You may wonder if getting dental implants means certain foods will be off the menu, as is the case with dentures and bridges.
We’re happy to report that in the long-term, dental implants allow you to enjoy all your favorite foods. However, immediately after getting implant surgery and during the recovery process, your diet will be limited.
Dietary Restrictions During the Osseointegration Phase
In the days after getting dental implants — or maybe even the first couple of weeks — you’ll need to stick to liquids and soft foods. Your mouth needs time to heal; trying to eat anything else can cause pain and irritate the tender gum tissues.
Once your mouth heals, you won’t have to avoid chewing any longer and you can expand your diet. However, you still need to be cautious. For as long as your oral surgeon recommends, steer clear of crunchy, hard or extra-chewy foods.
During this period — called the osseointegration phase — the titanium implant roots are fusing with the jawbone. To ensure this process is completed without a problem, don’t eat foods that put extra pressure on your implanted teeth.
No Dietary Restrictions After Osseointegration
Once your oral surgeon confirms that the titanium implant roots have fully fused to your jawbone, you’ll have the green light to eat anything you like.
The osseointegration process stabilizes dental implants in the jawbone, making them secure. Just like your natural teeth, your implanted teeth will stay put. They won’t shift, even if you eat hard, crunchy or chewy foods.
Making Smart Food Choices After Implant Surgery
As strong and durable as your new replacement teeth are, maintaining your oral health is still important when you have dental implants. After all, you don’t want to suffer further tooth loss.
To prevent potential problems, oral surgeons and dental professionals recommend eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. Optimally, your diet should consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats or plant-based proteins. Try to avoid foods high in sugar or sodium. As for beverages, tap water, milk and unsweetened tea are your best options.
Be sure to brush and floss after you eat, but wait for 30 minutes if you’ve eaten anything acidic to avoid damage to your tooth enamel. If brushing and flossing aren’t possible, chew sugarless gum to keep cavity-causing bacterial plaque in check.
Are dental implants right for you? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and are ready to explore your tooth replacement options, make an appointment with the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
As tooth-replacement specialists, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield can answer your questions and offer expert advice on the best way to restore your smile. To discuss dental implants with the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.