a day or two, and that I would be totally fine just eating ice cream. Little did I know that my recovery period would last a full ten days. My cheeks tripled in size (yes, tripled) and I could barely stretch my mouth enough to form a smile. The week after my procedure was definitely one of the hardest weeks I’ve had, not only because of the immense pain but also because I had a lot of trouble opening my mouth and could barely chew.
Once I realized this was going to be more than just a two-day recovery period, I knew that I needed a new game plan. My mom and I were able to come up with a few different food options that were not only delicious but also able to get me through my recovery period without nutrient deficiencies. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the healthiest week of my life, but I certainly wasn’t going to do any complaining.
As a mashed-potato die-hard, this was one of my favorite “meals”. Not only was it super filling, but also quite delicious. It’s important to remember to serve this at room-temperature because you should be steering clear of hot foods in the first day or two after your procedure. I also enjoyed having a break from the sweet, cold ice cream. I personally like my potatoes simple: just mashed with butter and sour cream. For those who are more adventurous, check out this recipe for Cheesy, Bacon-Filled Twice Baked Potatoes (although I would recommend foregoing the bacon). #SpoonTip: for a healthy alternative, try making twice-baked sweet potatoes
Blended Chicken Soup
Okay, this one might sound a little bizarre but I promise it’s actually amazing. All you do is take your favorite homemade (or not) chicken soup, stick it in a pot, and let an immersion blender do its thing. Not only is this a great way to sneak some protein into your body without having to go through the grueling process of chewing it, but it’s also really filling (a quality not many soft foods have). Again, wait for it to cool to room temperature before eating/slurping. Here's an awesome recipe if you have a crockpot!
I honestly forgot how much I love pudding until I started eating it post-procedure. I used to eat Snack-Packs all the time, so revisiting this made me a little nostalgic. This time, I became a little adventurous and decided to try out a few different variations of chocolate pudding (spoiler: Snack Pack obviously prevailed). During the first few days of recovery, I actually found it easier to eat the pudding with a grapefruit spoon instead of a regular spoon because it was easier to fit in my mouth. Pathetic, I know.
I was very skeptical at first when my dad brought gnocchi drenched in vodka sauce home for me for dinner two days after my procedure. Despite my nerves that it would hurt my jaw, I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. The gnocchi was so soft and went down super smoothly: easy to break down with just my tongue and my four front teeth. Plus, it felt really good to eat food that didn’t have the consistency of baby food for the first time in two days. This won't be the first thing you eat when you get home from the dentist, but is a great day-two dinner option.
I’m not a huge breakfast person (it’s bad, I know) so oatmeal wasn’t on my radar until day three. My “meals” had seriously been lacking in the fiber department, so adding oatmeal to my repertoire was much needed. Also, if you want to beef up your bowl, you can always mix in a spoonful or two of creamy peanut butter or some banana slices. For more inspiration (perhaps for when you're back to normal), check out these recipes.
Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
What kind of wisdom-tooth food guide would this be without including ice cream and frozen yogurt? These are wisdom-teeth-recovery staples. You’ll be eating a lot of this stuff, so definitely stock up on two or three different flavors. One flavor can get boring after a little while, trust me. If you're feeling blue about your currently physical state, there's always the option of spicing up your ice cream a little bit.
Not all hope is lost during this difficult week. There are many other ways you can expand your post-wisdom-teeth-op diet, beyond just the basics. Just remember, no acids and no hot foods for a little while. Oh, and please, anything but popcorn.