After Dental Implant Surgery: Diet & Tips Toronto, Ontario
Recovery from dental implant surgery is usually quick, with most patients returning to their daily activities within a few days. However, there are diet restrictions, and some precautions patients need to take to protect the new implants and the incision sites. Understanding the recovery timeline and knowing what to expect makes the process easier.
Dental Implants Recovery Timeline
Recovery times depend on how many implants are placed, your overall health, and the complexity of the surgery. Most patients return to work within two days, but remain on a soft diet for a week or two. Recovery takes longer if you have multiple implants or need bone grafts to build up the jawbone. Bone grafts typically take a week or two to heal sufficiently.
Pain and swelling are most noticeable in the first two to three days following implant surgery. They can be controlled with pain medication and ice packs and usually subside within 3-7 days.
Dental Implants Aftercare
Good oral hygiene is essential in successful healing after dental implant surgery. The mouth is full of bacteria that can lead to an infection if you do not follow your post-operative care instructions. When you are home after surgery, you need to rest, eat healthy foods, and stay hydrated to encourage healing. Spend the first day or two on your couch and avoid strenuous activities or exercise. During the first 24 hours, do not touch, probe, spit, or rinse the mouth.
Brush your teeth daily, but avoid the surgical site and do not brush or touch the implant site. You can periodically use a saltwater rinse, swishing it gently and letting it drain out of the mouth (do not spit). During the first 25 hours, some blood in the mouth is normal. During the first few hours at home and whenever needed the first day, bite down on some gauze to encourage blood clotting and reduce bleeding.
Pain & Swelling
You will experience some pain for the first two or three days after surgery, but it is easy to control. Dr. Firouzeh will write a prescription for pain relievers if needed. Many patients can alleviate discomfort using over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen and Aleve. Follow the directions for taking them without skipping doses for maximum pain relief.
Ice packs help reduce swelling after dental implant surgery. Wrap ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables in a towel and place them on the cheeks and jawline, using them frequently during the first 48 hours after surgery. Keep your head elevated, sleeping in a recliner or with your head propped on pillows for the first 48 hours. Do not engage in activities requiring a lot of movement.
Dr. Firouzeh prescribes oral antibiotics to all patients undergoing dental implant surgery to prevent surgical site infection. Take the medication according to directions. We may also prescribe an oral antibiotic rinse to use twice daily for the first week.
A liquid diet and lots of water are priorities on the day of surgery. You can switch to soft foods the next day. A soft food diet gives your mouth time to heal without damaging the incision site or aggravating soft tissues that are already inflamed. It also prevents food particles from crunchy or splintered foods from lodging in the incision.
Diet for After Dental Implant Placement
In the first 24-48 hours after implant surgery, a liquid diet is a must, but you need to keep your strength up and get plenty of nutrition. Options include:
- Milkshakes or smoothies (no straws!)
- Liquid food supplements
- No pulp juices
- Sports drinks
- Warm (not hot) broths
- Pudding or mousse
You can add creamy, soft foods to your diet on the second day. Wondering what to eat after dental implants? There is a surprising variety of acceptable foods available. If you are unsure whether a food is soft enough, try mashing it with a spoon. If you cannot easily mash it, wait a few days before trying to eat it. There are many options for your soft food diet to keep meals interesting, including:
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft tofu
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
- Delicate fish (no breading)
- Ground beef
- Diced or shredded chicken
- Steamed vegetables
- Refried beans
- Smooth peanut butter
- Ice cream
- Baby food
Avoid too much sugar, alcohol, and anything crunchy, sticky, or chewy the first several days. At the one-week mark, you can slowly add in other foods. Within a few weeks, you can eat any foods you like.
Do’s and Don’ts of Implant Surgery Recovery
It is essential to take care of yourself following dental implant surgery. Rushing your recovery can put your health at risk. The do’s and don’ts below can help you heal without complications
- Do rest and gets lots of sleep
- Do keep your head elevated
- Do stick to a liquid or soft diet for several days
- Do brush your teeth and rinse following Dr. Firouzeh’s instructions
- Do use ice packs
- Do take pain medication regularly
- Do not exercise or lift anything heavy the first three days following surgery.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol
- Do not use a drinking straw
- Do not chew gum or eat hard or crunchy foods
- Do not skip follow-up appointments
If you have any questions or concerns following dental implant surgery, contact us at 416-778-8084. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. If necessary, we can schedule an appointment with Dr. Firouzeh for you.