Eating may not be the first priority after receiving dental implants, at least in the short term. Oral surgeons often advise patients to wait a little, or at least until the anesthesia wears off. After a couple of hours, you may be able to start eating soft foods.
You probably won’t have to wait that long to eat. It’s actually advised that you do, because it is important to get nutrients, especially while you are healing. Maintaining your nutrition is always important. However, during the healing process, the right foods will help you feel better, experience less pain, and recover faster. It’s probably better that you don’t wait too long; many patients fast for up to six hours before surgery.
What Should You Eat?
Soft foods and liquids should be consumed to protect the affected areas. Hard foods such as nuts can worsen the pain and swelling, so stick to soft foods like yogurt, scrambled eggs, or oatmeal. Eating applesauce, soft bread, macaroni and cheese, and soups allow you to get the food you need and avoid trauma that can delay healing.
You won’t have to stick to the soft diet forever. Most people heal enough within 10 to 14 days that they can start to have more than just soup, juice, or protein drinks. Over the first few days, however, a diet that doesn’t require chewing is best, and you may have to continue this for longer. In many cases, pain medication can be helpful. Foods that are hard, crunchy, and chewy should be avoided until you feel better and your oral surgeon says it is okay to ween of a soft diet.
Risks of Not Following Food/Diet Protocols after Surgery
Eating foods that are too hard after dental implant surgery will exacerbate the pain. It can also cause more bleeding than there should be. If you drink through a straw, you may get a dry socket caused by a blood clot. This can prolong healing, so sip from the glass to avoid this issue. After a few weeks, the site should heal and improve so you can start using a straw again.
Eventually, you will be able to eat the same way you did before surgery. It just takes a little patience. If you follow the proper advice, the initial recovery period can be shortened and the dental implants will be as strong as your natural teeth.