Essentials to Good Nutrition After Oral Surgery Los Angeles
A nutritious diet is an essential part of a fast recovery. It is important that you maintain a diet of soft nutritious foods to help speed healing, to maintain a feeling of well-being and lessen discomfort.
A balanced diet consists of proteins, fruits, vegetables, starches and healthy fats. Whether eating a liquid diet or a soft diet after surgery, you can balance your meals to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients. Adequate dietary protein will aide in your healing process. Therefore, have protein as part of each meal, no matter the consistency. For example, in a smoothie, add a protein powder or yogurt.
After surgery, the consistency of your diet will vary from liquid, pureed or soft foods. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet. Small frequent meals may be easier to tolerate. Foods containing tomatoes, onion, pepper, or spices may be irritating. Additionally, acidic fruit juices may cause a burning sensation.
On the day of oral surgery, you may not be able to chew semi-solid or solid foods due to tenderness and swelling in your mouth, therefore the goal is to receive 48 to 64 oz. (6-8 cups) of liquids daily.
A liquid diet includes fruit and vegetable juices, water, and caffeine-free beverages like tea and coffee, lukewarm pureed soups, gelatin and smoothies. Refrain from using a straw, because the sucking action can cause excess strain, move the newly formed blood clot and delay your recovery. Be mindful of the amount of sugar in liquid form that you consume on a daily basis. Balance the drinks with healthy fats and protein. Please see the sample breakfast smoothie below as an example.
As your mouth begins to heal, enjoy a soft diet consisting of soft and easy to chew or swallow foods. These foods may be chopped, ground, mashed, pureed and moistened. Try soups with soft vegetables or soft meat. Additionally soft grains such as oatmeal, rice, cream of rice, risotto and cooked pasta will likely be tolerated. You should be able to safely consume well-cooked fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables include ripened sliced bananas, applesauce and baked apples (without the skin), baked or broiled sweet potatoes or yams, spinach, beets, cooked carrot slices and potatoes.
Protein is important for the healing process. When making smoothies, don’t forget to add a protein source. You can even puree protein into a soup including protein powder, yogurt or cottage cheese. Soft protein-based foods include tofu, stewed, chopped, roasted, baked or broiled lean beef, chicken and soft fish, such as trout, white fish and salmon and soft scrambled eggs are allowed on a soft food diet following oral surgery.
If lactose tolerant, consume dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cottage cheese. Note, greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt. Add healthy fats to your food to ensure balanced meals. Examples include healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, flax oil and fish.
Please avoid the following foods for the first week following surgery: spicy foods, foods that are difficult to chew (steak, poultry, deli meats), popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, crusty breads, bagels, cookies and alcoholic beverages.
The key is to plan ahead and have liquid and soft foods available for after surgery.
Nutrition overview for various procedures:
After wisdom tooth removal: You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical site(s).
After dental implants & after exposure of an impacted tooth: Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
Major jaw surgery: If your teeth are wired or rubber-banded together following surgery, a liquid diet will be necessary until the teeth are released. In addition to liquid diet recommendations, following initial healing, a more varied diet will be desirable. Cooked portions of your favorite foods can be blended separately or in combination to suit your taste. To make blended mixtures of proper consistency, juice, milk, water or broth may be added as a thinner. To prevent oral hygiene problems, the blended mixture may be strained to remove particles and food fiber.