Dietary Guidelines For Dental Implant Recover

Nov 07, 2022
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For many people, dental implants are the best solution to missing teeth. However, to ensure their success, it's vital to follow post-op instructions, and that includes modifying your diet. Read on to learn what to eat during the healing period.

Dental implants are a welcome and permanent solution for many people with tooth loss today. They restore the form and function of natural teeth better than any other tooth-replacement option out there. To ensure their success, proper post-surgery care is essential, and that includes the food you eat. This may mean you will have to modify your diet for some time. This article considers dietary guidelines to follow to aid in faster healing.

The First 24 to 48 Hours After Dental Implant Surgery

After surgery, your jaw will be sensitive for at least 24 to 48 hours, so you don´t want to eat anything that´s going to aggravate the discomfort you may be feeling. This is where you have to take the utmost care. Therefore you can eat:

  • Sugar-free juices and cold soups - avoid all hot foods and hot liquids in the first 24 hours. When food and drink like soups and coffee are especially hot, they can damage your gums. This, of course, can delay healing time.
  • Smoothies - delicious, filling and packed with nutrients. Avoid using straws when drinking because the sucking action can dislodge blood clots from the surgical sites.
  • Purees such as apple sauce - another rich source of nutrients.
  • Oatmeal - is low-fat, cholesterol-free and a good source of fiber. Oatmeal is also very easy to eat without chewing a lot.
  • Water - it´s important to stay hydrated, especially during a recovery period. Dehydration can delay healing.
  • Greek yogurt - creamy, tasty and rich in calcium and protein.
  • Soft fruit - such as bananas and seedless grapes. They are easy to eat without much chewing.
  • Mashed and boiled potatoes - the trick is to ensure they are as soft as possible to limit chewing.

Foods To Eat During The First Couple Of Weeks Following Surgery

A few days after dental implant surgery, you can start introducing more solid foods into your diet. Do so gradually to avoid irritating your gums and the implant site. Good foods to introduce include:

  • Steamed rice and steamed vegetables.
  • Pasta, but be mindful to avoid red sauce because it´s acidic. Also, make sure the pasta has been cooked until it´s soft.
  • Soft breads.
  • Shredded meats.
  • Any soft foods or liquids you enjoyed during the first 24 to 48 hours after your surgery.

More Soft Food Ideas

Here are a few more soft food options you can eat following dental implant surgery:

  • Baked beans - mashed, if necessary
  • Avocado
  • Soft cheeses
  • Broth
  • Cold cereals soaked in milk
  • Canned peas
  • Poached, fried or scrambled eggs
  • Fish
  • Humus
  • Ice cream
  •  Jell-O
  • Kefir
  • Mousse
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Souffle
  • Spaghetti
  • Stew
  • Tofu
  • Tuna
  • Waffles
  • Spinach
  • Ramen noodles
  • Milkshake (but don´t use a straw)

Foods To Avoid

Avoid eating the following foods for 1 to 2 weeks after dental surgery to prevent damaging your implants and setting your treatment back.

  • Spicy foods such as salsa and hot peppers - these will irritate and burn your gum.
  • Tough foods such as hard cookies and meat can damage the new implants.
  • Crunchy foods such as popcorn can break into small, sharp pieces and irritate the gum.
  • Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits can irritate implant sites.
  • Sticky foods such as toffee are hard to clean off your teeth. Therefore they require more brushing, which may damage your new implants.
  • Fast foods because the high sugar content can interfere with the healing process.
  •  Any food with seeds which can get stuck between teeth and cause irritation.
  • Cracked pepper. Like seeds, the small granules can get stuck and may cause pain and irritation.

When Can I Start Eating Normally?

Most dental implant patients return to their normal diet about two to three weeks after surgery. The time depends entirely on how quickly the jaws and gums heal. However, even during this stage, it´s better to stick to a soft food diet and slowly introduce more solid foods.

Some activities, such as smoking, can delay the healing process. Therefore, if you´re a smoker, try to avoid smoking during the healing period.

Eating Normally After Dental Implant Surgery

Once your mouth and gum have fully recovered, you will not have any dietary restrictions. You will be able to eat and drink just as you do with your natural teeth.

Some people worry that food will get trapped under their dental implants. If they have been properly placed, this will not happen. That´s because there is no space for food to slip past implant screws in your jawbone. However, if the implants have been poorly placed, they may drift, letting food into the gum line. All the more reason to be sure you have qualified and experienced dental surgeons who perform implant surgery, such as the team at Chesterfield Dentistry.

Final Thoughts

Your post-implant recovery period can take you on a culinary adventure while your mouth and jaw heal. It´s an ideal time to try out those new recipes for stews, soups and other meals that have been on the back burner for a while. When your diet is restricted, you might as well make the most of the situation. Never skip food. Your body will still need plenty of nutrients, especially while your mouth is healing.

If you´re considering dental implants and have some questions about the process and the recovery period, please talk to the team at Chesterfield Dentistry.

Contact us today to book a consultation.