Give your mouth time to heal after your dental implant surgery.
In many ways, getting a dental implant is like restoring your missing tooth. They restore the natural appearance, function, and feeling of your missing tooth because with implant surgery they even restore even your tooth’s root. This gives your new tooth natural, deep-rooted stability and protects against future oral health issues like bone loss in your jaw. This is why dental implants are widely considered to be the best tooth replacement option out there!
However, a huge part of ensuring your dental implant procedure is successful is following your dentist’s advice while you heal from implant surgery. Doing this will help you heal faster and give you the best long-term results possible. After all, your jawbone needs time to heal and grow around the titanium metal rod that replaces your tooth root. Adjusting your diet is one of the biggest ways you can help yourself heal after implant surgery. But what does this entail? To help you understand, we’ve put together a guide on the healing process, including what foods you can eat during it.
Your Diet During the Healing Process
For the first day or two after your procedure, it’s best to follow a largely liquid diet. You’ll experience the most soreness during this period, so it’s wise to put as little pressure on your jaw as possible. It’s a good idea to consume meal replacement drinks, smoothies, soups with soft ingredients, and oatmeal. After this, you can add some soft foods that don’t require much chewing, like a greater variety of soups, potatoes, eggs, and more. You’ll need to stick to this type of food for at least 10 to 14 days.
As time passes, you can slowly add foods that require more chewing, but avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth and be mindful about how much soreness your meals are causing. You don’t want your diet to increase your healing time! Generally, you should be able to return to your usual diet about a month after your procedure, though you should still be careful about how much or what you chew on the side of your mouth that has received an implant. We understand that sticking to these dietary changes isn’t easy, but there are plenty of delicious foods you can eat that fit the bill!
Smoothies are healthy, delicious, and often pretty filling, so they’re a great meal for the first few days after your dental implant procedure. When you drink your smoothies, however, don’t forget that you shouldn’t use a straw. Straws create suction in your mouth that could do damage to the surgical site in your mouth. Thankfully, though, there are a lot of absolutely delicious smoothies out there! For delicious, healthy fruit smoothies, you can try this mango smoothie or this antioxidant-rich banana-blueberry smoothie. If you want something a little different, this spiced persimmon smoothie is a delicious, nutrient-rich option. It only has six ingredients, all of which are pretty easy to find — even persimmons are stocked in a surprising number of grocery stores these days. Smoothies are pretty versatile, so you can also make a chocolate banana smoothie as a dessert instead of as a main meal.
If you’re looking for a delicious but filling meal, soups are a great choice with options no matter where in the healing process you are. Plus, they’re the go-to food for when you’re not feeling well, so they’re the perfect recovery food! For the first day or two after your implant surgery, soups like the classic tomato basil soup or roasted butternut squash soup are great options. They’re delicious, healthy, and feel like a genuine meal—all without requiring any chewing! As you begin adding softer foods, you can start eating soups that are a little chunkier. Cheesy potato soup is one of our favorite options, especially because there are so many ways to make it! You can take a little extra time to make it on the stovetop, or you can keep it simple and make it in the crockpot.
While oatmeal might sound pretty basic, there are a lot of ways you can spice it up to make it interesting and delicious! You can make oatmeal even healthier by adding fruit like blueberries and strawberries and sweetening it to taste, or you can follow a recipe for delicious combinations like brown sugar and banana oatmeal or maple brown sugar oatmeal. These recipes are quick and simple, which is ideal if you’re not feeling up to cooking a huge, complicated meal, but they’re also filling, healthy, and don’t require much chewing! To lessen the amount of chewing you’ll have to do, make sure to cut any fruit relatively small and leave out hard-to-chew ingredients like nuts.
Eggs are another great meal that can be a nutritious addition to your menu during the early stages of your healing process. This is mostly because they’re a great source of protein, but they’re soft and don’t require much chewing. Plus, they can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. You can simply scramble some eggs with salt and pepper, then add a little cheddar or Colby Jack cheese if you want to. If you want something that tastes a little different, though, you can make scrambled eggs with extra ingredients like bell peppers and onions. This adds a lot of extra flavor without making it harder to chew, but it’s still incredibly simple and has a quick prep and cook time, which means you’ll still have your meal in front of you in about 10 minutes.
This is another easy-to-prepare protein that requires minimal chewing, making it a great choice during your recovery process. If you don’t already have a specific way you like to fix your tuna, there are a lot of great, simple recipes out there that use ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. You can try out this classic tuna salad recipe or this version that includes chopped hard-boiled eggs and red onions. Even better, tuna fish doesn’t create much of a mess at all! This means you’ll be ready to eat in about 10 minutes without having to worry about washing a ton of dishes when you’re done eating.
Potatoes are a nutritious and delicious food that, when cooked in certain ways, doesn’t require much chewing at all. A loaded baked potato is delicious, simple, and doesn’t take much prep—or create much mess—so it’s a great option when you’re recovering from a procedure. You can also go for a sweet potato, which can be sweet or savory and is full of vitamins and minerals your body needs to heal.
Cinnamon Fried Apples
If you’re in the mood for a dessert other than your basic ice cream or popsicles, fried apples are a great way to go. They’re simple to make and feel healthier than some dessert options because they contain fruit, but the cooking process makes the apples soft and easy to chew. This makes fried apples a great way to use apples you can’t eat while you’re healing but that are already in your kitchen. It’s also a great way to make use of apples that have gone a little mealy. Plus, fried apples are incredibly versatile. They taste delicious on their own, as a side dish during dinner, or alongside vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Healing from implant surgery doesn’t have to be a nutritional drag.
While adjusting your diet during the healing process after getting dental implants doesn’t sound particularly fun, there are plenty of delicious options out there. You may discover new recipes that you love so much you’ll add them to your usual rotation of meals. It’s an opportunity to discover new foods while you heal and regain the use of your missing tooth — and the results for the function and health of your teeth will be worth being careful with your diet for a few weeks! If you have any questions about the implant process or what foods to eat after implant surgery, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentz at any time.