What to Eat After a Dental Implant Procedure

What to Eat After a Dental Implant Procedure By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | January 13, 2023

Having just gotten a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you may be wondering if you’ll have to make any changes to your diet. It’s normal to ask yourself this question. After all, dental implants are a costly investment, and you would want to make sure they last for a long time.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how dietary adjustments can help protect and maintain the health of your new dental implant. We’ll cover what foods are safe for you to eat and which foods should be avoided after this dental treatment.

So get comfortable; let’s dive into all things diet-related when it comes to dental implants!

Summary of the Article

  • Diet plays an important role in the healing and integration of a dental implant.
  • Research suggests that dietary modifications may improve treatment success, making proper nutrition essential during recovery.
  • For dental implant recovery, eat salmon, leafy greens, milk products, yogurt, eggs and soft fruits & vegetables.
  • For dental implant health, consume foods rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, & zinc.
  • After dental implant surgery, follow a liquid or soft food diet for at least the first week.
  • Staying hydrated helps flush away bacteria while keeping tissues lubricated.
  • Avoid chewy or hard foods, sugary snacks, starchy food, sticky food items with seeds and shells, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, soda, and hot and spicy dishes.

How does my diet affect the healing and integration of my dental implant?

Your diet plays an important role in how well your dental implant will heal and integrate with your jawbone. The foods that you consume can impact how fast you can recover. It also affects how soon you can adjust to having dental implants.

Recent findings from multiple studies indicate that a nutritious diet is key to speeding up wound healing and improving the outcomes of dental implant treatments. These results, published in The Open Dentistry Journal, suggest a potential for improved treatment success through dietary modifications. This underlines the importance of proper nutrition, especially during the recovery period.

dental office visit, female patient talking to doctor, dentist making notes

What foods should I eat to support my dental implant recovery?

With dental implants, foods that are easy to eat, gentle on the gum tissue, and packed with nutrition will help shorten your recovery time. To support your dental implant recovery, here’s a list of foods you should eat:

  • Salmon
  • Leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Ice cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Soft fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Plant proteins, like tofu
  • Good fats, like avocado

Additionally, it is essential to maintain hydration, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Start with lukewarm water for a comforting sip.

A balanced diet provides your body with the healing agents needed to recover from surgery. The foods you choose may depend on the status of your mouth and what you can tolerate. Ask your dentist for advice.

Are there any specific nutrients that are beneficial for dental implant health?

After dental implant surgery, your dentist will advise you to stick to soft foods for the first few months while your implant heals. A soft food diet is easier to chew and will not put excessive strain on the implant, thereby avoiding damage that can delay the recovery process.

In addition, certain nutrients are especially beneficial for promoting dental implant health because they accelerate the healing process. Examples of these nutrients are the following:

  • Calcium and Vitamin D: A healthy combination of calcium and vitamin D can help protect your bones from fragility fractures. Furthermore, these two essential nutrients have been proven to support bone mineral density for optimal overall bone health.
  • Iron: Eating foods with healthy amounts of iron will positively affect how quickly the implant integrates with the bone and how fast the bone and gums heal.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral known to help promote the healing process. It also helps to support bone health by helping the body absorb calcium. Magnesium can help reduce inflammation and pain and can be found in foods such as leafy greens and legumes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish such as salmon and sardines, but they can also be found in plant sources such as flaxseed and walnuts. These fatty acids have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation.
  • Protein: Protein is essential for the growth and repair of bones, muscles and other connective tissues. Eating adequate amounts of protein-rich foods such as lean animal proteins, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans can help promote faster healing by providing your body with the building blocks it needs to rebuild structural components.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps keep your gums healthy and well-nourished, contributing to the success of dental implants.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps support collagen production, the main component of bones and other connective tissues. Vitamin C has also been linked to lower risks for fractures due to its involvement in increasing bone density. Eating plenty of citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, and broccoli can help you get enough vitamin C for optimal bone health.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to promote healing by reducing inflammation and increasing collagen production. It also helps protect cells from free radicals, which can cause oxidative damage to the body’s tissues.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps transport calcium from the bloodstream to the bones and promotes proper bone growth. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and collard greens are excellent sources of vitamin K. You can also get vitamin K from fermented foods such as sauerkraut.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a crucial role in wound healing and collagen production, which is essential for strong bones. Zinc can be found in nuts and seeds, legumes and whole grains, and fortified cereals.

Are there foods I should not consume as I recover after dental implant placement?

As you plan your diet after dental implant placement, there are foods to avoid to facilitate the post-procedure healing process. While it’s important to keep your body nourished and energised, you should avoid the following while recovering:

  • Chewy foods: Chewy and tough foods like steak can be hard on implants. They will put additional stress on your gums and implant sites, which can cause the implants to become loose or more easily damaged.
  • Hard and crunchy foods: Nuts, candy and popcorn are hard enough to interfere with healing around the implant site, causing further injury.
  • Sugary snacks: To prevent plaque buildup and bacterial growth around the implant site, sugary snacks should be avoided for at least a few weeks following the procedure.
  • Sticky foods: This includes gum and some types of dried fruit. These can put extra strain on the implant as they are difficult to chew.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Alcohol has been found to weaken your immune system and can increase the risk of infection. It is important to avoid alcoholic drinks for at least a few weeks after the implant procedure.
  • Coffee, tea and soda: These beverages contain high levels of caffeine, which can dry out the mouth. This can make it easier for bacteria to enter the implant site, leading to infection.
  • Hot and spicy foods: Spicy and hot foods may irritate the implant site. Avoid these for at least a few days after the procedure.

