After your implant is placed, your teeth and jaw will be in a very delicate state. That’s why it’s crucial to stick to a soft-food diet for the first 24 hours after surgery. Proper post-operative care is very important following any sort of dental surgery. Dental implant placement is a serious medical procedure, so you’ll want to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to the letter. As a general rule, you should stick with liquids and soft foods for the first few days proper nutrition is important, but your mouth needs to heal!
What type of Soft Food Should I eat After Dental Implant?
A liquid diet might be nutritious, but it might not be particularly satisfying! There is a wide range of soft foods that you are welcome to enjoy after your dental implant placement. These foods include:
Smoothies — Smoothies are filling, nutritious, and easy to pack with essential vitamins for restored energy. Best of all, smoothies don’t require any chewing, making them an ideal meal option after surgery.
Applesauce — You won’t be able to bite into an apple at this point in your treatment, but applesauce can provide many of the same nutrients without harming your implant.
Cold soups — Though it’s essential to avoid hot foods and liquids, you can enjoy cold soups such as gazpacho and more.
When you’re drinking liquids, it’s extremely important to avoid using a straw. The suction force puts pressure on your implant and can interfere with the healing process. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking for at least a few days.
What to Eat in the Weeks After Implant Surgery
As your jaw continues to heal, you can slowly reintroduce solid foods into your diet. Dental experts recommend choosing meals that are rich in protein and other essential nutrients to speed up your recovery.
Some of the foods he recommends are:
Eggs/Omelets — Eggs are easy to chew and filled with protein. Mix them with vegetables and make an omelet for a well-balanced meal.
Potatoes — One of the toughest parts of sticking to a soft-food diet is the lack of variety. Potatoes are a very versatile food that can be prepared in several different ways without losing their soft texture.
Chicken, Fish, and Ground Beef — If you eat meat, experts recommend slowly introducing it back into your diet. Start with softer meats like chicken, fish, and ground beef that can be finely chopped into salads, pastas, and more for a delicious meal.
Milk/Cheese/Yogurt — Dairy products are loaded with protein and calcium that aid the healing process and help to keep your teeth strong.
How Long To Eat Soft Foods After Dental Implant
Dental experts recommend that you stick to soft foods and avoid hot liquids and spicy items for a few days following oral surgery. After 3-4 days, which can be extended to 7 days to allow for maximum healing, after this you should be able to return to a normal diet, but avoid biting on hard items in the area of the implant until it is fully healed.
Proper oral hygiene is essential to a successful healing process, but you don’t want to disrupt healing with overzealous cleaning. On the day of surgery, you may carefully brush and floss around the area, but do not rinse. The following day you can begin gently rinsing several times a day with a warm saltwater solution, especially after eating. After a few days, you may need to carefully clean around the implant and abutment (if attached) using a Q-tip and an appropriate cleaning solution, rather than a toothbrush.
Avoid Potential Problems
One of the two primary reasons implants fail is because of trauma caused by excessive pressure, or biting force, on the implant site. This is why it’s important to avoid hard foods and try not to chew in this area, even if you have a temporary crown. If you suffer from bruxism, a dental appliance such as a bite guard may be required for long-term protection.
Insufficient oral hygiene is another major issue that could impact the long-term success of a dental implant. Immediately after the implant procedure, patients need to follow precise cleaning instructions. You should avoid strenuous activity for a few days after surgery, and eliminate smoking for a minimum of two weeks. Always practice proper oral hygiene and visit our dentists for a regular examination and checkup.