If you experience tooth sensitivity or have recently undergone certain types of dental work, your dentist may advise watching what you eat for a while. Hard or crunchy foods could aggravate discomfort while your mouth's still recovering, and may even affect the time it takes you to heal.

Sudden or unexplained toothaches can be a cause for concern. You should consult a professional to understand the cause – pain can be a symptom of an oral health issue like tooth decay or infections. However, the discomfort isn’t always a mystery: recent dental work, new dentures, or newly-fitted braces are just a few reasons why your mouth may be more tender than usual. Your dentist should tell you before your treatment whether you might feel sensitivity or tenderness, and how long you can expect it to last.

If you want to take it easy on your teeth, try these soft food recipes. And, if you’re experiencing a toothache or tooth sensitivity, try to eat your dish at a milder temperature – substances that are very hot or very cold could make your discomfort worse.

1. Scrambled eggs with kale and mozzarella

As well as being super soft and versatile, did you know eggs may also be good for your teeth?

Most of the ingredients in this tasty breakfast dish are high in calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth[1]. A standard 50g serving of eggs contains 27mg of calcium, green leafy kale contains 32mg and mozzarella cheese contains a whopping 242mg in a 60g serving.[2]

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 cup kale
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Chop the onions and kale into thin slices, shred the mozzarella cheese and beat the eggs in a bowl. Heat some oil on medium-high and fry the onions for 1 minute.

Next, add the kale to the pan and heat for a few minutes. When the leaves start to wilt, turn the heat down to medium and add the eggs, stirring until they start to set.

Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and seasoning and stir the egg mixture until it's cooked to your liking and the cheese has fully melted.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve!

2. Baked salmon with parmesan and parsley crust

Salmon is another good source of calcium, like many types of fish. This easy oven meal serves about 4 to 6 people and doesn't use many ingredients.

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 2 sheets aluminium foil or parchment paper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 220°C. Place the whole salmon fillet onto a baking tray between 2 sheets of foil or parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.

Mince the garlic, chop the parsley and cheese and combine. Remove the top sheet of foil or paper and top the salmon with the mixture. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

3. Simple beef lasagne

This soft and scrumptious Italian favourite is simple to prepare and can be customised any way you like. You'll just need a frying pan, a deep baking dish and the following ingredients:

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 2 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 250g lasagne sheets
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups grated cheese

Instructions

Chop the onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the mince to the pan and turn until it starts to brown, then add the chopped herbs.

Pour on the tomato soup and reduce the heat. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Grease a baking dish with oil and put down the first layer of lasagne sheets. Pour roughly one third of your mince mixture on top, then add 1/2 cup of cream sprinkled with 1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Repeat twice more until all the mince has been used. Make the final layer of lasagne sheets and top with the remaining cream and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes further or until your lasagne looks golden brown.

4. Mango vanilla smoothie

Last but certainly not least, smoothies are a great option for those whose teeth are feeling especially sore.

Here’s one of our favourite versions – perfect for a hot summer day!

Ingredients for 1 smoothie

  • 1 cup mango
  • ½ banana
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk, almond milk or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 ice cubes (optional)

Instructions

Chop a fresh or frozen mango into chunks. Cut half a banana into smaller pieces, then add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Chill or serve right away.

You should also drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated and help wash away food particles.

Questions about dental pain, tooth sensitivity or past dental work?

Find your local Bupa dentist.

References

[1] Dental Health Services Victoria. Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus [Online] 2010 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: www.dhsv.org.au

[2] International Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium content of common foods [Online] 2014 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: www.iofbonehealth.org