Dental implants in Cumberland give the recipient not only a restored smile but a chance to live a healthier, happier life. Like any form of surgery, however, post-surgical recovery does involves some temporary changes in the patient’s lifestyle. These include avoiding hard foods like nuts or legumes in favor of items like scrambled eggs, applesauce, and soup.
Foods to Avoid after Implant Surgery
The first 10-14 days after your procedure are the most critical as far as recovery is concerned. You should avoid any foods that may delay the healing process. These include:
- Potato or corn chips.
- Crusty bread such as French bread.
- Hard taco shells.
- Carrots (unless shredded into very small pieces).
- Ice cubes.
- Steaks or other forms of meat that require chewing.
You should also avoid acidic, sugary, or alcoholic beverages. Using a straw may create a problem called “dry socket.” Drink from a cup instead. It’s best to avoid excessively hot or chilled drinks, as these can cause discomfort and may complicate recuperation.
Foods to Enjoy after Implant Surgery
In general, soft foods that are easy to digest are good choices for the first two weeks or so after surgery. Examples include:
- Scrambled eggs.
- Protein drinks with no added sugar.
- Oatmeal (either unsweetened or sweetened with products like aspartame).
- Macaroni and cheese.
- Soft breads.
- Soups (avoid tomato-based recipes if possible).
As far as beverages go, chilled (not cold) water is a great choice. So is warm beef or chicken broth. Avoid fruit juices, as these tend to be high in sugar and may also be highly acidic.
Foods to Avoid or Minimize over the Long Term
One of the great things about dental implants is that they allow you to eat a normal range of foods once the recovery period is complete. Still, certain choices should be avoided or minimized, both for the sake of your implants and your overall health. These include:
- Strongly colored beverages such as tea, coffee, and red wine. These can stain your implants as well as natural teeth, especially when consumed in large quantities.
- Alcoholic beverages. You should drink these products only in moderation or simply avoid them altogether. Most forms of alcohol are relatively high in sugar or simple carbs.
- Sugary foods. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an occasional sweet indulgence. However, traditional desserts can promote the spread of decay-causing bacteria throughout your mouth. They can also raise blood sugar, contribute to weight gain, and compromise your health in other ways.
What to Eat Instead
A healthy diet will include adequate amounts of protein, unsaturated fats, complex carbs, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Here are some foods that are rich in these nutrients:
- Lean cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and turkey.
- Vegetarian sources of protein like tofu and tempeh.
- Cooked beans.
- Fresh, uncooked vegetables.
- Whole grain bread.
- Fresh, unprocessed fruit.
Your dentist in Cumberland may have added post-implant tips for you to consider. Talk to him or her during your next appointment. With proper care, dental implants can be the key to a delicious future.
About the Author
Dr. Fidelito Gabriel earned his DMD degree from Boston University’s school of dentistry. He’s also a Major in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and an active participant in providing dental care to low-income segments of society. You can reach his office online or by calling (401) 333-2700.