The importance of choosing the right foods to eat after dental implant surgery
A nutritious diet forms the foundation of a healthy body, and your diet before and after receiving dental implants can affect your health and well being. A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to provide nutrients and vitamins necessary to promote healing after dental implant surgery, keeping bones strong and growing new tissue.
Consequently, you should aim to eat a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish or meat high in vitamins, protein, and minerals. The importance of hydration should not be overlooked either. Drinking plenty of water following dental implant surgery helps regulate the body’s temperature, prevent infection, and delivers nutrients to the cells.
What to eat after dental implant surgery
You will need to change your diet for a short time after receiving dental implants. The surgical site is likely to feel sore, and depending on the complexity of your surgery, there may be some swelling, and your jaw may feel stiff. Avoiding foods that need chewing and opting instead for liquids and soft foods is highly recommended.
As healing progresses and your stitches are removed or have dissolved, you can gradually introduce soft foods into your diet that require minimal chewing to avoid disturbing the area where your dental implants are located.
What to eat in the early days following dental implant surgery
During the first 24 hours after surgery, you probably won’t feel hungry, and you will find it easier to get liquid or pureed foods inside you. Foods packed with nutrients to aid healing and speed up your recovery include:
- Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in protein, helping to build new tissue and blood cells to assist healing. Yoghurt is also rich in probiotics and calcium that support the immune system as it defends dental implants from infection.
- Smoothies – Tasting delicious, smoothies containing milk, fruit, yoghurt and cream, make a delicious meal rich in vitamins and calcium to help build strong teeth and bones.
- Mashed banana – Rich in potassium, bananas contain enzymes to help reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums.
- Scrambled eggs – Full of protein, scrambled eggs are easy to digest and are a good source of protein.
- Avocado: Mashed up on their own or added to cottage cheese, avocados deliver vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that aid healing.
What to eat once your mouth starts to heal
As your mouth and jaw start to heal following the placement of dental implants, solid foods can gradually be introduced but be sure to choose proteins rich in nutrients.
- Fish, poultry and meat can now be consumed but start with soft foods that can be mashed or cut into small pieces, and don’t need much chewing. Ground beef or canned tuna are two such examples.
- Soups and broths are easy to make from vegetables and pasta and easy to consume if your mouth still feels tender. After a week, you can progress to a stew or mild chilli.
- Try mashing the inside of a cooked jacket potato and combine it with cheese or baked beans for a filling and nutritious meal.
- Eggs – Eggs are so versatile and can be boiled, fried, scrambled, or used to make a delicious and nutritious omelette topped with cheese.
Any food that is soft and mild in flavour and not tough or chewy will be a good choice during recovery after dental implant surgery.
What about foods to avoid after dental implant surgery?
You’ll want to avoid a few foods after receiving dental implants. Obvious foods include:
- Chewy foods – especially toffees that stick to the teeth
- Foods that are difficult to chew, such as raw vegetables and steak
- Crunchy foods, including popcorn and crisps, could disturb the surgical site.
The foods listed below should also be avoided since they could irritate the gums, particularly in the area surrounding the newly-placed implants.
- Fizzy drinks
- Spicy food
- Acidic foods and drinks, including lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and tomatoes.
Don’t be tempted to drink through a straw, however tempting it may seem, particularly in the days immediately after dental implant surgery when you may be finding it difficult to open your jaw. The suction force could cause bleeding around the site of the dental implant and interfere with healing.
After dental implant surgery, knowing what foods to eat can set you up for a speedy recovery. This article is purely intended as a guide and you should always follow the post-op instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.
Are you interested in getting dental implants?
Dental implants are considered the gold standard of tooth replacement and can change lives for the better. Here at DDSS/DDII, we use top quality digital dental implants. Utilising cutting-edge technology, our highly experienced team use computer-guided techniques for faster, safer and more accurate placement.
Without the need for stitches and a short surgery time, patients have a more comfortable experience and heal faster. If you want to find out more, why not schedule a FREE dental implant consultation and take the first step to restore your smile. Every aspect of our team is dedicated to your welfare. From our experienced dental surgeons to our nursing team the focus is clearly on our patients in everything we do.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
British Nutrition Foundation – A Healthy Balanced Diet
Harvard – The Importance of Hydration
Instituto Maxillofacial – Why We Shouldn’t Drink with A Straw After Our Orthognathic Surgery