Can You Eat Oatmeal After Tooth Extraction?

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A tooth extraction can be a daunting and unpleasant experience, but if you’re prepared for the before and after of the treatment, everything should go smoothly. This includes understanding what you can and can’t eat after your tooth extraction. 

What exactly can you eat after a tooth extraction? In this article, we’ll let you know what’s safe to eat and what to avoid after removing teeth, including whether you can eat oatmeal after a tooth extraction. 

What to Expect from Your Tooth Extraction

A tooth extraction is a procedure in which you have teeth removed by a dental professional. There are many reasons for tooth extraction, including:

  • Removing rotted teeth
  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Making more room in your mouth for orthodontic treatment

There are several ways in which your dentist may approach a tooth extraction. In particular, you may either be given local anesthesia or general anesthesia. 

With local anesthesia, the area around the tooth to be extracted is numbed, so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. With general anesthesia, you’re put to sleep for the procedure. 

For a simple tooth extraction of a single tooth, you are more likely to be given local anesthesia. You’re more likely to be given general anesthesia for a more complicated procedure, such as removing all four of your wisdom teeth. 

It’s essential to take proper care of your teeth immediately after the extraction, which includes eating and avoiding the right foods. Let’s find out why that is.

The Importance of Watching What You Eat After Tooth Extraction

What you eat after tooth extraction may determine how well your mouth heals and whether or not you develop complications.

For the extraction site to heal, a blood clot must form. While much of the blood clot will form in the first 24 hours post-extraction, it will take days for the site to heal fully. During this time, you must listen to your dentist’s instructions regarding caring for the area. 

You want to avoid foods that can get stuck in the extraction area and impede it from healing. This is even more important to avoid infection or a painful dry socket for more complicated extractions such as wisdom tooth removal.

You now know what to expect from your tooth extraction and why watching what you eat after your procedure is essential. This begs the question: can you eat oatmeal after tooth extraction?

woman drinking water after tooth extraction

Can You Eat Oatmeal After Tooth Extraction?

Oatmeal is a go-to breakfast staple that you can easily get creative with. But is it safe to eat after your extraction?

In general, warm cereals such as oatmeal are safe after tooth extraction. In fact, due to the soft nature of oats, they are even considered ideal as a postoperative meal. 

The only issue you may encounter when eating oatmeal after a tooth extraction is that the oats may be too hot. If they are too hot, they may irritate the extraction area and cause pain. Therefore, it’s a good idea to let your oats cool down to a warm temperature before eating them.

Moreover, although oats are delicious with various toppings such as nuts and dried fruits added, it’s a good idea to keep your postoperative bowl of oats simple. This lessens the chance of food getting stuck in the extraction area, allowing your mouth to heal properly. 

While you know the answer to “can you eat oatmeal after tooth extraction,” that’s just the beginning of what you need to know. The fact is that oatmeal is part of a short list of foods that you can eat after your extraction. 

Let’s take a look at what foods you should stay away from while you recover from your tooth extraction. 

Bowl of plain oatmeal with oats so you can eat oatmeal after tooth extraction

Foods to Avoid After a Tooth Extraction

For best results, there are a series of foods that you should avoid right after your tooth extraction and for the days following.

In general, you should stay away from any crunchy or hard foods. Crunchy foods can end up cutting the extraction site. This may include:

  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Apples
  • Carrots 
  • Candy

You should also stay away from any chewy, sticky, or solid food that can easily get stuck in your teeth, such as:

  • Gummy candy and other sugary foods
  • Tough meat
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard cereal
  • Hard breads

Moreover, you should not drink through a straw and avoid smoking after your extraction as the suction may negatively affect the healing site. 

Finally, it’s essential to stick to neutral foods. You shouldn’t eat foods that irritate your mouth too much, including anything spicy or sour, as it may cause the extraction area to be uncomfortable or painful. 

So what exactly can you eat after a tooth extraction? Let’s find out. 

What You Can Eat After a Tooth Extraction

The foods you can eat after tooth extraction may be shorter than those you can’t eat. However, you still have a few additional choices other than oatmeal when feeding yourself post-operation.

Here are some ideal foods to eat after tooth extraction:

  • Warm cereals 
  • Warm soup
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Rice pudding
  • Bone broth
  • Soft breads
  • Protein shakes
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt

These foods all have a soft texture that will be easy for you to chew or that you can let melt in your mouth, such as ice cream or yogurt.

Recap: Can You Eat Oatmeal After Tooth Extraction?

Oatmeal and other soft foods are excellent choices for food after tooth extraction. You should avoid hard or crunchy foods while healing from wisdom tooth surgery or teeth extraction the first few days after your extraction to allow your mouth to heal properly. 

The good news is that a tooth extraction is a perfect excuse to live off ice cream for a recovery day, so make sure to have your favorite pint ready for post-op!