At Digital Dental Studio, we believe in fully educating every patient about their procedures to ensure they can decide what is ideal for them. Part of that education includes information regarding the recovery process and what to expect after dental implant surgery.
Dental implants will allow you to eat practically whatever food and drink you desire, and after the implants have fully integrated with the bone, you will be back to eating as normal.
However, you won’t be able to do so right after your surgery. As with any procedure, you must expect a recovery period. After the implant is inserted in the jaw, that area will need to heal. During this period, you may feel a little discomfort and sensitivity so try to stick with liquids and soft foods that can be easily cut with the side of a fork.
Try to remember that you’ve undergone a surgery and as such, you need to take the procedure seriously. For the first 24 to 48 hours, you must consume only cold liquids and avoid hot foods and drinks.
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is always important, but it’s especially essential when you’re healing after getting dental implants. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in helping your body recover after surgery. However, it’s just as important that the foods you eat are soft enough not to irritate the implant site.
Thankfully, with a planned soft dental diet there are plenty of nutritious foods to choose from when picking your meals during the first 24 – 48 hours after surgery:
So now, for the not so fun part of the process. Here is a list of foods to avoid during your recovery, we do advice to follow this guide as strict as possible to avoid any healing complications:
“PRO TIP: avoid drinking through a straw, you may get a dry socket caused by a blood clot. This can prolong healing, so sip from the glass to avoid this issue. After a few weeks, the site should heal and improve so you can start using a straw again.”
You might think eating only ice cream and pudding after implant surgery is an ideal plan. However, eating a soft dental diet will make you feel better, providing your body all the vitamins and proteins it needs to heal more quickly.
After your dental implant procedure, you’ll be anxious and excited to start eating your favorite meals again. But it is important to eat the proper foods during each healing stage.
A soft food diet is the best approach during the first few weeks after surgery. Stick to foods like soups, softened pasta, and mashed potatoes. If you’re feeling confident, try introducing soft meats like shredded chicken or fish.
Get your daily vegetable intake by boiling or steaming them until they are soft and easy to chew. Avoid anything that is too hard or crunchy, and anything that requires you to open your mouth too wide.
Cooked oats and soft cereals are great and very easy to eat while your mouth heals. Just remember that you shouldn’t eat anything that is too hot. Rather, enjoy your oatmeal at a lukewarm temperature to avoid irritation and discomfort at the site of your surgery.
Healing can take up to 6 months after getting a dental implant, so it’s important to be careful and take your time whilst introducing harder foods. Pay attention to your mouth, if eating something hurts, you’re not ready for it.
So, to heal faster it’s necessary to have a diet rich in protein, many people immediately think of eating meat and nuts first. And let’s be honest, neither of these foods will be very appealing if you’ve just undergone dental implant surgery! So, we recommend these easy steps to make your diet rich in protein:
Dental implants are the next best thing to healthy, natural teeth, as they recover patients chewing abilities and help them enjoy their favorite foods. But until they heal properly, patients should stick to a softer diet and avoid the following foods:
Seeds and nuts, if you bite down on hard food too soon, you will certainly feel pain and may also cause the implant to fail. As a rule, if your food makes a noise when you chew them, you should really be avoiding them.
Pizza crust. It’s important to stay away from foods that are crunchy, tough, and chewy. After a few months of your selfless sacrifice, your newly installed implant will be fully integrated, permanent, and ready to handle any kind of food and beverage you throw its way.
Many people have asked us: What about coffee or wine? How long should we avoid them too?
As we mentioned before, hot beverages and alcohol are not recommended within the first 24 – 48 hours after surgery. Right after surgery, most likely antibiotics will be prescribed, once you have finished your medication, you may incorporate your favorite drinks in moderation.
Be careful when drinking coffee, tea, or wine, as they can easily stain your dental implants as they would do your natural teeth. After you enjoy a cup of joe or a great glass of red wine, make sure you brush and rinse your teeth afterwards. This will help keep the stains at bay, it also removes the acids left behind.
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution and you take good care of them they can last between 20 and 30 years.
Their durability does not depend solely on the maintenance you give to your teeth, but also on the lifestyle choices as a whole: choosing a healthier diet, avoiding excessive sugary products, dealing with stress, or grinding and even quitting bad habits like smoking.
Daily home care is important for the long-term health of your dental implants. Your cleaning regimen with dental implants is almost the same as it is with your natural teeth, just brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash every day. We will recommend adequate toothbrushes and accessories for your daily oral hygiene care.
And if you still have bits of food stuck between your dental implants, don’t worry you just might need a different flossing system. For such instances, an oral irrigator or “water flosser” can be a real lifesaver. This handy irrigation tool can reach those hard-to-get spaces in your mouth and effectively cleaning between teeth, under gumlines and around dental implants. There is an abundance of research showing that water flossers remove more plaque from your teeth than traditional floss.
Brushing and cleaning after dental implants.
Back to basics is key. Brushing and flossing is your regular oral hygiene regimen and mouthwash is highly recommended. Brushing is easy but flossing may present some problems especially if more than one implant is placed with a bridge between them.
This means there is no way for the string floss to pass through the hard crowns. In that case, other flossing methods can be used such as interdental brushes, floss threaders, and of course (our favorite) water flossers as we mentioned before.
We also recommend visiting your dentist regularly; this is the most important piece of advice.
At home, you can probably see and therefore control what is right in front of you. Meaning the crown and the gums, but you have no control whatsoever on what goes on beneath the surface of the bone, meaning the fixture. So, a regular visit to the dentist for a quick check-up and a few x-rays is crucial to the survival and longevity of your implants.
Long story short, taking care of implants or any other artificial restoration for that matter, doesn’t differ much from taking care of natural teeth. This is because the same problems that could affect natural teeth could also happen to dental implants and crowns (except for decay of course).
The next time you start wondering how to clean dental implants, just think of what you would do to keep your natural teeth clean and do just that!
When you make the decision to have dental implants, you are making an investment that will last a lifetime. Improve your quality of life and recapture your lifestyle after tooth loss and achieve overall well-being.
Dental implants not only have the power to improve your appearance and give you more confidence. But you will be able to talk freely and enjoy your favorite foods and allow you to live your life without worrying about discomfort or embarrassment when it comes to your smile.
Think of it as an investment that you make in your overall health. It may mean a little sacrifice along the way, but you can benefit from dental implants if you are willing to make some changes! With proper care and checkups, your dental implants should last 20 years or longer.
We can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted and maintain your implants long into the future. Contact us today and let’s discuss your options, and for more information about our treatment, click here.