eating after oral surgery

What Can You Eat After Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery?

After oral and maxillofacial surgery, you’ll need to adhere to a liquid and soft-food diet — avoiding anything chewy, hard or crunchy — for at least the first few days. If your procedure is complex, the time may stretch to a few weeks.

So what can you eat and drink when you’re recovering from oral and maxillofacial surgery? Your options are limited, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a wide variety of delicious and nutritious drinks and foods.

eating after oral surgery


During the initial oral surgery recovery period, you won’t be able to chew, so everything you consume must be liquid. This can make filling your stomach a challenge.

Water, tea and milk are healthy beverages for anyone healing from oral surgery, but you have other nutritious options. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend:

  • Fruit smoothies made with protein powder or Greek yogurt
  • Nutritional supplement drinks, such as Boost or Ensure
  • Low-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • Thinned oatmeal or cream of wheat cereal

Whichever liquids you choose, don’t drink them through a straw — doing so can disrupt the surgical site and lead to painful complications.


Once your gums have sufficiently healed, you can swap out some liquids for soft snack foods. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend snacking instead of jumping right into a full meal, as eating too much at once can irritate the surgical site.

Some healthy, soft snacks include applesauce, bananas, gelatin and cottage cheese. Also consider:

  • Custard or pudding
  • Chicken or tuna salad on soft bread
  • Mashed potatoes, cauliflower, squash or carrots
  • Vegetable or minestrone soup

Meal Options

When your oral and maxillofacial surgeon gives you the go-ahead to eat more substantial meals, you might have trouble planning a menu. You can always go with greater quantities of the liquids and soft foods mentioned above, but you probably won’t be happy sticking to those options for very long.

For delicious, nutritious and filling meals after oral surgery, try:

  • Pancakes with fruit compote
  • Crustless cheese and spinach quiche
  • Stew with well-cooked veggies and beans
  • Baked fish with rice or risotto
  • Pasta with marinara sauce
  • Meatloaf with macaroni and cheese

If Dr. Partridge or Dr. Alderman at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is performing your procedure, you’ll go home with specific aftercare instructions. Follow all their advice, and you’ll be back to enjoying all your favorite foods in short order.

Our professional team takes every possible step to ensure our patients have a smooth and easy recovery. To schedule a consultation with a compassionate and caring oral surgeon, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today.