A set of healthy, pearly white teeth comes with the main advantage of being functional. They allow us to eat all of our favorite foods, and enjoy them, without us even having to think twice about it. But for those who are missing one or more teeth, chewing food can become painful, and make us feel self-conscious at the dinner table.
A long-term solution for this are dental implants which are artificial teeth that look, and feel like your natural ones. But, before you can get back to the foods you crave, you must first follow a strict set of food guidelines after your dental implant procedure.
Here is what you need to know.
What You Can Eat in the First 24-48 hours: Liquid Diet Only.
During the first 24-48 hours after dental implant surgery, you’ll need to stick to a cool-liquid diet only as your teeth and jaw are going to be tender, swollen, and in a delicate state,
It is important to avoid hot liquids or beverages like hot soup, or coffee and tea, as the heat from these food items may irritate the surgical site.
Here are the recommended foods for the first 24-48 hours:
- Homemade Smoothies: these are fantastic since you can customize them with the fruits or veggies that you love, and they can be quite filling and nutritious. Plus, these are extremely easy to make, can be made from frozen or fresh food items, and they do not require any chewing. This makes them the ideal food item for the first 24-48 hours, as they will give you the nutrition you need, without harming the surgical site.
- You can also have milkshakes, as long as they aren’t filled with hard seeds or any other food item that requires chewing.
- Liquid meal supplements are also included! Items like Ensure, or Boost, are a great way to get in nutrients without the need for chewing.
- Applesauce: if you enjoy fruit sauces like applesauce, then you’re in luck. While you may not be able to have the hard-form of an apple, as this requires a lot of chewing, you can have it in its sauce form. Nutritious, and very easy on the gums!
- You can also have cold fruit juices and nectar as well.
- Cold Soups: another extremely nutritious meal are soups. While you can’t have them in their hot-form, you can have them cold. Just make sure that the soup is completely free from food chunks like meats, or hard veggies.
- Puddings, Jello, Yogurt, & Ice Cream: you can also safely consume jello, puddings, and yogurt, and ice cream without fruit in it.
You should continue eating no-chew foods for at least the first week after dental implant surgery. Once the second week hits, you will be able to re-introduce soft-foods back into your diet at a slow, and steady pace.
What You Can Eat After Dental Implant Surgery - Week 2 - 3 Months.
From week 2 onward, you’re going to want to follow a soft-food only diet, as this will allow your gums to heal quicker, and reduce the potential for complications. During this time, your dental implant will begin fusing to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Soft food is recommended during this time, as hard foods can dislodge your implant, and interrupt osseointegration.
Here are the recommended foods for a soft-food diet.
- Fruits & Veggies: any type of soft fruit like bananas, peaches, and soft pears. Avoid fruits with seeds though like strawberries, and raspberries. You can also have steamed veggies.
- Grains: you can have soft loaves of bread, pancakes, muffins, and refined cereals like oatmeal or cream of rice/wheat. You can also indulge in rice, pasta dishes like spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese.
- Protein & Meats: in this category, you do need to be a bit careful, as the meats do need to be on the softer side. So items like chicken stew, roasted chicken, meatloaf, broiled fish, and tofu are great. You can at this point also consume soups that have soft veggies and meat in them.
- Items from Week 1: you can also consume any items from your week 1 guideline list as well. So this includes yogurt, puddings, jello, ice creams (without hard nuts/chocolate), mashed potatoes, applesauce, cottage cheese, dairy items, and scrambled eggs.
Extra Tips For After Dental Implant Surgery
In those first few days after dental implant surgery, it’s going to be hard to eat due to how uncomfortable your mouth feels. Because of this, we highly recommend that you develop a drinking and eating routine that has you eating regularly, as this will speed up your recovery, and give your body the nourishment it needs to heal. We also recommend incorporating a protein supplement into your diet, as protein can be hard to get on a soft-food diet.
If you are diabetic, check your glucose levels frequently in order to avoid complications.
If you’d like to come for a dental visit and/or have any questions, feel free to get in touch today.