 

Taking care of your implants starts with eating the right foods. If in doubt, always talk to your dentist before including something new in your diet. They can advise you when you can resume eating your favourite solid foods.

Are there habits I should avoid during the recovery period?

Establishing new habits during your recovery period is important for reaching ideal results. For a successful outcome, you should avoid habits that:

  • Stress or traumatise the area where you received dental implants
  • Cause damage to the implant itself or surrounding teeth
  • Puts you at risk of infection

During the recovery period from a dental procedure, pay close attention to habits that may impede your progress. These include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Frequent sucking or biting hard using the replacement teeth
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • Playing contact sports without a mouthguard
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Using a straw to drink liquids

Avoiding these habits will help your dental implants heal properly and remain in good condition for many years.

When can I return to my normal diet after dental implant surgery?

While dental implants are designed to take the place of natural teeth, they are still false teeth that need proper care.

Eating will be difficult in the early stages, especially during the first few days after the surgical procedure. There may be discomfort or swelling for a couple of days. Your mouth may be sensitive and uncomfortable while you adjust to the change. Taking over-the-counter pain medications and using ice packs will help ease this initial discomfort.

During this stage, liquid foods are recommended. As time passes, you will be ready for softer solids. Remember to give yourself time as part of your recovery process.

Between the surgical procedure and complete healing, it is usually advised not to go back to a normal diet until at least a week has passed. Until then, restrict your diet to liquid or soft foods and avoid any hard pieces of solid food.

Will I need to make permanent changes to my diet after dental implant surgery?

Patients should make dietary adjustments during the first few days after surgery to assist in the healing of the implant site. Once the implant has been successfully placed and fully fused to the jaw bone, you can eat your favourite foods as well as your real teeth. Although it is recommended that a soft diet be followed for the initial week after the placement of your implants, you may go back to your normal diet a few weeks after surgery.

However, you will still need to pay close attention to the types of food and beverages you consume. Make sure that none of them is detrimental to your new implants.

Eat fewer crunchy or sugary snacks or food that can be damaging to your natural teeth, as these have the same effect on implant teeth too.

Knowing what to eat and avoid when you have dental implants is essential for maintaining your oral health after the procedure. If in doubt, always check with your dentist.

What happens if a proper diet is not followed after getting dental implants?

After getting dental implants, what you eat and what you avoid eating can make all the difference. A proper diet is a key element to success after dental surgery. An optimal eating plan prevents complications from occurring, which can derail the healing process or lead to further inflammation.

Not following a proper diet after getting a dental implant is like playing with fire; you are risking adverse effects, such as:

  • Infection: Unhealthy foods or overly sugary items can lead to infection. Infection is a serious risk that could lead to implant failure and subsequent removal.
  • Impaired Healing: It may slow down the overall healing process, which can delay the implant from fully integrating with the surrounding bone.
  • Increased risk of complications: An unhealthy diet increases the risk of complications such as inflammation, pain, swelling and even implant failure.
  • Implant failure: Eating hard, crunchy, and chewy foods may cause the implant to become loose or even fail, leading to costly and painful surgery.

 

To avoid these, it is important to follow a healthy diet, focusing on nutrient-dense proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats/oils. 

How can I maintain the health of my dental implant through my diet in the long term?

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important to protect your dental implant, so it lasts for a long time. Some good tips for how to maintain the health of your dental implant through dietary choices include:

  • Limit sugar and starch consumption: Sugary and starchy foods can build up bacteria around the implant. They are difficult to remove and can easily create acidic environments ripe for bacterial growth.
  • Avoid hard foods that may give your implant a jolt: Eating crunchy hard foods, such as popcorn or chips, can put a strain on the structure of an implant, increasing the chances of damage. 
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day: Staying hydrated helps flush away plaque and food debris while keeping tissues moist and lubricated. A dry mouth harbours more bacteria. 
  • Eat foods that promote bone health: Foods rich in calcium, such as dairy products and leafy greens, can help keep your jawbone strong and healthy. This is important for providing support to the implant and keeping it secure.

With these key dietary tips in mind, you will be sure to shorten your healing time and extend the lifespan of your dental implant.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants require careful and regular care to keep them functioning properly. In addition to a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups, a proper diet is important for maintaining your implant’s health.

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of bone-strengthening nutrients is essential for preserving the implant and preventing problems from developing. Taking the time to focus on your diet and nutrition can help keep your implant in top condition for years to come.

If you need more advice about how to take good care of your dental implants, please contact Darch Dental Centre. Our experienced team can provide the assistance you need to properly care for your implants. Book a consultation appointment through our website or call us today.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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