What Foods Can I Eat During My Dental Implant Surgery Recovery?
Dental implants don’t just replace missing teeth to give you a natural-looking, beautiful new smile; they also allow you to eat foods you might not have been able to before with a crown, partial bridge, or dentures. One of the first things you may be planning after your dental implant surgery at ACE Dental of New Braunfels in New Braunfels, TX is everything you’re going to eat with your strong new teeth: crispy apples, sweet corn on the cob, crunchy granola.
Yes, the strength of an artificial tooth, bridge, or full dentures anchored with dental implants does allow you to eat more of the food you want. However, our experienced team of doctors advises their patients to wait for the full recovery time from their dental implant surgery before chomping into an apple. So, what foods can you eat during your dental implant surgery recovery?
We’ve got a list of the types of foods you should eat for your dental implant recovery diet after implant surgery to help your mouth properly heal. We’re also going to tell you what foods to avoid and some tips to help your recovery.
Foods you should avoid during dental implant surgery recovery
There are two reasons you will be on a restricted diet after dental implant surgery:
- Your gums need to heal
- You have to avoid damaging your new implants
Foods that are tough, crunchy, sticky, chewy, acidic, spicy, or at a very hot temperature must be avoided for at least a week after implant surgery. All of these can either slow the healing process or damage your implants before they have time to properly set in your jaw. Here is a list of the types of foods to avoid:
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Tough meats (steak, jerky, etc.)
- Chewy bread (pizza crusts, baguettes, pretzels, thick bread)
- Crunchy foods (potato chips, popcorn, granola)
- Hard or sticky candies (chewing gum, caramel, taffy, Jolly Ranchers)
- Spicy foods (salsa, curries, etc.)
- Acidic foods (lemons, oranges, tomatoes, etc.)
- Hot foods and liquids (coffee, tea, hot soups, etc.)
As you recover, the list of foods you’ll be able to eat will grow.
Dental implant recovery diet: foods you should eat after dental implant surgery
Ok, so we know what to avoid. What kind of food can you eat during dental implant surgery recovery then? At ACE Dental of New Braunfels, we typically tell our New Braunfels, TX patients to follow a strict diet during the first 48 hours after dental implant surgery. In the weeks after, you can start to eat more things.
During the first 48 hours
Depending on the extent of your dental implant surgery, during the first 24 – 48 hours after your procedure, you’ll be on a liquid diet:
- Cold Liquids – smoothies, protein shakes, cold soup broths, etc. (make sure the smoothies are seedless, avoid strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
WARNING: Do not use a straw or anything requiring suction, like a water bottle, for at least two weeks after your surgery.
During the first week:
After the first two days, you can start to eat more things. You still need to avoid foods requiring chewing, but you should try to include foods high in protein and essential vitamins and nutrients to help the recovery process. Here are some foods you can eat:
- Mashed foods – avocados, potatoes, applesauce, etc.
- Protein shakes, smoothies, milkshakes
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, milk
- Soups (but avoid soups with large chunks of meats/vegetables requiring chewing)
- Jell-O, pudding
- Fruit juices
- Coffee, tea
- Ice cream
During the second week:
You can start to add more food items to the previous list. Just make sure they are soft, or fork-tender:
- Soft fruits – bananas, peaches, mangos, pears, etc., but avoid seedy fruits like strawberries, raspberries, etc.
- Steamed vegetables (as long as they are soft)
- Rice and pasta – spaghetti, mac and cheese, etc.
- Oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, quinoa
- Soft breads, pancakes, waffles
- Eggs – scrambled, omelets
- Soft meats – broiled fish, ground beef, chicken (shredded or finely chopped)
- Dairy products – milk, cheese, and yogurt are all high in calcium which helps the healing process
After the first two weeks, your doctor at ACE Dental of New Braunfels will advise you on what foods you can add to your diet as they monitor your recovery.
Tips to help you during recovery from dental implant surgery
Here are some final tips and things to remember as you recover from your dental implant surgery:
- Get plenty of rest
- Remember to eat regularly – proper nutrition is essential to recovery and healing
- Eat high nutrient, nutritious foods
- Drink plenty of water
- If you are diabetic, make sure to regularly check your blood sugar levels
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products as they can dry your mouth out and impede recovery
- Take your medication as directed
- Use cold compresses and ice packs to soothe any discomfort during early recovery
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
Get a new, long-lasting beautiful smile
Sure, dietary restrictions during your recovery time can be a bit frustrating, but most patients feel that getting a beautiful, natural-looking new smile with dental implants at ACE Dental of New Braunfels is worth it. When you have your new teeth attached at the end of your recovery, you’ll be able to eat just about anything you want – including those apples you couldn’t before. If you’re in New Braunfels, TX, or close by and ready to get a stunning, strong new smile, call us today to schedule a consultation. Having a new smile with the freedom to eat what you want has never been easier than with dental implants at ACE Dental of New Braunfels.