What To Eat After Dental Implant Surgery
Posted on: January 4, 2022
2 minute read
Dental implants are considered the closest thing to real teeth that one can have. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can make it easier to speak, eat a nutritional diet and can help you maintain jaw structure and facial appearance.
Before dental implant surgery goes ahead, it’s not uncommon for patients to require a bit of preparation to give treatment the best chance of success. This may include changing your diet, quitting smoking or bringing gums back to health after experiencing gum disease. Knowing what to eat after dental implant surgery is just as important as it helps facilitate recovery and can help you keep your implants, bridge or denture healthy for as long as possible.
Long-term success of any dental or medical treatment can largely depend on what you do during the recovery phase, and while dental implant surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, paying careful attention to diet, rest and hydration will help ensure faster healing. Eating the proper foods gives your body the nutrients it needs to reduce inflammation and promote the bone production that is essential for a successful implant. (1)
Vitamin C for Faster Healing
Many vitamins and nutrients can help to speed up the healing process, but Vitamin C stands out as particularly effective. (2,3) Several studies show that taking vitamin C supplements during the healing phase of surgical procedures is a safe, effective and convenient way to help you recover quicker. Vitamin C may also help to reduce post-operative complications.
Nutrition Immediately After Dental Implant Surgery
It’s important to follow a nutritional diet immediately after surgery as your mouth begins to heal. During the first two days when gums are tender, maintaining a liquid diet can help protect the surgical site and provide healing nutrition. These liquids need to provide the protein, carbohydrate, and fat essential to health and healing.
The First Two Days After Surgery
For the first two days after dental implant surgery, your gum heals and swelling goes down. It’s important to avoid consuming hot foods and beverages during this time. Do not drink through a straw during this time, and if you had a bone graft or sinus lift, it’s recommended you avoid using a straw for at least one month. During this time, an all-liquid diet is the safest option. Try and avoid anything too chunky:
- Meal replacement drinks
- Protein drinks
- Fruit and veg smoothies
- Soups and broths
The Weeks Following Implant Surgery
After the first two days, you can introduce soft foods that don’t require chewing such as soup, mashed bananas, mousse, cottage cheese and yogurt. As your gums heal, you can begin eating more solid nutritious foods such as:
- Muffins (no nuts)
- Roasted fish and chicken
- Leafy greens
Foods to Avoid Following Dental Implant Surgery
You will need to avoid eating hard, tough, sticky, or crunchy foods that might put too much pressure on your new teeth and implants. It takes between three to six months for implants to integrate with the jaw and after this time, you’ll be able to confidently resume a regular diet, but until this time, we advise you avoid these foods and drinks:
- Drinks high in sugar, such as soft drinks and juices
- Sugary or sticky confectionery
- Crunchy foods such as nuts, chips and crackers
- Spicy and acidic foods such as curries, salsa and citrus fruits
- Extremely hot foods and drinks
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is protein so necessary for healing?
Protein is essential to collagen formation, which helps rebuild and repair bone and gum tissue after implant surgery. Protein also plays a role in the formation of antibodies that fight infection.
- What if I do not feel like eating?
It is normal not to have much of an appetite after surgery. However, failing to consume nutritious foods and beverages regularly can slow healing and lead to more frequent complications.
- What vitamins and minerals can help accelerate healing after implant surgery?
In addition to Vitamin C, other micronutrients aid in healing. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- How can I add protein to a soft-food diet?
During your initial recovery, you can boost your protein intake by adding foods such as almond or peanut butter, avocado, yogurt, or protein powder to your smoothies. Once you begin eating soft foods, you can eat foods high in protein, such as: