skincare, sweets, and Oxford commas

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wisdom tooth wisdom: Smoothie recipes and skincare FYIs

tl;dr - Having your wisdom teeth removed sucks. Here are a few soft food recipes that helped me get through wisdom tooth surgery, and an overview of how I kept my problem skin at bay during recovery.

Life update: I just had my wisdom teeth removed.

Oral surgery is no fun (underneath that blue compress are some super swollen cheeks), but getting to eat my favorite soft foods has made the recovery a lot less painful. Here are some ideas on how make the most out of the post-op period with yummy soft foods and a simple skincare routine. Please note I am not a licensed oral surgeon, and I am offering suggestions based solely on my recent wisdom tooth extraction experience.

Post-op soft foods: Purees, soups, smoothies
After oral surgery, you're supposed to eat soft foods that don't require chewing so the incisions in your mouth can heal. I love pureed food anyway, so I went a little crazy in the kitchen before surgery, making creamy tomato-onion soup, cauliflower-garlic soup, and mashed potatoes. Wanting to keep up my veggie intake, I pureed spinach into all of these as well. Thanks, Pinterest!

Amid my soup-making frenzy, I didn't realize was how nauseous I would feel after surgery (nausea can be a side-effect of anesthesia). As a result, I barely touched the tomato-onion and cauliflower-garlic soups - they were too spicy for my sensitive post-op stomach. I needed bland food. So I ate a lot of mashed potatoes right after surgery, and when I got bored with that, I made plain rice congee and blended it to smithereens. Plain silken tofu was great too for the protein. I added dashes of soy sauce, tsuyu, and sesame oil for flavor. Nothing gourmet, but it kept me nourished and helped me heal.

Being limited to soft foods also gave me the opportunity to experiment with smoothies. I've made green smoothies and rainbow smoothies before - this time around, I discovered two new smoothie recipes (fruity mango and creamy almond-banana) that are so tasty, I'll continue making them well after I'm done recovering. Below, you can see the fruity mango smoothie in progress on the left and the finished product on the right (the green stuff is the same smoothie with some spinach blended into it).

Two tools that came in handy for all my post-op foods: this Cuisinart immersion stick blender and Blendtec blender from Amazon. I used the stick blender to puree anything hot and used the Blendtec for all my cold smoothies.

Summary of things I ate while in recovery:
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Plain rice congee blended with soy sauce and sesame oil
  • Smoothies with zero berry or seed ingredients
  • Silken tofu with tsuyu, soy sauce, and sesame oil
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Plain yogurt with honey
  • Kefir with honey
  • Melted cheddar cheese on its own
  • Green tea, vanilla, and coffee ice creams

Post-op food tips:
  • Prepare at least one sweet and one savory soft food before surgery so they'll be ready when you come home
  • When cooking, minimize spices and err on the side of blandness in case you have post-op nausea (potatoes and rice are great, and you can always add hot sauce later if you're feeling up to it)
  • Avoid eating anything that could get lodged in the socket where the tooth used to be: no coarse-ground pepper, un-blended nuts, fruit/vegetable peels, or small-seeded fruits like strawberries
  • Don't use a straw while you're in recovery - it could dislodge the blood clot you need to heal the socket where the tooth used to be
  • Avoid very hot foods that could irritate the surgical site

And here are the recipes!

Tropical fruit green smoothie
Makes 2 servings

  • 3/4 cup frozen mango
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 scoop mango sorbet
  • 1/4 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend to desired consistency.

Creamy banana-almond smoothie
Makes 2 servings

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons smooth almond butter
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk (dairy milk or non-dairy milk or your choice)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend to desired consistency.

Mashed potatoes (adapted from Epicurious)
Makes 3-4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups canned chicken broth
  • 2 large handfuls of washed and drained baby spinach
  • 1 cup (about) milk (dairy milk or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Salt to taste
Combine potatoes and broth in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Cover and simmer; add spinach at the 20-minute mark. Continue simmering until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes from the beginning. Let mixture cool slightly. Puree potato-spinach mixture with a stick blender. Return potatoes to saucepan. Stir in enough milk to thin to desired consistency. Mix in butter. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and mix in 1/3 cup sour cream. Season with salt.

Blended rice congee
Makes 2-3 servings

  • 1 cup white calrose rice
  • 5 cups water
  • Soy sauce, tsuyu, and sesame oil to taste
Place rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is very soft and water is opaque - about 20 minutes. Puree the congee with a stick blender. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

Post-op skincare: The simpler, the better
I was worried about my skin after surgery because my doctor told me one of the anti-swelling meds would give me acne. Plus, I had no idea what post-op swollen cheeks would mean for my skin. I was too woozy in the days after the procedure to keep up a full skincare routine, so I narrowed it down to three products: facial wipes, moisturizer, and sunscreen (our apartment gets a ton of natural light and I'm very sun-sensitive even if I'm indoors all day). I know using facial wipes alone without a proper wash is a big no-no, but I didn't wear makeup during recovery, plus it was uncomfortable to lean over to wash my face after surgery (too much blood rushing to the head), so I risked it for a few days. I'm happy to report that I didn't get any new pimples since the surgery; I'm hopeful that the simplicity of this routine made it possible for me to keep up with it as I recovered.

I'm now in my fifth day after surgery, and I've graduated to a beefier routine with more active anti-acne and anti-wrinkle powerhouses. I'm especially loving NERD Skincare Acne Treatment Lotion, a gentle sulphur-based liquid that feels like a gentle, odorless toner. I used it daily leading up to the surgery, which also may have been why I avoided a post-op breakout. #notanad

Skincare regimen on days 1-2 post-op:
Skincare regimen on day 3 and onward post-op:

Have you had your wisdom teeth out? What was helpful during your recovery?
18 comments on "Wisdom tooth wisdom: Smoothie recipes and skincare FYIs"
  1. I feel like I will need to get my wisdom teeth removed soon, so thankyou for this helpful post! I would probably eat mashed potatoes all the time. And that rice congee looks great! Peta x

    1. thanks, Peta! i just finished my last bit of mashed potato today - graduating to instant noodles now.

  2. Hope you recover from your surgery soon! I was so careful when I had my wisdom teeth removed and luckily I didn't get dry sockets. These are great smoothie recipes! I love spinach but for whatever reason I can't stand it in my smoothies so I usually just substitute a protein powder.

    1. ooh that sounds perfect, Kuleigh! I definitely had trouble getting enough protein with a liquid diet. Which protein powder would you recommend?

  3. Hope you recover soon, I just had tooth extraction as well yesterday. Didn't eat anything whole day yesterday. But today I tried to take some yogurt and soft food. Too lazy to make smoothies..i better make one tomorrow for recoveries. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Thanks, Anna! hope you're feeling better. I ate some noodles today, and it was so nice to eat something different!

  4. Wish I would have seen this last year when my daughter got her teeth pulled! These look delicious!

    1. Thanks, Lady! Yeah the smoothies especially are great for anytime, not just post-op time :)

  5. Ugh, getting my wisdom teeth out was such a nightmare! You can't be too prepared with food, I was much hungrier than I anticipated and was always running out!

    xx nicole

    1. I was super hungry all the time too! Impossible to satiate. What I really wanted was fried chicken and Doritos...

  6. I have had my wisdom teeth pulled definitely felt crappy not being able to eat. These smoothies look great regardless of lost teeth or not though.

    Thrifting Diva

    1. Thanks, Ayana! Those were my thoughts exactly about the smoothies :)

  7. Oh my goodness! This is such a wealth of great information for creating yummy and nutritious soft foods for post wisdom tooth removal. A few years back I had my wisdom teeth removed. All of these super creative recipes would have been so helpful to me. My favorite is your Creamy Banana Almond Smoothie! :-)

    1. thanks, Denay! Glad you like the creamy smoothie recipe :D it would go great with your brownies!

  8. When I had my wisdom teeth out it was the worst! I couldn't eat for days. These juicy smoothies will certainly make your recovery a little less painful :)

    Gennifer Rose |

  9. Oh you poor thing, I hope you're feeling better. These smoothies look absolutely delicious. My husband is on a smoothie kick and I'll have to show him these recipes.

  10. I wish I had seen this post years ago when my mom and I both got our wisdom teeth out. I was so sick of yogurt and ice cream after the first two days post op. We really should have planned better before the surgery instead of relying on poor dad to attend to us and cook haha

  11. I wish I had seen this post years ago when my mom and I both got our wisdom teeth out. I was so sick of yogurt and ice cream after the first two days post op. We really should have planned better before the surgery instead of relying on poor dad to attend to us and cook haha


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