Whether you have just gotten your wisdom teeth removed or had another other tooth extracted, you must wait before eating popcorn. If you do eat popcorn after getting teeth removed, you might run the risk of getting a dry socket or irritating the soft tissue in your mouth.
After getting a tooth extracted, it is best to wait at least 2 to 8 weeks before eating popcorn, depending on the severity and type of dental extraction. The best post-operative care is to drink plenty of fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods like applesauce, Jell-O, or mashed potatoes.
There are risk factors that are involved with eating popcorn after a dental extraction, so it is always best to wait 2 or more weeks to have the most comfortable healing process.
Why You Shouldn’t Eat Popcorn After an Extraction?
There are a variety of different reasons that a patient might have to get a tooth pulled. This may include: periodontally compromised teeth that are extremely mobile (or loose), surgical wisdom teeth removal, orthodontic ordered extractions, or removing teeth that have deep decay.
The severity of the tooth extraction can make a difference in how fast the extraction sites heal up.
For teeth that have been extracted due to periodontal issues, the wound site is more likely to heal quickly. Surgical extractions for wisdom teeth and teeth with deep decay may take longer to heal.
However long the extraction sites take to heal will ultimately depend on what type of extraction was performed.
There is a window of time that all patients need to be extremely careful after a tooth extraction. Within the first 24-48 hours, a clot is forming in the socket.
During this time, all patients, no matter what kind of extraction was performed by the dentist or oral surgeon, need to be extremely careful. Popcorn should at least be completely avoided within this window of time.
Risks of Eating Popcorn After an Extraction
Eating popcorn after getting a tooth removed can present a variety of risks. These risks include:
- Slower healing time
- Dry Socket
If a patient disturbs an extraction site with hard or crunchy food, like popcorn, it can disturb the clot that is forming in the socket. This can cause the extraction site to heal much more slowly than anticipated. Also, it will make the healing process even more uncomfortable and painful.
If the hull of a piece of popcorn gets stuck in a patient’s socket, it will need to be cleaned out to prevent infection. If a hull gets stuck within the extraction site within the first 24-48 hours, this could be bad news.
The socket will have to be irrigated and washed out, which can then lead to a dry socket. This means that the clot gets washed out of the socket, creating an aching pain in the jaw. If this does happen, just be sure to contact your dentist because a dry socket is easy to treat.
So, before you start eating popcorn, be sure to ask your dentist when you can resume your regular diet.
Can You Eat Popcorn After Pulling Out a Loose Baby Tooth?
If a child has pulled out a loose baby tooth and wants popcorn, the 2-8 week waiting period doesn’t really apply to them. Baby teeth roots naturally dissolve, which is why there isn’t usually any socket left behind once a baby tooth falls out. Wait a few days before feeding the child popcorn to ensure that the primary healing has taken place.
However, if the child has had a baby tooth taken out by a dentist while there is still a long root on the tooth, it is better to wait about a week to eat popcorn so that the child doesn’t irritate the extraction site. Ask the dentist when your child can resume their regular diet.
Ever thought about eating popcorn with braces, check out the article Can I Eat Popcorn With Braces
What Other Foods Should Be Avoided After an Extraction?
Popcorn is one of the main foods that you should avoid after a tooth extraction. Other foods that should be avoided are those that are sticky, hard, brittle, or very chewy foods. These foods might include:
- Tough Meats
Of course, there might be other foods that you should avoid eating. Just use your best judgment after you have had an extraction. If you have any questions, you can always call your dentist or oral surgeon.
What Kinds of Foods You Should Eat After an Extraction?
The best foods to eat after a tooth extraction are those that are soft and nutritious. This may include:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Blended Soups
- Mashed Bananas
- Ice Cream (ones that don’t have any small particles like cookies, nuts, or candy in them)
These are great foods that can be eaten after you have had any type of extraction. If you have had a less severe extraction, you might be able to eat more solid food a few days after your extraction. For those that have had an invasive extraction, such as wisdom teeth, it’s best to stick to soft foods for about a week.
If you are wondering at what age kids can start eating popcorn, check out the article When Can Kids Eat Popcorn
What Are Other Tips for Post-Operative Care?
After getting a tooth extracted, there are a few things that should be done to ensure that you have the best healing experience. Once the tooth has been extracted, ice your mouth near the extraction site for the first 24 hours only.
This will help subside the swelling. Also, be sure to bite on the gauze (and make sure it’s damp before you put it in your mouth) that the dentist gave you until the bleeding has stopped. If it goes in dry, this can disturb the blood clot.
As mentioned before, it’s crucial to get enough fluids and nutrients in your body after getting a tooth removed. That being said, be sure to avoid using straws when drinking water or other liquids, otherwise you can wash out the clot from your extraction site.
The vacuum that the straw creates can be pretty powerful, so be sure to drink liquids through the cup directly.
Be sure to listen to the post-operative care of the dentist, oral surgeon, or dental assistant to ensure that you get the most comfortable healing process. If you have any questions, discomfort, or pain, it would be best to reach out to your dentist.