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When Can I Eat Chips After Wisdom Teeth Removal and Why?

Having your wisdom teeth removed can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient experience. There are numerous preparation work and guidelines to adhere to before and after the surgery. After the procedure, many are eager to return to their normal diet and indulge in their crunchy favorites like chips. However, one must follow the instructions recommended by their oral surgeon to ensure a speed recovery. One of the most common questions is “When can I eat chips after wisdom teeth removal?”

Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend their patient to only start eating chips at least 72 hours after their wisdom teeth removal. This is to provide sufficient time for the wound to heal and for the blood clot to fully form on the surgical site.

In the rest of this article, we will explore the answer to this common question and discuss on the other food you should avoid during the first 72 hours to avoid any complications. So if you’re wondering why there is a need to abstain on chips and what are the food you should avoid, keep on reading!

No Chips for 72 Hours

For the first few days after your wisdom teeth removal surgery, the wound is still fresh and highly susceptible to an infection. Furthermore, the blood clot formed in the socket where the removed wisdom teeth once was has yet to full form. As such, the eating of chips or any hard, crunchy food can irritate the surgical site and dislodge the blood clot from the surgical site.

When this happens, it results in a painful complication known as a dry socket. Also known as alveolar osteitis, dry socket is a painful medical condition that occurs when the blood clot dissolves or are dislodged from the socket. This exposes the underlying bone and nerve (which are protected by the blood clot) to the harsh elements of the mouth. Patients who suffer from dry socket will experience intense pain, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. In the worst cases, the exposed bones become infected, leading to inflammation and delayed healing of the surgical wound.

Dry Socket | Source: John Street Dental Surgery

If you are really craving for chips after the removal of your wisdom teeth, there are ways where you can lessen the risk of a dry socket. Firstly, have smaller pieces of the chip. This makes the chip easier to consume and lessen the chances of the chip irritating the surgical site. Secondly, you can moisturize the chip in the mouth to make it less crunchy. The soggy chips are easier to chew and can be broken down easily, thereby reducing the risk of it impacting the blood clot.

While 72 hours is a general rule of thumb, understand that everyone heals at a different pace. Some may feel completely well the day after the surgery, while others may take weeks to fully recover from the procedure. As such, you should only start eating chips when you feel comfortable having it. If you experience pain or discomfort when progressing back to your original diet, listen to your body, stop what you are eating, and identify the cause. It could be spicy food, crunchy food, sticky food, and even acidic food. Give your body a couple more days to heal before trying to return to your diet.

Other Food to Avoid

After your wisdom teeth removal surgery, it is imperative that you avoid food that can irritate the surgical site as it can lead to painful consequenes. Here are some food you need to avoid for the first 72 hours after the procedure:

  1. Hard and crunchy foods: Foods like chips, popcorn, and nuts are difficult to chew and breakdown. Furthermore, the small and hard food particles can get stuck in the surgical site, causing an infection.
  2. Sticky foods: Sticky foods like caramel, gummies, and taffy can also get stuck in the surgical site and disrupt the recovery of the wound. The chewing of the sticky food also increases the chances of dislodging the blood clot.
  3. Spicy and acidic foods: Spicy and acidic foods like hot sauce, citrus fruits, and vinegar can irritate the surgical site and cause discomfort.
  4. Alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking should be avoided for the first few days after the surgery as they can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of a complication.

Instead, stick to a soft food diet as instructed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Have easy-to-chew food and liquid such as broths, smoothies, mashed potatoes, ground meat, scrambled eggs, apple sauce, and pudding.


To conclude, it is important that you take good care of your surgical site to prevent medical complications and ensure a fast recovery. While it can be tempting to get back to your favorite foods, like chips, it’s best to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods during the first few days of your recovery.

If you are not sure whether your wound has healed sufficiently for you to move back to your original diet, start by having smaller pieces of chips or moisturize it to reduce its crunchiness. It is also good to err on the side of caution and give your wound a couple more days of rest before you start indulging in your favorite chips.

Last but not least, follow your dentist or oral surgeon post-operation instructions. If you experience pain weeks after the surgery or suspect that you have dry socket, contact your dental clinic immediately for a follow-up session as it maybe signs of an infection.

Erinwood Brady

Brady Erinwood is an accomplished dentist operating in New York City. Renowned for his proficient use of state-of-the-art dental technologies, Dr. Erinwood offers both general and cosmetic dental services and is widely lauded for both his dental makeovers as well as his to enhancing the oral health of his community.