When you are missing teeth, eating becomes a challenge. You have to give up some of your favorite foods. While dentures and bridges can help restore some of your ability to chew, they can also be challenging to eat with. Dental implants, on the other hand, look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

A dental implant is a device that is inserted into the jawbone like a tooth root. Once healed, this device can support a crown, bridge, or overdenture. The replacement teeth are permanent and not removable, so you treat it just like your natural teeth. The team at Mount Zion Dental in North Miami Beach, Florida specializes in dental implant placement.

However, this is an invasive surgery and thus requires special care for a few months while healing occurs. In this article, we’ll discuss the foods that you can and can’t eat following surgery, as well as why you should avoid dairy for awhile after surgery.

Aftercare following Dental Implant Surgery

Once you have healed from your dental implant surgery, you’ll have no food restrictions at all. You’ll be able to eat basically anything you like.

However, immediately following the surgery, you’ll need to stick to a cool liquid diet for the first 24 to 48 hours. This means avoiding hot foods and beverages. You will also want to avoid drinking through a straw or from a bottle because this could put pressure on the implant site. Finally, you’ll want to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for a few days because this could impact your body’s ability to heal.

Then, as you feel ready, you can transition to a soft foods diet, which you’ll need to stick to for a few weeks, while osseointegration occurs.

Osseointegration is the process of the jawbone healing around and fusing with the implant to create a stable base for your artificial tooth/teeth. During this process, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Stick to the recommended diet
  • Eat regularly
  • Add protein supplements

If you are diabetic, check your glucose levels frequently

Foods to eat after dental implant surgery

You will need to stick to a liquid diet for the first 24 to 48 hours. This includes foods and beverages such as:

  • Applesauce
  • Smoothies/protein shakes
  • Cold soups
  • Jell-O
  • Pudding
  • Fruit juices/nectars
  • Milkshakes

After the first few days, you can begin to include soft foods in your diet, including:

  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Fish
  • Soft fruits, such as peaches and bananas
  • Steamed veggies
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft bread
  • Pasta

Foods to avoid after dental implant surgery

Immediately following dental implant surgery, you’ll need to avoid dairy products. For the first few weeks, you’ll need to avoid foods that are acidic, chewy, crunchy, spicy, sticky, or tough. You’ll also want to avoid foods and beverages that are extremely hot such as coffee and hot soups.

Why no dairy after dental implant?

You’ve always been taught that dairy is good for your body. It contains calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals that support your overall health. However, studies have shown that you should avoid these foods and beverages for a while following dental implant surgery.

Dairy products contain saturated fats that have been shown to trigger inflammation in the implant site. Inflammation could advance into infection, which could ultimately lead to implant failure.

In addition, dairy products can cause bloating, nausea, and vomiting. These effects are unpleasant alone, but vomiting introduces stomach acid into the mouth, which can also cause inflammation and infection of the implant site, ultimately leading to implant failure.

If your implant fails, the dentist will need to remove it. If possible, a new implant can be placed once you heal from the removal. However, in some cases, re-implantation is not possible, and you’ll need to go with conventional dentures or a traditional bridge.

What to expect with dental implant recovery?

Every patient is different, so recovery time varies. There are several factors that impact your recovery time, including:

  • Number of implants
  • Location of implants
  • Smoking habits
  • Alcohol use
  • Oral hygiene habits
  • How long your tooth was missing
  • Whether additional procedures were required

Implant placement is a fairly invasive surgery. In most cases though, only local anesthesia is used. This means that you will be able to drive yourself home. However, if you require oral or IV sedation, you will be groggy for some time following surgery. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you until you wake up.

You can expect the following after implant surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Minor swelling
  • Minor discomfort
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dizziness (due to anesthesia)
  • Nausea/vomiting (due to anesthesia)

If any of these symptoms are extreme or do not resolve within a few days, you should contact the dentist. We can get you back in the office to determine if there is a major issue with the implant.

Schedule Your Consultation with Mount Zion Dental

If you are missing one or more teeth, schedule your consultation with Dr. Maria Cook and the team at Mount Zion Dental in North Miami Beach. Dr. Cook has more than 20 years of experience as a dentist. She offers compassionate, quality, comprehensive dental care to her patients. She will make sure that you are comfortable with any and all procedures before moving forward with them.

We are located at 951 Northeast 167th Street, Suite 208 in North Miami Beach. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We are available on Sundays for dental emergencies only. We offer financing options including CareCredit, LendingClub, and an In-House Dental Payment Plan. We are also part of the Lifetime Smiles for Veterans program.

We are looking forward to meeting with you and providing you and your family with the best dental care in Miami Beach.

Post-Implant Surgery Care FAQs

Dr. Cook at Mount Zion Dental in North Miami Beach, Florida, specializes in dental implant placement. If you have any questions, she and her team will be happy to address those with you at any time. Below are some of the most common questions we hear about foods and beverages to eat and avoid following dental implant surgery.

  • When can I drink milk after dental implant surgery?

    You should be able to add milk and other dairy products back into your diet once you transition to a soft food diet. However, you will need to check with the dentist to be sure.

  • Can I eat yogurt after dental implant surgery?

    You should avoid yogurt immediately following implant surgery. However, once you transition to a soft food diet, you should be able to eat yogurt and other dairy-based products and benefit from the vitamins and minerals it contains.

  • What not to eat after implants?

    During the healing process, you should avoid foods that are acidic, chewy, crunchy, spicy, sticky, or tough. These foods can cause the implant to shift, which impacts healing and may lead to implant failure.

  • What drinks to avoid after dental implant surgery?

    For the first few days, you’ll need to avoid alcoholic beverages, as they can have an impact on healing. You will also want to avoid beverages that are extremely hot or cold and avoid drinking with a straw or from a bottle. Finally, carbonated beverages should be avoided as well.

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