When you undergo oral and maxillofacial surgery, you’ll need to stick to a liquid and soft-food diet post-surgery. To protect your surgical site while your mouth is recovering, you’ll need to stay away from foods that are chewy, hard or crunchy. Depending on the surgery you had done, this can last for a few days or several weeks. Not to worry, however, you can still enjoy healthy, tasty foods and even comfort foods that meet your needs while you’re recovering from your oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Liquid Meals and Hydration

Staying hydrated is essential, so having as much water, tea and milk as you want is fine. Right after your surgery is the trickiest time as your mouth will be vulnerable to hard foods. The best foods you can consume are soft and liquid-based right after your surgery. During that time you can have yogurt, applesauce, broth and ice cream, as well as pureed foods. Your blender can help create nutrient-dense foods like fruit and veggie smoothies made with milk or other protein to support your nutritional needs for healing. Caution: don’t drink them through a straw which can disturb blood clots and prolong the healing process.

  • Fruit smoothies made with protein powder or plain Greek yogurt
  • Nutritional supplement drinks
  • Low-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • Plain scrambled eggs with sour cream or melted, shredded cheese
  • Thinned oatmeal with maple syrup or cream of wheat made with milk or other dairy substitutes

Safe and Tasty Transition Foods

When your mouth is ready for semi-solid foods, you’ll still want to place minimal stress on your mouth and gum tissue. Some nutritious (yet delicious) options that please your palate include mashed potatoes and very finely chopped meats and fish like tilapia or salmon. Transitioning from liquids to soft foods might involve snacking instead of consuming full meals to avoid disturbing your surgical site while still filling your stomach.

  • Applesauce or pureed bananas
  • Custard, pudding
  • Cottage cheese
  • Gelatin with soft peaches
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Mashed plain avocado
  • Pureed cauliflower, squash or carrots
  • Soft-cooked macaroni & cheese or flat noodles
  • Soft soups like vegetable or minestrone
  • Smooth nut butter (not chunky)
  • Scrambled eggs with melted cheese for protein
  • Soft cheeses like Brie
  • Dips like hummus and guacamole
  • Pancakes with fruit compote
  • Crustless cheese and spinach quiche
  • Stew with soft-cooked vegetables and beans
  • Baked fish with rice or risotto
  • Pasta with marinara sauce
  • Meatloaf with macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed tofu with soy sauce for protein
  • Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt for protein without seeds
  • Tapioca pudding
  • Soft muffins
  • Warm chicken noodle soup

Foods To Avoid After Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Take a proactive stance during your healing so it is not prolonged unnecessarily. There are some liquids and solids that you should stay away from while your mouth heals properly with minimal disruption. These are foods you’ll want to wait on having when your mouth is fully healed because they can irritate recuperating gum tissue or otherwise prolong your healing process.

  • Acidic fruits like oranges, pineapples, grapefruits, tangerines or tomatoes
  • Fizzy drinks like soda, sparkling or tonic water and champagne
  • Tough seeds, nuts and popcorn
  • Hard-to-chew candies like taffy
  • Spicy foods
  • Hot drinks

Healing Process

After you’ve had surgery on your mouth, certain foods feel good to eat. If you listen to your mouth, you’ll notice what feels most comfortable while also supporting your healing process. If you have any questions for our team about your recovery and healing, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Before you know it, you’ll be back to eating and drinking all your favorites!