Dental implant surgery is a fairly major surgical procedure, so it is important to take the proper post-operative measures to ensure a good recovery. More than likely, one of the first things you’ll feel after the surgery is hunger because you will have had to abstain from eating for about six hours before undergoing the procedure.
Obviously, your ability to chew is going to be temporarily affected, so it is strongly recommended that you stick to a diet of soft foods for at least 10 to 14 days after the surgery is completed, or until your mouth is no longer tender. So what foods can you eat, and which ones are off-limits? Below are six post-surgery meal ideas that will help you get through your recovery period with flying colors.
1. The first couple of days after the surgery, you’ll want to stick to all-liquid meals if at all possible. This includes smooth soups (nothing too chunky), home-cooked broths and bouillon, meal replacement drinks, protein drinks, fruit smoothies, and various juices. To ensure healthier teeth, aim for nutritional drinks that have high calcium content. In addition, when choosing fruit smoothies try to consume citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, grapefruits, etc.) in moderate amounts. Although they are excellent sources of vitamin C (a key nutrient for gum health), citrus fruits are highly acidic, which can damage tooth enamel.
2. Cooked cereals are an excellent choice for nutritious, easy-to-chew nourishment. Consider oatmeal topped with finely mashed blueberries, grits with melted soft cheese or cream of wheat topped with a pat of butter and cinnamon.
3. If you would like to have a more savory breakfast, choose scrambled eggs with soft cheese. Not only is this delicious and easy to chew, but it also has powerful nutritional benefits for oral health as well. Bear in mind that eggs are an excellent source of phosphorus, a mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy teeth. In addition, egg yolks are rich in Vitamin D, which facilitates the absorption of calcium in order to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
4. Sweet potatoes are an excellent recovery food, not only because they can be easily boiled and mashed for optimal “chewability,” but they are also rich in vitamin C, which as mentioned earlier is essential for gum health.
5. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach pack a one-two punch for oral health: They’re easy to chew when cooked to a soft texture, and they contain abundant levels of calcium, which is one of the primary nutrients for healthy teeth. Try sautéing kale or spinach (or a combination of both) in olive oil or clarified butter for a delicious and nutritious recovery food.
6. If you’re a meat lover, you don’t have to feel abandoned. As long as you choose tender, moist meat (e.g., chicken, turkey or beef) that you can blend with potatoes or vegetables in a food processor, you can still create a savory meal that your tender gums and teeth will appreciate. Also consider soft cooked fish such as salmon, cod or halibut, which are not only easy to chew, but they contain nutrient-rich Omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce the inflammation that contributes to swollen gums.
No two mouths are alike, and no two individuals will have the same exact reaction to oral surgery. The foods listed above can provide you with a general guideline as to what’s safe to consume after dental implant surgery, but if you have any questions, please be sure to contact the dental professionals at West Chester Dental Group. Here’s to a successful post-surgery recovery!