Vegetarian Food After a Tooth Extraction
As I’m writing this, I’m holding an ice pack against my cheek. As some of you may know, I have had quite a bit of dental work for a good part of my life. Part of that work involved a LOT of root canal treatments. These treatments ultimately failed, making extractions necessary. Thus, I have become a “Liquid and Mushy Food Aficionado.” If you are in the same boat, and struggle to find tasty vegetarian and vegan options, read on for my suggestions: Vegetarian Food After a Tooth Extraction.
*Disclaimer – I am neither a medical nor nutrition professional. Always check with your trusted practitioner(s) before trying these suggestions. I am sharing what works for me, in hopes that it may be helpful to others. Please use your own best judgment.
1- Let’s start with breakfast. Oatmeal is a standard given on any day, but after a tooth extraction:
Measure dry, rolled oats (1/2 Cup = one serving) into the blender or food processor. Pulse until somewhat fine. Add water, which should be 1 1/2-2 times the amount of the measured, rolled oats. Blend. Then heat either on a stovetop or in a microwave for 1-2 minutes. Option – take the ground oats out of the blender first, then add water and cook. I find they come out better when I blend them with the water first, though.
Top the oatmeal with applesauce, cinnamon or other spices, coconut yogurt, peanut butter or other nut butter (stir to melt), pureed pumpkin or sweet potato, or mashed banana.
2- How about a smoothie? We blend all kinds of fruit with Bob’s Red Mill® Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder*** (which contains chia seeds), any other powdered supplements recommended by doctor/dentist, a banana, spinach (or other greens) leaves, sometimes a scoop of peanut butter, a spoonful of ground flax seeds, and liquid. The liquid can be water, coconut water, plant milk (almond, soy, hemp, etc.) and/or juice. Sometimes we add coconut-based yogurt as well.
***UPDATE as of 2022 — Bob’s Red Mill® no longer offers the Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder product. Here is what I do now instead: 1/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill® Almond Protein Powder, along with 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon chia seeds.
1- For lunch, soup is one of the best choices. A lot of nutrition can be packed into a bowl of soup. If you have a super-chunky soup recipe, I’d recommend blending it at a high speed for easier consumption.
2- Don’t be turned off by this one – Plate of Mush! Simply mash a few different foods and arrange on a plate. This could be avocado, tofu, stewed fruit, cooked beans, hummus, and roasted or boiled vegetables. Season to your taste.
1- Scrambled eggs for vegetarians, “scrambled” tofu for vegans, accompanied by mashed potatoes and cooked spinach. Apple sauce or pear sauce for dessert.
2- Pasta (gluten-free if necessary) cooked super-soft is nice, but I’d hold off on tomato sauce for a few days to avoid a stinging sensation from the acid content. Once those few days have passed, blend tomato sauce to reduce chunkiness. If preferred, a vegan “meatball” can be blended into the sauce as well for more protein. Have some soft-cooked green vegetables on the side.
The above ideas are a starting point. I have found that I’ll eat anything at any time of day. Eating breakfast food for lunch and dinner is fine. So is eating lunch or dinner food for breakfast.
When having a smoothie, I avoid using a straw. I would encourage you to check with your dentist to find out when it’s considered okay to use a straw after surgery.
Mashed potatoes are awesome with melted vegan “cheese” on top. Another way we like them is mixed with cooked peas and gravy.
A cooked, cooled sweet potato can be peeled like a banana and eaten right out of its “jacket.”
Soft pancakes can be cut into super-small chunks. They ought to melt-in-the-mouth if they are fresh. I top mine with fruit butter or jam that is made with no sugar (Trying to avoid future dental disasters! This is the reason I do not list “pudding,” either).
When we have to deal with these unpleasant procedures, eating appropriate food isn’t all we must do. While I have heard of people who bounce back quickly, I, personally, am not one of them.
Even if you are a fast healer, I would encourage you not to push yourself too hard. We have to take time to mend when we are not at our best.
Take medicines as prescribed.
Your dentist may prescribe a special toothpaste or mouthwash/rinse as well.
Communicate with your care provider, making sure you understand all post-surgery instructions.
Eating nutritious, gentle food is important.
So is drinking enough water.
Be good to yourself.
Communicate with others in your household. For example, if someone pops popcorn or sautés garlic while I’m unable to do any sort of chewing, I consider that an act of cruelty.
Likewise, if you need help, ask. Not everyone’s Love Language is “Acts of Service.”
Don’t try to be a Superhero. As stated earlier, we need time to heal. When we feel ok and overdo it, a setback can ensue.
If you have time to prepare beforehand, assemble your food, gauze, cup for rinsing your mouth, and any other supplies.
Keep a water pitcher near you.
Set up your bed with extra-comfy sheets and quilts.
*FARMHOUSE TIP – Put an old, clean pillowcase on your pillow in case your mouth oozes or bleeds.
Make sure you have a book to read or something else non-strenuous you like to do. I have a friend who likes to knit when she is under-the-weather. (I can’t do that – I’d make too many mistakes!) You do you.
And finally, take it minute-by-minute. We can’t rush the healing process.
I’m off to make a smoothie now! I wish you wellness and peaceful healing.