Can I Eat Ice Cream After Tooth Extraction?

I get it. Honestly, I do. I’ve had a tooth extraction before. And all you want to do is come home, put your feet up and try to forget the pain and fatigue by stuffing your face with your favorite food. If you’re reading this, then one of your favorite foods is ice cream. So, can you eat ice cream now that you’ve had a dentist yank your tooth out? Well, we’re going to find out. Whether you’re post-tooth extraction in need of some sugar or pre-tooth extraction in need of some reassurance, bear with that pain or worry a little longer because we’re going to find out the truth!

So, can I eat ice cream after tooth extraction? You can eat ice cream after a tooth extraction. This is because it is soft in texture, unlikely to put pressure on sensitive areas, and will not dislodge the healing tissue/clot that is required to heal the wound left in your mouth by the extraction – which chewy and crunchy foods can do.

Great news, isn’t it. 

But just because you can eat ice cream, does it mean you should?

Well, let’s continue to delve into it, including how long after the procedure you can eat ice cream, the best types, and other foods to help you during this painful time! 

Should You Eat Ice Cream After A Tooth Extraction?

You should eat ice cream after a tooth extraction because it is soft and cold. It can, therefore, in fact, even help you after a tooth extraction by reducing gum swelling.

That’s right. Isn’t this just the best news of your life?

Not only am I telling you that you CAN eat ice cream after a tooth extraction, but I am also telling you that you SHOULD eat ice cream after a tooth extraction! 

I bet this is all a wonderful surprise for you!

So why should you eat ice cream after a tooth extraction? What’s the catch?

Well, to be honest with you, there isn’t one. So long as you have sensitive teeth.

If you have sensitive teeth, then they’ll be susceptible to an uncomfortable sensation after eating ice cream. This is because it’s cold and high in sugar.

But for most people, it is actually encouraged to eat ice cream after a tooth extraction.

You see, ice cream is safe to eat after a tooth extraction because its texture is very soft.

Such a texture is easy for your teeth to get through. 

In fact, you don’t even really have to use your teeth. Instead, you just suck ice cream.

But the key factor is that it’s soft, so it’s easier on your teeth. 

Right after a tooth extraction, you need easy-to-eat soft foods.

The other thing to consider is your wound. You’ve just had a tooth extracted, so you should have a big gaping hole in your gums. 

For this wound to heal, it will need to develop healing tissues and a clot. These then have to be left undisturbed so that they heal the wound.

Hard, chewy, and crunchy foods can potentially dislodge your healing tissues and clot. Each time this happens, your gum’s healing is thwarted.

As ice cream is soft, it poses a tiny risk of dislodging the healing tissues and clots that have developed. So suck away!

But these are just reasons why you CAN eat ice cream after a tooth extraction.

Now it’s time to discuss the reason why you SHOULD eat ice cream after a tooth extraction.

And it all comes down to its temperature.

Ice cream isn’t cold. It’s freezing.

When you have a tooth extracted, your gums will swell.

Have you worked it out yet?

What do you usually use to reduce swelling?


So ice cream can also help with swelling.

The cold temperature of ice cream when you eat it will help reduce your swelling, which will ease pain and aid your recovery process.

Not convinced? Ok! Here’s a bit of science for you.

Swelling is caused when lots of fluids form somewhere in your body. 

After eating some cold ice cream, your blood vessels located around the area where your tooth was extracted will constrict.

When they constrict, they cannot transport lots of fluid to the swelling tissues around your tooth’s wound. Science, man!

How Long After A Tooth Extraction Can I Eat Ice Cream?

You can eat ice cream straight after leaving the dentist once you’ve had a tooth extraction. In fact, I encourage you to eat ice cream within the first 24 hours of having your tooth extracted.

So there’s no threat of eating ice cream soon after you’ve had your tooth extracted. 

You can thank the soft texture of ice cream for that.

