One of the most significant benefits of undergoing dental implant surgery is that once the implant is healed in the jaw, you can eat almost anything you like without restriction. However, in the days and weeks following surgery, you will be required to avoid certain food types to protect your new dental implants.
For a comprehensive list of what you should (and shouldn’t) eat after undergoing a dental implant procedure, you could, of course, visit a dentist that offers a free consultation, but if you are simply curious at this stage and want to know more, we can help.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common foods to avoid after dental implant surgery and why. So let’s get started.
During the first 24-48 hours
Immediately following the placement of dental implants, your gums and jaw will likely feel tender. In addition, the implant site may be sutured if you are undergoing conventional implant placement. To protect the gum and implant site at this time, it’s essential to avoid foods that are
- Spicy – Foods like curries, hot sauces and salsas can irritate the implant site, so they should be avoided.
- Crunchy – Popcorn kernels, peanuts and potato chips can become lodged between the teeth and gums and damage the newly placed dental implant. In addition, crunchy foods like raw carrots or apples may be good for you, but the effect of biting down on something hard this early after getting dental implants may cause them to shift in the jaw.
- Hot – Hot soup and beverages such as tea, coffee or hot chocolate may impinge on any healing around the soft tissue if consumed within the first 1-3 days after getting dental implants. For this reason, removing any hot foods from your diet is advisable until the site has had sufficient time to heal.
- Cold – Foods and beverages served ice cold, like ice cream, should also be avoided within the first 48 hours after dental implant surgery because they can also irritate the implant site.
- Acidic or citrus – Heavily acidic or citrus-based foods should be avoided. Foods like tomato sauce, oranges, lemons and anything in vinegar may irritate the site and worsen any discomfort in the early days immediately after dental implant surgery.
- Sticky foods – sticky desserts, caramels and toffee can get stuck at your implant site before your dental implants have had time to heal, so they should be given a wide birth until after the osseointegration (bone fusion) process is complete.
- Alcohol – Did you know that alcohol can slow the bone growth process? With this in mind, you may want to avoid it, at least until the implant has successfully fused with the bone.
That may sound like many foods and food groups that have been struck off the menu, but in truth, many of these are only temporary until your dental implants have settled.
So now you know the foods to avoid after dental implant surgery, what about the foods you can eat?
You might not feel like eating anything after surgery, which is understandable, but getting the proper nutrients is vital to promote speedy healing.
Therefore a good rule of thumb is to stick to an excellent liquid diet for the first couple of days. Anything tepid is best. An ideal way to get nutrients into you is to drink smoothies.
They can be vegetable or fruit-based, or both and can be supplemented with protein powder for an extra boost.
An important side note – if you are partaking in smoothies or beverages of any kind, do not drink through a straw. Suction may cause the protective clot formed at the implant site to rupture. This can prolong the healing process so enjoy your beverage, just not with a straw!
Of course, to promote speedy healing after dental implants, it’s essential to stay hydrated so try to take regular sips of water.
Foods to avoid in the weeks after dental implant surgery
The good news is that in the coming weeks, after undergoing dental implants, you should be able to consume a broader range of foods and beverages, including re-introducing more of your favourite solid foods. As a rule of thumb, most people return to some solid food after a few days but remember to make healthy balanced choices to promote greater healing. An implant dentist will be able to tell you more when you get a free consultation at your local dental clinic.
That said, for those who aren’t ready to book a consultation and are instead curious, there are still certain food groups you should still be looking to avoid. These include:
- Hard or crunchy foods – hard candy bars, peanut bars, etc.
- Foods that are particularly chewy like toffee, caramel or breakfast bars
- Overly acidic foods or beverages like fresh orange juice, tomato-based sauces
- Spicy foods like hot curries or salsas.
Instead, here’s what you can and should be eating in the coming weeks after dental implant surgery
- Proteins – eggs, chicken, fish and ground beef
- Healthy carbohydrates – sweet potato, blueberries, bananas, oats, pasta and rice
- Healthy fats – fatty fish like mackerel, avocados, nut butter
- Dairy – yogurt, cottage cheese, milk/protein shakes
The key here is to introduce foods as you see fit gradually but to speed up the healing process by consuming foods rich in nutrients and make the process of chewing and digestion easy.
If you are curious about dental implants but want to know more about dental implant surgery or foods to avoid after dental implant treatment, get in touch with the team at DDSS/DDII.
We provide a free dental consultation near you where you can find out whether dental implants are something you’d like to pursue.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Healthline – Everything You Need To Know About The Dental Implant Procedure
PubMed – Influence of Alcohol And Tobacco Habits On Per-Implant Marginal Bone Loss – A prospective Study
Healthline – 10 Of The Best Foods To Help You Heal