Unlike dentures which only enable patients to retain 20% of their chewing abilities, dental implants allow patients to retain up to 90% of their chewing ability. Therefore, dental implants are a great option to consider if you would like to continue living your everyday life, without having to forfeit parts of your lifestyle and habits.
Nevertheless, after having dental implants fitted, patients will need to keep their mouths and teeth in shape by keeping up with high standards of oral care. Part of this process includes avoiding trauma or pressure on newly fitted dental implants. Similarly, patients will also need to avoid cracking or breaking dental implants by avoiding certain foods.
Discover below what you should avoid eating with dental implants, to ensure they are kept in their best possible shape.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant, in short, is a fake tooth fitted into the gums of a patient. Dental implants are made up of two components: the screw and the crown, which mimic one's natural tooth. Dental implants replace the natural functioning of a tooth, which may have been lost either due to an accident or health reasons.
Dental implants are viable options for those with either a single missing tooth, or several teeth, as they are long-term solutions. Alternatives to dental implants include dentures, fixed or partial bridges. Though dental implants can be expensive, they should be considered to avoid further problems.
What Can I Eat with Dental Implants?
What you can eat depends on how recently you have had your dental implants put in. Generally, there is a timeline you can follow to help avoid causing problems with your dental implants. Find below a brief timeline of what you cannot eat following getting dental implants and why.
How Long After Dental Implants Can I Eat Normally?
First 24 Hours – Patients can expect some discomfort a few hours after the surgery, including minor swelling, bruising and bleeding in and around the implant area. Because of this, it’s recommended that hot foods are avoided as they can cause further bleeding.
Soft foods like lukewarm soups, yoghurt, pureed veg and shakes are ideal food choices as they cause no irritation or strain on newly implanted teeth (as long as straws aren’t used).
First Week – After overcoming the first 24 hours, a soft diet can now be introduced (after coming off a purely liquid). Good nutrition is imperative to any healing process, so patients should avoid skipping meals.
Foods like soft pasta, spinach, soft fish and fruits are examples of foods that not only contribute to your nutrition but are safe to eat with dental implants as the implant site heals.
3-6 Months After – This point in the healing process is crucial, as it is the period in which osseointegration, also known as bone fusion, takes place. The best thing to do during this stage is to be extra careful and avoid disturbing the implant as much as possible.
When it comes to which foods to eat during the osseointegration process, it is imperative that you avoid anything that makes noise when you crunch them – for example, nuts, toffees or boiled sweets, and crackling/hard raw vegetables.
Post-Osseointegration – At this point, the bone fusion is complete and you are free to eat whatever you desire, for example, apples & raw veg, chewy meats and nuts & seeds.
Foods to Avoid to Keep Your Dental Implants In-Shape
Although you will be able to eat most foods following dental implants, there are some foods that you could consider lowering, or avoiding, to help keep your dental implants in the best shape possible long-term. Below, find some of the food and drinks that you can lower your intake of to ensure your dental implants, and other teeth, are kept in good condition.
Strongly Coloured Beverages (Tea, Coffee and Red Wine)
Many people love the likes of tea, coffee and even strongly coloured alcoholic beverages like red wine. All of these drinks are common in people’s diets, so cutting them out altogether may be difficult or just simply unobtainable depending on your lifestyle.
However, these types of beverages can stain your implants as well as your natural teeth, and especially so when consumed in large amounts. Therefore, if this is something you are concerned about then cutting down where possible could help.
Most forms of alcohol are rather high in sugar (and carbohydrates), which can be bad for overall oral health. Consequently, posing more risk to the overall health of your dental implants. Whether you have dental implants or not, alcoholic beverages should be drunk in moderation.
Although it seems like a no-brainer, traditional sweets/desserts/chocolate etc. can promote the spread of decay-causing bacteria. Consequently, meaning you may have to take another trip back to the dentist.
Sugary foods can also raise your blood sugar, contribute to weight gain and compromise your health in many other ways. However, sugary foods and treats can still be had - but, it is best in moderation. This way, you’ll stay healthier and your dental implants will last longer.
What Not to Do with Teeth Implants?
While there’ll probably be a significant amount of inconvenience involved in the healing process, the hassle is usually worth it in the long run. Once they’re fully healed and bonded with your jawbone, dental implants allow you to enjoy all of your favourite foods once again.
However, it’s imperative you avoid certain foods and drinks for the first few weeks and months after dental implants are fitted, if you want your treatment to be a stress and complication-free success.
Similarly, avoiding or lowering other habits such as smoking, intense exercise or even rinsing your dental implants too thoroughly should also be avoided. You can still continue living and enjoying everyday life, treating yourself to good foods and drinks, just all in moderation.