Other harder foods will have to be avoided for longer because they can disrupt the healing of your gum’s new, fresh, post-tooth-extraction wound. 

And trust me, you want this to heal quickly. 

The sooner it does, the sooner you can get back to enjoying all food without any pain.

But luckily, ice cream is good straight away. 

When it comes to reducing swelling, you should eat ice cream within the first 24 hours after you’ve had the tooth extracted. 

This is the window of optimal swelling reduction because, well, it’s the time when there is the most swelling.

So brace yourself for that but just know that a serving or two of ice-cold ice cream within those first 24 hours will go a long way.

After these 24 hours, the effects of ice cream for reducing swelling will reduce themself. So you’ll have to look elsewhere if you still want to keep that swelling to a minimum.

What Type Of Ice Cream Is Best After A Tooth Extraction?

Soft-serve ice cream is the best option for having after a tooth extraction.

Why does ice cream get the green light after a tooth extraction? Because it’s soft!

So it makes sense that the softer, the better.

Soft service ice cream is, therefore, the best choice to go for after you have had a tooth extraction.

That’s not to say that other ice cream types should be avoided; far from it. It’s just that soft-serve ice cream is better for post-tooth extraction.

However! And this is a big, however. Hence the use of the exclamation mark at the end. 

However, you should avoid toppings on your ice cream, like sprinkles or other candy toppings.

These are harder in texture, so they could contribute to dislodging your gum wound’s healing tissue and clot.

And we all know by now that that is not a good situation to be in.

Again, you’ll want to avoid any cones too. Unless you are willing to suck them until they disintegrate in your mouth.

I’ve tried this, but it isn’t particularly nice. The joy is in the crunch.

So probably best to just stick with ice cream on its own. And if possible, get yourself a serving of soft serve ice cream!

Oh, and always rinse your mouth out after eating ice cream. 

While it may be soft, it is still high in sugar. 

And lots of accumulated sugar in your mouth should also be avoided at this time. 

The last thing you want is that sugar bacteria growing in your mouth, causing decay and damage…or worse, an infection in your wound!

What Should You Eat After A Tooth Extraction?

You should eat soft liquid foods that are easy to eat and require little to no chewing after you have had a tooth extraction. Low-sugar foods should also be incorporated into your diet after you have recently had this procedure.

For sure, you will need to make changes to your diet. The good news is that they’re only temporary changes.

So what are the criteria?

Well, as long as it’s soft, liquidy, and low in sugar, then everything should be alright. 

There are plenty of suitable foods out there.

Here’s a list to help you get started.

  • Smoothies
  • Cool Soups
  • Pureed Foods
  • Mashed Foods
  • Scrambled Eggs

Other Foods You Will Want To Avoid After A Tooth Extraction?

You will want to avoid foods that are hard, chewy in texture after you’ve had a tooth extraction. You’ll also want to avoid acidic foods too. Foods that will hinder your wound’s recovery are the problem.

Yes, I’m afraid you’re up against it here. 

Whilst ice cream may get a free pass in this instance, lots of other foods do not, including lots of other highs in sugar foods. Like chocolate, for example. 

Read more: Can I Eat Chocolate After Tooth Extraction?

Follow the criteria when deciding if a food is suitable for you right now, and you should be ok. 

To give you an idea of what you need to look out for, here is a list of some example foods to avoid after a tooth extraction.

  • Hard Fruit & Veg
  • Spicy Food
  • Chewy Foods
  • Acidic Foods
  • Chocolate 
  • Other Candy
  • Other Hard Foods

Read more: Can I Eat Candy After Tooth Extraction?


What a day, hey?

I really do hope you’ve found what you were looking for.

Because, to be honest, when people come searching for advice on what they can eat after a tooth extraction, they usually don’t hear what they want to hear.

But that is not the case for you here today.

Because you, yes you! Can enjoy ice cream after you’ve had a tooth extraction.

In fact, I insist that you do…

…Just remember to rinse afterward!