I got my wisdom teeth out on December 28, 2016. It sucked. Since the surgery, I have had a nerve spasm in my jaw and two cases of dry socket. Worst of all, for over a week I could not eat solid food.

I am going to share the secrets of my survival with you. Here are all of the staple items that I consumed on rotation throughout my healing process, intertwined with tips and cute photos of my swollen face.


I had heard that if you take Vitamin C, you recover more quickly, so in the weeks leading up to surgery I was taking two Vitamin C tablets daily.

condiment, coffee, tea, beer
Carleigh Reynolds

The Surgery

If you're worried about being put under, don't be. It's the easiest and fastest part. I have no memory of being put to sleep. I'm pretty sure they didn't even ask me to count back from ten. One minute I was in the dentist chair while the nurse explained how the whole process would go down, and suddenly the surgery was over and I was in a completely different room where my mom watched and giggled at how hazy I was. 

Also I don't remember taking this.

cake, cream, chocolate
Carleigh Reynolds

Tip: During the surgery, your mouth gets dry from being held open for so long. Bring chapstick and apply it as soon as you become coherent. Don't freak out if you can't feel your lips right away. The freezing will wear off in time. 

The Food/Drink

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt From Marble Slab

fudge, chocolate ice cream, ice, milk, cream, chocolate
Carleigh Reynolds

If you're looking to maintain complete nutritional health throughout your recovery process, this might not be the meal for you. In my case, I was craving comfort food that was cold and matched the colour of my blanket in case of a spill. (On the first day I was a total slob and had to relearn how to eat because I was dropping my food all over myself. )

Tip: You should be washing your mouth out after every meal, especially if you have eaten dairy because it contains a lot of bacteria. Since it will be hard to open your mouth wide enough to comfortably use a toothbrush, you will go through a lot of mouthwash quickly. Save yourself several trips to the drug store and just dilute the mouthwash with water

Homemade Cold Pressed Juice

Carleigh Reynolds

If you're a fan of not wasting food, this is a really great option. I actually made this on Christmas day, (I got my wisdom teeth out three days later). I juiced carrots, apples, pomegranate seeds, cherries, and an orange. I saved the juice to be the go-to recovery drink pictured above and mixed the pulp into my holiday stuffing. Two different dishes. Zero food waste. Magic.

Coconut Milk Dairy Free Ice Cream From So Delicious 

cream, dairy product, milk
Carleigh Reynolds

Since I was on a strict liquid diet, everything I had eaten so far was vegetarian. In the fashion of true hardcore investigative journalism, I decided to try out some vegan products too. This stuff rocked. It had tiny pieces of coconut shavings so it brought me a step closer to eating solid food.

Tip: If you're going to go for ice cream or fro-yo, make sure to avoid anything with big chunks. No chocolate chips. You must be able to swallow things whole without chewing, especially early on in the recovery process. 

Tomato & Grilled Cheese Soup From Happy Planet

bacon, tea, pizza, beer
Carleigh Reynolds

This soup was my saviour. After I was treated for dry socket—It's a sort of post-wisdom surgery infection. Please do not Google it— I was told to eat soup because the oil would remove the terrible taste in my mouth.

Tip: Wait for soup to cool down to room temperature because hot foods will disturb the blood clots and cause bleeding. 

Coconut and Pineapple Smoothie From Happy Planet

pizza, dairy product
Carleigh Reynolds

I drank this when I was beginning to go insane over not eating any solids. My mom said that if I drank this, she would let me lick a piece of garlic bread at dinner. This smoothie is really thick so it gives you the feeling of being full. Also, the flavours are really tropical so it helped me pretend that I was vacationing on a summery island instead of stuck on a couch for seven days in my sweatpants. 

Mashed Banana

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Carleigh Reynolds

This is a really great option for when you are transitioning back to solid foods because you can vary the degree to which the bananas are mashed. 

Tip: If you start to get bored with this one, mix in stuff: Nutella, crushed raspberries, sugar, peanut butter. The possibilities are endless. Make yoself some fancy baby food.

Good Luck!

I can’t guarantee that consuming these staple liquid/semi-solid products and religiously following my advice will make your gums heal in an instant. However, I do promise that this regime will make you less grumpy and hungry post-surgery. Good luck guys!

Have you gotten your wisdoms out recently? Tweet us a photo of your favourite snack (no chewing required obviously) or show us a photo of you rocking your swollen amorphous face. #glamorous @spoon_carleton.

Carleigh Reynolds