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Cavities. They can happen to the best of us. Even those who happen to write a blog about how not to get them… (please don’t tell my bosses).

So, a quick trip to the dentist, a couple hours in the chair watching a movie while they drill (the movie was Larry Crowne… how apropos) and I find myself with a temporary crown awaiting a permanent that should arrive in a couple weeks. Which led me to wonder, what can I eat so that this loosely attached piece of acrylic doesn’t come off and leave me with an exposed nerve in my mouth?

Lets start with what to avoid:

  1. Sticky foods.

All of your sugary, gum candies should be avoided. These include: chewing gum, hard candies, caramels, toffee, etc. They should probably be avoided even when you don’t have a cavity, unless you want a cavity and then you’ll have to avoid them anyways.

  1. Hard foods.

These range from nuts to uncooked vegetables. If you must have them, avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the crown.

  1. Hot liquids.

This includes soups, coffee, tea. This is more a sensitivity issue more than anything else. It’s hard to keep liquids to one side of the mouth and if you have any exposed nerve endings, you can feel some discomfort when the heat touches the crown.

  1. Cold foods.

As stated above, the same goes for cold foods. Anyone who has sensitive teeth can attest to the pain of cold on teeth.

So what can you eat?

1. Smoothies

Right after I had my temporary crown installed I asked my dentist what I could eat. She told me to stay away from the foods I listed above and suggested I try a smoothie from the place next door. As it is summer right now I can imagine a smooth might be good. Just be careful of how cold the smoothie might be. You can control the temperature when you whip up your own!

2. Pasta

I decided I wanted something more substantial than a smoothie and opted instead to go to the Italian place next to my dentist office (my dentist is in a strip mall with a bevy of food options). I had a nice rigatoni with alfredo sauce. I got it to go so by the time I got home it had cooled down and was just warm enough not to cause any discomfort. It was soft, satisfying and most importantly, didn’t hurt.

3. Pudding

If you’re wondering what I had for dessert, wonder no more! I had chocolate pudding. Once again, soft, satisfying and most importantly, didn’t hurt.

4. Eggs

From scrambled to hard-boiled, eggs are a good option. They are soft, satisfying… you get the idea.

5. Soups

I know, I know. I told you in the list above to avoid soups. But that was hot soups. Cool soups like a vichyssoise or gazpacho are a great option, especially with this summer heat. Even good, old-fashion soups, like chicken noodle is okay, as long as you let them cool first. The Joy of Blending has a really tasty Cool Mint Pea soup.

Really, there are plenty of foods to eat while you have a temporary crown. Just remember to stay away from the avoid list above, chew with the opposite side of your mouth the crown is on and you should be just fine. Remember, if you ever feel pain, especially when you are not eating, make sure to inform your dentist.