Foods You Can and Cannot Eat After Dental Implant Surgery

Foods You Can and Cannot Eat After Tampa Dental Implant Surgery

If you are considering Tampa dental implants, you must commit to a strict eating regimen to ensure a successful surgery. Otherwise, you are at risk of disrupting the implantation process as well as other complications! The good news? You’re only taking a short break from normal eating habits, and the end result will be well worth it. Here we provide a detailed guide that explains the foods you can and cannot eat following surgery and a glimpse into what post-op recovery may look like.

Immediately After Surgery

Immediately following surgery, your teeth and jaw will be delicate and may need to apply pressure with a gauze sponge to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, continue putting gauze in your mouth and apply firm pressure for 30 minutes. Reduce swelling by placing an ice pack at the surgery site for 15 minutes at a time. Eating is permitted, but we highly recommend sticking to a soft food diet that includes the following:

  • Smoothies
  • Protein shakes
  • Applesauce
  • Cold, smooth soups
  • Cold broth
  • Meal replacement drinks
  • Hydrating, cold liquids

During this phase of the recovery process, you should avoid hot liquids or soups as this can irritate the gum tissue and create other complications. Also, DO NOT use a straw! The suction will put pressure on your mouth and dental implants.

5 to 7 Days After Surgery

The week following surgery is when your implants start to integrate with your jaw. During this phase, you should implement a “no-chew” diet filled with protein-and-nutrient-rich, soft foods and lots of liquids… all of which will accelerate the healing process. We recommend the following (broken down by category):

Fruits + Vegetables: Avoid eating fruits with seeds and only consume soft textures (steaming and mashing may be necessary.)

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Avocado
  • Mashed or steamed potatoes
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Mashed, steamed, or boiled carrots

Grains + Bread: Grains assist in digestion and nutrient absorption, so it is important to incorporate them as soon as possible into your recovery phase. We recommend the following:

  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Polenta
  • Couscous
  • Pasta
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Rice
  • Soft bread
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Muffins

Protein: Getting ample amounts of protein is critical for healing as it helps to rebuild and repair tissue. Fortunately, there is a variety of soft, protein-rich foods that are post-op friendly. These include:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tofu
  • Soft beans
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies with protein powder or blended soft nuts (no straws!)

Safe-to-Eat Desserts

Just because you had dental implant surgery doesn’t mean you have to neglect your sweet tooth. Just be smart about it. Here are some of our go-to soft textured desserts that are okay to start eating the week following surgery:

  • Jell-O
  • Pudding
  • Ice-Cream (without nuts, hard candy, etc.)
  • Milkshakes (no straws!)
  • Smoothie Bowls
  • Popsicles

2 to 4 Weeks After Surgery

The implant integration process will continue for at least a month following surgery. In fact, it is a gradual process that can take up to 6 months! So, even though you can start to introduce normal foods you’re your diet, you should be mindful of what you can and cannot eat. During this phase of the recovery process, we recommend the following:

  • Soft meats such as shredded chicken, ground meat, or fish
  • Cooked grains such as pasta, quinoa, couscous, or rice

The Foods You Should NOT Eat After Surgery

The list of foods you should 100% avoid following your dental implant surgery includes the following:

  • Crunchy, hard foods such as granola, popcorn, pretzels, chips, taco shells
  • Tough foods such as steak, raw fruits, and raw vegetables
  • Sticky foods such as toffee, gummies, caramel, dried fruit
  • Spicy foods such as chili peppers, hot sauce, spicy salsas
  • Foods with seeds, such as fruits, vegetables, or seeded bread
  • Extremely hot or extremely cold liquids or foods
  • Soda and other carbonated beverages

Following the “S” Rule

In short, here are some simple “S” words for you to remember:

  • Yes to Soft foods
  • No Sharp foods such as chips and popcorn
  • No Soda
  • No Straws
  • No Spitting

Muscaro & Martini – South Tampa’s Leading Cosmetic Dentists

When in doubt, always contact your dentist if you have a question about foods you should and should not eat following your Tampa dental implant surgery. At Muscaro and Martini, we will walk you through the dental implant process, from pre-surgical steps to post-operative recovery. To learn more about our dental implant services or to schedule an appointment, please call our South Tampa dental office at (813) 839-6999.

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