So You're Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out
Getting your wisdom teeth out can be challenging when it comes to food, especially when you may also may be working through eating disorder recovery. Obviously everyone’s journey is uniquely different and if you’re going to get your wisdom teeth out I’d recommend individualizing the recommendations below, but here are some starting points to think about wisdom teeth extraction is something you need to go through.
1. Having a buddy is beautiful - for the first 1-2 days have someone keep track of when you're eating. Not in a diet-y way where they’re tracking calories, but dependent on how the anesthesia hits you, you may not know how long you're going without food/fluids or even what you’re doing. Having someone keeping an eye on this is a great way to stay accountable and remind you that maybe you haven’t eaten in
twelve hours so it makes sense that you’ll be more hungry than usual down the line.
2. Fluids are friends - this may be a bit out of the norm, and I recognize that it may be scary, but you may need to lean on fluids with nutrition content just temporarily. Think smoothies, juice, milk (or alternatives), broths, sweet teas, Gatorade, and supplements such as Boost/Ensure. It will need to be something you can drink straight from a glass, as most dental surgeons recommend avoiding straws for a while because the suction has the potential to cause issue with the stitches or can cause dry socket.
3. Pureed foods are perfect for now - pureed foods are the consistency of baby foods and will allow you to swallow these foods without chewing and without choking. You don't have to eat baby food but think in that line of food. Examples: yogurt, applesauce, ice cream (the cold may be challenging for some people), cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, mashed avocado, mashed banana, tuna fish, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, hummus. Peanut butter straddles this category but it depends on how much/what it's combined with. It can be a bit sticky so I'd recommend warming it and mixing it into oatmeal.
4. Condiments are cool – condiments mix really well with a decent number of the foods above and can
offer more nutrition or a change in taste to what you’re eating. For example butter mixed into mashed potatoes. Be careful with spicy foods and reimplement them slowly. Even if you love spicy foods, the healing tissue in your mouth may not, which may be painful.
5. Increasing frequency is fun - eat more frequently throughout the day if you're able. Pureed foods may lead you to feeling fuller faster but dependent on what you're choosing they may not offer the same level of nutrition as what you might usually eat. For example applesauce has a very different nutrition profile than 4% cottage cheese even though you could have the some volume of this food. Hold space for different feelings of fullness than what you’re used to.
Remember that this is a momentary experience and you won’t have to eat like this forever. Your mouth will
heal and you will be able to return to eating solid foods more comfortably! Be patient and be kind to yourself. This is just for now, not forever.