Following dental implant surgery, a patient’s first question will be ‘what can I eat and what should I stay away from’? This question is not just about avoiding discomfort, but in staying away from foods that might hinder healing processes.
Throughout the dental implant process, the jawbone and the site of dental implants require time to heal properly. During the first couple of weeks post-surgery, your teeth and jaw may be tender. Levels of discomfort and time for healing will depend on how many implants were installed and where they are located. Generally speaking, a number of do’s and don’ts will be offered by the dental office following your procedure.
During the First 48 Hours Post-Surgery
During the first 48 hours post dental implant surgery, a liquid, preferably cool, diet will be recommended. You may be instructed not to consume any hot beverage or foods and to not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages. The no-smoking guidelines are in place to reduce the risk of infection. Smoking can also slow down healing processes, and depending on anesthetics used during the procedure, can increase the risk of nausea post-surgery.
A few suggestions for foods during this time include applesauce, puddings, jello, and smoothies or protein shakes, but avoid nuts or other ingredients that require any chewing.
First Week of the Post-Surgery Dental Implant Procedure
After 48 hours or so have passed and during the remainder of the first week following your dental implant surgery, soft foods can be introduced into your diet. During this time, the dental implants are adhering with bone in the jaw, and in some cases, a temporary prosthesis is in place, so avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods whatsoever.
Consume protein, which can aid in recovery time as well as provide your body with energy. For example:
- Eggs (any kind)
- Dairy products including soft cheeses and yogurt which contain the nutritional benefits of calcium, essential for bone growth and strength
- Baked or mashed potatoes (no skin)
- Soft meats and fish are allowed, but keep the pieces small and easy to chew
What to Stay Away from Following Implant Surgery
It may be tempting once you start feeling better, but during the first couple of weeks or so following dental implant surgery, stay away from certain foods. These include but are not limited to:
- Popcorn and chips (any kind)
- Tougher breads such as bagels (especially those with seeds!)
- Candy – whether caramels, gummies, or otherwise, many candies are not only chewy but get stuck in your teeth. This makes cleaning more difficult and cause irritation, inflammation, and discomfort.
- Spicy foods – the heat index on spicy foods can contribute to irritation of healing gums. In addition, seeds found in chilies and peppers can get stuck in the healing tissues, making brushing difficult, painful, and may irritate the healing gums
- Hot drinks and foods like coffee, hot chocolate, and hot soups, which again, can irritate healing gums.
Pay attention to what you eat after dental implants surgery for the best results and faster healing time.