What To Eat After Dental Implant Surgery

What To Eat After Dental Implant Surgery

The best thing about getting dental implants is that you get to eat whatever you want. Implants are a high-quality replacement for natural teeth. Before you get excited thinking about what to eat after dental implant surgery, you should know one thing. You have to wait a while before you can start eating your favorite food.

As with any surgical procedure, you have to go through a recovery period. Your jaw will need time to heal after the implant is inserted. During the recovery period, you will be feeling some sensitivity and discomfort so eating whatever you want is not ideal during this time. Read on to know what you should be eating after you have implant surgery.

What to Eat After the First 24 to 28 Hours After Dental Implant Surgery

For the initial 24 to 28 hours after dental implant surgery, you should avoid hot foods and drinks. Instead, drink only cold liquids and soft food so that the implant site will not be irritated.

Of course, it is still important that you get a nutritious and balanced diet especially since you are in the healing stage. You might be wondering how to achieve that when the options you have are limited.

You do not have to worry. There are planned soft dental diets you can choose from with meals that give you enough nutrition to help you recover from surgery.

Here are examples of food that you can eat:

  • For vitamins – Mashed potatoes, pumpkins, or bananas paired with hummus, avocados, or apple sauce
  • For protein and healing boost – Scrambled eggs, salmon, or protein shakes
  • For nutrients and hydration – Vitamin-rich broths or blended soups
  • For dessert and to ease swelling – Fruit shakes or smoothies with no dairy in it

As you can see from the suggestions above, a soft dental diet does not sound that bad.

What Not to Eat After the First 24 to 28 Hours After Dental Implant Surgery

Now here comes the hard part – identifying the things that you can’t have during the first 24 to 28 hours after dental implant surgery. It is important to follow this guide to avoid any complications during the healing process. Otherwise, you will have to extend the recovery stage.

Hard fruits and vegetables

These food items may be the most nutritious but they are hard to chew so you should avoid them. Pick soft fruits and vegetables like bananas or soft-cooked carrots.

Hot and spicy food

It is best to avoid anything that is heavily seasoned with spices since they can irritate the surgical site and increase the risks of infection. This will only slow down your recovery. To be safe, if you want something hot, just stick to room-temperature food.

Popcorn or crunchy snacks

Snacks like popcorn, seeds, nuts, and any other crunchy food should be avoided. Food particles can get lodged on the surgical site and this will cause pain, discomfort, and inflammation.

Chewy and sticky sweets

You should refrain from eating sweets, especially taffy and caramel. These chewy and sticky sweets stick to your teeth and can even dislodge your implant if you are not careful. If you have a sweet tooth and you are craving, go for a fruit shake instead.

Dairy products

Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are known to trigger nausea and vomiting after an operation so it is best to avoid them. Dairy products can also cause inflammation in oral tissues and this will not only slow down your recovery but will also damage your teeth and gums


You have to refrain from drinking alcohol after your dental implant surgery. Consuming alcoholic drinks can increase swelling and slow down the healing process. Plus there is also the danger of the alcohol interacting with any post-op medications that you may have.

Drinking with a straw

You might think it is a good idea to drink through a straw after your dental implant surgery. But this is actually a bad idea. You can get a blood clot and end up with a dry socket. Sip from a glass instead. You should use a straw again when the surgical site has healed.

What to Eat Weeks After Dental Implant Surgery

It takes months for a dental implant surgery to heal so the first few weeks is still a crucial time in the healing process. It is important that you still watch what you eat during this stage.

For the first few weeks after dental implant surgery, you should be following a soft food diet. You should avoid anything crunchy, sticky, hard, and anything that requires you to open your mouth widely as you eat it. Also, you mustn’t consume anything hot. Stick to a lukewarm temperature so that your food will not cause irritation and discomfort on the surgical site.

Get your nutrition by steaming or boiling vegetables so that they turn soft and become easy to chew. You should stick to soups, pasta, and mashed potatoes. If you want meat, stick to shredded chicken or fish since they are soft and easy to chew.

When To Start Eating Normally After Dental Implant Surgery

This will depend on your healing rate. Remember, after the dental implant surgery, you have temporary crowns. After a few months, you will go back to the dentist for the final placement of your permanent crowns. Learn more about the dental implant procedure here.

You can ask your dentist when you can start eating normally during your next appointment and he can answer depending on how well you are healing.

One thing we can help you with is to ensure that you heal faster through your diet. To heal faster, you need to have a protein-rich diet. But meat and nuts are also on the list of things that you should avoid eating. Don’t worry – you can get a lot of protein from other sources. Check out this list:

  • Soft fruits like bananas, avocadoes, mangoes, peaches, and pears
  • Steamed or boiled vegetables
  • Soups and stews with soft meat
  • Broiled fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft bread
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Thin pasta
  • Pancakes and waffles

The food items on the list will give you enough protein to help you heal. Also, they are soft enough for you to chew on while you are still on the recovery stage.

Food That You Should Avoid When You Have Dental Implants

Even after healing and having your final and permanent implants on, there are food items that you should avoid as much as you can. Avoiding these foods would help ensure your dental implants will last for a long time. To know more about how long dental implants last, click here.

Seeds and nuts

As mentioned earlier, seeds and nuts can be easily lodged between your teeth and implants. If you force them out improperly, your implants can get damaged.

Crunchy and hard food

If you bite down on hard food, you can feel pain in your teeth. That impact can cause your implant to fail. The general rule for people with implants is that if it makes a noise when you chew it, you should stop eating it.

Pizza crust

Everybody loves pizza but from this point on, you have to avoid biting on the crust. Pizza crusts are often tough, chewy, and crunchy. It can dislodge your implant if you are not careful.

Sticky and chewy food

Although your implants are permanent, there can be instances when eating sticky and chewy food can make them loose or dislodge them. To be on the safe side, refrain from eating these treats.


These pesky kernels can get stuck between your teeth and do damage to your gums. They are hard enough to cause cracks in your dental implants. So the next time you watch a movie, forget about the popcorn and go for a tooth-friendly snack.

Coffee, tea, and wine

Hot beverages and alcohol are not recommended during the healing process. But once you are fully healed, you should only take coffee, tea, and wine in moderation. These drinks can stain your natural teeth and your dental implants. If it can’t be helped, just make sure you brush your teeth and do a mouth rinse right away so that the acids won’t linger on your teeth.

Chewing ice

This may seem like a relaxing habit for some but chewing on ice is always hard on teeth – implants or natural ones. Chewing on ice can cause your implants to crack so it is best to stop this habit.


You can only eat apples if you cut them up into bite-sized pieces first. Biting straight into an apple with your dental implant can loosen up your implant and can even do damage to it. In fact, you should not bite into any hard fruit or vegetable at all. Cut them up into small pieces first.

Last Thoughts

Dental implants can last decades and are the next best thing to natural teeth. It helps you get back your ability to chew well and enjoy your favorite food. Plus it also improves your looks and gives you more confidence.

But it takes months for you to heal from a dental implant surgery. You need to give your jaw and gums time to heal and this can only be done by watching what you eat. Holding out for a few months will be a small sacrifice compared to the many years you will be able to enjoy your favorite food once you have fully recovered.

And of course, always remember to see your dentist regularly. Just because your implants can’t have cavities does not mean it no longer needs professional care. Taking care of your dental implants does not differ much from taking care of natural teeth.

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