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How Long After Dental Implants Can You Eat Normally?

How Long After Dental Implants Can You Eat Normally?

August 31, 2023

After surgery to place dental implants, you may wonder how soon you’ll be able to eat normally. There is no single definitive answer, as recovery times from dental implant surgery can vary from person to person. Generally speaking, because your gums are likely to be a bit swollen and tender, a soft food or liquid diet is recommended for the first 48 hours after surgery. Beyond that, you can start to introduce solid foods as your recovery progresses. Here’s a guide to eating after dental implants.

Factors That Affect Recovery Time from Dental Implants

The number of dental implants you receive plays a role in your recovery time and affects how long it may take before you can eat normally. If you’ve received a single dental implant, you may be able to eat almost normally if you chew on the other side of your mouth. Likewise, if you received multiple dental implants for an implant-supported bridge on one side of your mouth, you can likely eat normally within 48 hours. 

If you had surgery to replace a complete arch (upper or lower) of missing teeth with dental implants, you might not feel comfortable eating anything other than soft foods for a couple of weeks. 

Another important factor in your recovery from dental implant surgery will be how well you follow the post-operative instructions provided by your dentist. Among other directions provided, you’ll be instructed to rest, ice your jaw, take all medications as prescribed, and avoid certain foods and beverages that may irritate the surgical sites. It is also essential that you attend all post-surgical follow-up appointments. 

Foods to Eat and Avoid After Dental Implant Surgery

After your dental implant surgery, you will adhere to a soft food or liquid diet for 24-48 hours.  Foods that are easy to eat during this recovery period include 

  • Mashed fruits or veggies (applesauce, potatoes, bananas)
  • Fruit or vegetable juices or smoothies
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bone broths (cooled to lukewarm)
  • Pureed soups (cooled to lukewarm)
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Tofu
  • Soft, flaky fish

You should avoid hot foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, sticky foods, and crunchy foods until any swelling or tenderness subsides.  As you progress in your recovery, you can begin adding in healthy foods that are still easy to chew, such as ground beef, chicken, or turkey, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, and cheese. 

Eating All of Your Favorite Foods is a Benefit of Dental Implants

Even though you may have to modify your diet for the first few weeks after dental implant surgery, you’ll soon be able to enjoy foods you may not have been able to eat for years. The restoration of your bite force and ability to chew normally is a key benefit of dental implants. Plus, you’ll feel confident smiling, laughing, and enjoying life again, all the while maintaining jawbone strength, oral health, and your facial appearance.  

Book a Consultation for Dental Implants with Dr. Brian K. Dennis, DDS in Albuquerque

Top-reviewed restorative and cosmetic dentist Brian K. Dennis is a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. His qualifications include certification as a Master Clinician in Implant Dentistry. Dr. Dennis is also the only dentist in Albuquerque accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.  To book a consultation to learn more about how dental implants can improve your oral health, overall health, and quality of life, call 505-292-1051 or send us a message

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