When you have a tooth removed, you really start getting better on the third day onwards It’s my second day with one less tooth, and the pain doesn’t bother me as much as one thing: not being able to eat solids.
The doctor and dentist told me that I was free to eat anything that’s soft, as if there’s an exhaustive list of soft foods that I can whip out. I went through my cupboards and realised two things: (1) crunching is satisfying, and it shows by the number of croutons packet I have in my pantry; (2) I have only three soft foods: porridge, mashed potatoes, and soup.
However, when you’re hungry and your cheek is swollen and you need to be extra careful with what you eat, how you eat, what you drink, how you drink, and how you ingest stuff, complaining doesn’t fill your stomach, but creativity can.
So, here are some things I learnt today while making do with what I have in my pantry:
- Porridge is great breakfast food, but if you’re conscious about sugar intake because of your teeth, avoid artificial sugar for the next fortnight. Flavourless porridge is awful and tastes of sadness, so add some cinnamon, a tiny bit of maple syrup (not honey, way too sticky and messy and sugary), and some sea salt. The contrast between the salt and the syrup will entertain your taste buds while you slowly feed your belly.
- Mashed potatoes are great, but they need to be super soft. You’re probably used to having mash as a side, along with whatever meat and/or portion of veggie you’re into. Of course, meat and (chewable) veggie are out of the question, so you need to spice things up with your mash. Add a bit of mixed herbs and some chive. Stay clear of the mixed peppers, you don’t wan’t to accidentally bite on a peppercorn. The mixed herb will give the mash an inviting scent, while the chives will give it that rustic taste that will make you forget that you’re only eating this because your teeth are out of action.
- Soup is great, but only when lukewarm or cold. You don’t want the heat to dislocate the blood clot that’s supposed to protect your exposed spot where a tooth used to be. Also, soup doesn’t have to be boiling hot for it to be “too hot” for your teeth in your situation, so avoid it in your first week to stay on the safe side. Then, in week two, start using soup as a soaking solution: yes, yes, it sounds clinical, but if you have anything you’d like to bite on, like bruschetta, croutons, bread, crackers, or any similar carbs, cut them into pieces and put them in your soup as you’re cooking it. They’ll soak the soup, so you can still enjoy your carbs without having to worry about biting too early in your recovery.
Also, drink loads of room-temperature water. Not too cold, as your teeth are going through something sensitive right now, and not hot because, well, see the previous point about hot consumption. The water is supposed to keep you hydrated and delay hunger, perfect if you want to get rid of those steak and croutons cravings while mash is cooking on the stove.