Most patients are advised to eat a soft food diet for the first week of recovery, gradually working up to chewier and harder foods afterward. Although this may restrict normal dietary habits, there are still numerous foods available for each nutritional need. Consider any of the following options as examples of safe food choices:
- Grains and starches: most cooked grains are a good way to avoid hard food. For breakfast, try oatmeal and similarly soft cereals. For lunch or dinner, you can include noodles, soft bread, rice, grits or mashed potatoes.
- Fruits and vegetables: softer fruits such as bananas, peaches, nectarines, melons and all berries are usually good choices when ripe. If you would normally take a bit out of the fruit remember to cut it into pieces first. Although most raw vegetables are too crunchy for implants, cook or steamed vegetables are good alternatives, including broccoli, carrots and squash. Sauces and soups are some of the easiest and safest options of all.
- Protein: red meat and poultry can be tough on implants at first, so they should be consumed sparingly, or carefully. Safer options for protein include eggs, fish and seafood and beans. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are also good sources of protein. Couscous and quinoa, while being a wheat and grain, also contain a surprising amount of protein.
- Beverages: water, water and more water! Staying hydrated is vital to your immune system and overall health, and nothing will keep you hydrated more efficiently than water. Alcohol on the other hand, should be avoided during recovery.
Generally, foods that are hard, crunchy or chewy should be set aside for at least the first week. Not only will they cause discomfort, but they may very likely result in the dental implant’s failure to heal here are some examples of what to stay away from:
- Hard foods: many snack foods, such as candies, pretzels and dried fruit are dangerous for implants. Nuts and raw crunchy vegetables pose a similar risk.
- Chewy foods: anything that requires more than a couple rounds of chewing may cause implants to pull away from gums. Rolls, salads, cookies, gummies, hard fruit and of course chewing gum are all good examples of this. Unless red meat is thoroughly tenderized or cooked in a stew, it should probably be avoided at first.
- Anything that may get stuck in teeth: while all food is likely to leave some particles behind, some are notorious for becoming stuck between teeth and within gums popcorn, seeds and chips are a few examples.
- Particularly hot or cold foods: unfortunately, very high or low temperatures may cause pain or open the wound. For typically hot meals, allow the food to sit for a bit( it can still be warm) before consuming.