17 Foods to Avoid After Dental Implants (17 Foods to Eat)

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Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Foods to avoid after dental implants and foods to eat after implants | My Dental Advocate

If you’ve recently undergone dental implant surgery, you are likely excited to return to your everyday eating habits.

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the foods you consume in the weeks following your procedure.

Certain foods can cause damage to your implants and slow the healing process.

 Recommended Reading: Dental Implants | The Ultimate Guide

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Why Avoid Certain Foods After Dental Implants?

After dental implants, properly caring for your mouth is vital to ensure successful healing and implant integration.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the type of food you eat. Certain foods can cause damage to your implant site, delay the healing process, and even cause implant failure.

In addition, Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods that can potentially damage your dental implants.

Additionally, acidic and spicy foods can irritate the gums and cause discomfort around the implant site.

 Recommended Reading: How Long Before Dental Implants Feel Normal? (Comprehensive Guide)

Common Reasons

  • Damage to the implant site: Hard and crunchy foods can cause damage to the implant site and delay the healing process. These foods can also cause the implant to become loose or even fail.
  • Discomfort and irritation: Spicy and acidic foods can irritate the gums and cause pain around the implant site. This can lead to inflammation and delay the healing process.
  • Infection: Sticky and chewy foods can get stuck in the implant site and cause infection. This can lead to implant failure and other oral health problems.

Follow your dentist’s instructions and eat a soft, nutritious diet to promote healing and good oral health.

17 Foods to Avoid After Dental Implants

As a dentist, I recommend avoiding certain foods after dental implant surgery to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.

But, remember, following the dentist’s individualized recommendations is always a good idea, as each patient’s circumstances may differ.

Foods to Avoid

  • Hard candy: Can potentially crack or dislodge the implant.
  • Popcorn: Small kernels can get trapped around the implant, causing irritation or infection.
  • Nuts: Their hardness can put too much pressure on the implant.
  • Ice: Chewing on ice can damage the implant and slow down healing.
  • Raw vegetables: Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery can apply undue pressure on the implant.
  • Apples: Biting into an apple can displace the implant, especially during healing.
  • Sticky foods: Caramels, taffy, and other sticky treats can pull at the implant and cause discomfort.
  • Crusty bread: Sourdough or baguettes can be too hard for the implant area during recovery.
  • Chips: Their sharp edges can irritate or damage the implant site.
  • Steak: Tough meats can be difficult to chew and may strain the implant.
  • Fried foods: These can cause discomfort and are not ideal for healing.
  • Alcohol: It can hinder the healing process and may interact with medications.
  • Hot beverages: Hot coffee, tea, or cocoa can cause discomfort and prolong recovery.
  • Spicy foods: They can irritate the implant site and slow down healing.
  • Acidic foods: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar-based dishes can increase sensitivity and irritation.
  • Seeds: Small seeds from fruits like raspberries or strawberries can get trapped around the implant, leading to infection.
  • Raw sushi: The pressure from biting into raw fish or rolls can negatively impact the implant during healing.
 Recommended Reading: The Dairy Dilemma: Can Consuming Dairy Products Impact Dental Implant Success?

17 Foods to Eat After Dental Implant Surgery

Following dental implant surgery, consuming foods that promote healing and prevent irritation or damage to the implant site is essential.

Here are some nutritious and easy-to-eat options to consider during your recovery period.

Foods to Eat

  • Smoothies: Packed with fruits, vegetables, and proteins, smoothies are gentle on the implant area and provide essential nutrients.
  • Pureed soups: Warm (not hot) soups made from vegetables or legumes are easy to consume and nutrient-rich.
  • Scrambled eggs: Soft and easy to chew, eggs are a good source of protein that won’t strain the implant site.
  • Cottage cheese: Rich in protein and calcium, cottage cheese is a soft food option that supports bone health.
  • Applesauce: A great source of fiber, applesauce is gentle on the implant site and easy to eat.
  • Mashed potatoes: Soft and nutritious, mashed potatoes can be fortified with gravy or cheese for extra flavor and calories.
  • Yogurt: A good source of calcium and probiotics, yogurt is gentle on the gums and beneficial for oral health.
  • Oatmeal: Warm, soft, and packed with fiber, oatmeal is easy to eat and promotes healing.
  • Pudding or custard: Soft and smooth in texture, these desserts can help satisfy cravings without harming the implant site.
  • Soft pasta: Cooked until tender, pasta can be eaten with delicate sauces like Alfredo or marinara.
  • Fish: Steamed, baked, or poached fish is tender, easy to chew, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support healing.
  • Meatloaf: Ground meats are easier to chew and can be seasoned and prepared to be moist and tender.
  • Ice cream or sorbet: Cold treats can temporarily relieve discomfort and help soothe the implant area.
  • Hummus: A smooth, protein-packed spread made from chickpeas that can be eaten with soft pita bread or crackers.
  • Bananas: Ripe bananas are soft, easy to chew, and provide essential nutrients like potassium.
  • Macaroni and cheese: Cooked until soft, this comfort food is gentle on the implant site and provides a source of carbohydrates and protein.
  • Steamed or boiled vegetables: Soft-cooked vegetables like zucchini, squash, or carrots are easy to chew and rich in vitamins and minerals.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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It is suggested to avoid hard candy, popcorn, nuts, ice, raw vegetables, apples, sticky foods, crusty bread, chips, steak, fried foods, alcohol, hot beverages, spicy foods, acidic foods, seeds, and raw sushi after dental implant surgery.

Following dental implant surgery, consuming foods that promote healing and prevent irritation or damage to the implant site is essential. Some of the easy-to-eat foods are smoothies, pureed soups, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, applesauce, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, pudding or custard, mashed avocado, creamed spinach, soft pasta, fish, meatloaf, cooked cereals, ice cream or sorbet, hummus, tofu, polenta, bananas, macaroni and cheese, steamed or boiled vegetables, and soft fruits.

Yes, certain foods can negatively impact dental implant success. Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods can cause damage to the implant site and delay the healing process. Spicy and acidic foods can irritate the gums and cause pain around the implant site, leading to inflammation and delay in healing. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and hot beverages can also hinder the healing process.

My Experience & Expertise

Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth but require special care and attention after surgery.

As a dentist with years of experience, it is crucial to avoid certain foods that can cause damage to your implants or slow down the healing process. Hard, sticky, and chewy foods should be avoided, as well as acidic and hot foods and beverages.

Instead, it is recommended to stick to soft and easy-to-chew foods and maintain a healthy and balanced diet to promote healing and overall oral health.

In addition, patients should follow their dentist’s specific instructions and recommendations for post-operative care to ensure the success and longevity of their implants.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!

About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

Matt Hannan, DDS Signature | My Dental Advocate

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