When you have newly-minted dental implants, you might be keen to try them out on some delicious food. Oral surgeons usually advise patients to stick with soft foods for the first three months, however. During this time your tissues are healing, the implants are integrating into the jawbone and gum, and depending on the type of implants you selected, you might be wearing a temporary prosthesis. If so, the last thing you want to do is to be chomping hard, crunchy foods or tough, chewy ones!
Here’s what you can eat—and when—once you’ve got your implants.
Days 1 to 3
During the first few hours after you awake from dental anesthesia or sedation, you probably won’t feel much like eating anyway. Once you recover, you should opt for liquids only and avoid any that are too hot or too cold. Warm soup or broth, tea, room temperature water or even smoothies are probably fine. Jello, applesauce and protein drinks offer a bit of variety without causing you any problems. Drink from a glass or cup and avoid sipping through straws, which could result in a blood clot or dry socket.
Days 4 to 14
By the end of the first three days (or sooner for some patients) you should be able to move onto soft foods such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Soup with noodles
- Mac and cheese
- Soft bread
- Mashed potatoes
These foods will provide you with most of the nutrition you need for proper wound healing, and maintain your strength during the healing process.
Days 15 to 90
Once the surgical incisions have healed, you can expand the variety of food choices a bit more, but you should still avoid hard foods for as long as possible. Here are some of the options you can add to your diet for the rest of the three-month period:
Fruits and Vegetables
These are particularly essential to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals that you need to remain healthy:
- Cooked fruits (or very soft, ripe fruits)
- Canned fruits (without skin or seeds)
- Well-cooked soft veggies
Protein is one of the most important food types for wound healing, and since you can’t yet eat a good steak, these options should keep you going:
- Broiled fish
- Roasted or stewed chicken
- Soups with small soft pieces of vegetables and meat
Most of us can’t live without some carbohydrates, and as long as you eat them soft, the following are all good options:
- Soft bread
- Macaroni and other types of pasta
- White rice, cooked to a soft and fluffy consistency
- Oatmeal or other cooked cereals
Desserts and Candies
Getting dental implants doesn’t eradicate that sweet tooth, so if you experience sugar cravings try and go for items like:
- Mousse puddings
- Soft cake
- Ice cream
- Soft chocolates
If you absolutely must eat a hard candy of some sort, be sure to suck it until it melts away completely and avoid the need to crunch it between your teeth, which could cause pain and bleeding.
Dental Implant Aftercare
All this might seem excessive, but it’s important to practice good implant aftercare to speed up your healing. This includes diligent daily oral hygiene program of brushing, flossing and rinsing to clean gently in all parts of your mouth. If you have an all-on-4 prosthesis, you might need to use a monoject syringe for the first week to clean underneath it.
Dental implant problems are few and far between when you take the necessary precautions and make sure you follow the aftercare recommendations. For more information on dental implants, please contact us online or call 604-593-7866.