Deerfield, IL
(224) 282-8939

Lakeview, IL
(773) 525-5545

A spread of healthy foods

Whether a single implant or full arch procedure, dental implant surgery restores your mouth’s full functionality and appearance.

One of the benefits of a dental implant is the ability to enjoy all your favorite foods again because the implant functions just like a natural tooth. However, the recovery period following the surgery is crucial, including carefully managing your diet. Knowing what to eat post-surgery can help expedite healing and avoid complications like loosening your implant or irritating the implant site.

Nutrition: The Key to Faster Healing

Regardless of the stage of recovery, your body needs valuable nutrients to heal efficiently. Ensure your post-surgery diet includes foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and proteins that help with the healing process.

Foods with vitamin A, like leafy greens and full-fat dairy products, are crucial for encouraging a healthy immune system. This can help your body fight infections and reduce the risk of post-surgical complications like peri-implantitis.

Citrus fruits, red berries, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are high in vitamin C and are ideal for supporting the healing process. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the development of collagen and muscle fibers, which can help with osseointegration (when the implant fuses with your jawbone) and renewing gum tissue.

Protein is vital for a speedy recovery. High-protein foods like eggs and lean meat break down into amino acids, which your body needs to build muscle, bone, and connective tissue like periodontium to support healthy fusion between the implant and your underlying bone.

Immediately After Surgery: Soft and Liquid Diet

In the first 24 to 48 hours after your procedure, your mouth will likely be tender and swollen, and chewing may be uncomfortable. Stick to a liquid diet during this period, focusing on nutrition-rich choices like protein shakes, broth-based soups (cooled, not hot), and well-cooked, easily mashable vegetables, like potatoes or carrots.

Avoid hot foods and drinks as they increase swelling and bleeding. Cold foods like smoothies or ice cream can help soothe discomfort and reduce inflammation.

Hydration is also essential during this period; it helps maintain a healthy mouth pH and flushes bacteria and food debris from the implant socket to prevent inflammation and infection. But avoid using straws as they can disturb the surgical site.

Week One: Introducing Semi-Soft Foods

You can incorporate soft foods into your diet as you transition from the initial recovery phase and your mouth begins to heal. This could include scrambled eggs, yogurt, soft cheese, finely chopped meats, and applesauce.

Avoid foods that can get lodged in the surgical site, such as seeds, popcorn, and nuts. It’s also recommended to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing, like steak or raw vegetables, that could irritate the surgical site.

Week Two: Gradual Introduction to Regular Diet

By the second week, your mouth should heal well enough to add more variety to your diet. You still want to avoid extremely hard or chewy foods, but you can start eating pasta, cooked vegetables, and soft bread. Remember to avoid hot, spicy, or acidic foods that could cause discomfort or slow the healing process.

Hygiene After Meals

While it’s essential to pay attention to what you eat, it’s equally crucial to maintain good oral hygiene, especially after meals. Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution after eating to help keep the surgical site clean. However, avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting as it may disrupt the healing process by dislodging the blood clot from the implant socket.

Arrange Your Dental Implant Consultation

Dental implants are a popular solution for missing teeth, with a success rate of around 95% over ten years. But the road to recovery after dental implant surgery requires patience and adherence to dietary guidelines. By sticking to a soft food diet initially and gradually incorporating harder foods, you can prevent complications and support your mouth’s healing process. Consult your dentist if you have any concerns about your diet after surgery.

Contact our practice in Lakeview at (773) 525-5545 or Deerfield at (224) 282-8939 to schedule your dental implant consultation or for post-operative advice.

Be proud of your smile.