March 29, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

Male model for dental implants | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryFollowing dental implant procedures, you have to be careful about what you eat. The implant sites need time to fully heal in order to avoid infection. Implant posts also need time to fully integrate into your jawbone.

Therefore, you should avoid chewing at the dental implant site when possible, which affects what you can safely eat after implant placement. Here’s what to eat following a dental implant procedure.

Foods to Eat

During dental implant surgery, you are given numbing agents that help preserve your comfort. While these numbing agents are still active, you are liable to accidentally bite your tongue while chewing. Additionally, foods that require significant chewing increase your risk of accidentally chewing food near the recently placed dental implant.

A general rule of thumb when recovering from dental implant surgery is to stick with soft foods so that you do not have to spend a lot of time chewing. On the first day following treatment, you will mostly eat foods that are either very soft or in liquid form. Softer and liquid foods prevent the need to chew.

Immediately following your dental implant surgery, you should stick to foods like:

  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Ice cream
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soups and broth
  • Pudding

You can move on to slightly more solid foods the following week that require slightly more chewing, such as:

  • Pancakes
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Pasta
  • Mac and cheese
  • Soft bread

A couple of weeks after your surgery, depending on how quickly you heal, you will be able to add chewy foods back into your diet, like meat or raw veggies. In general, you should avoid chewing on the dental implant side of your mouth for a minimum of two weeks.

Foods to Avoid

There are four main categories of foods you want to avoid following dental implant surgery:

  • Crunchy foods like nuts or chips
  • Sticky and sugary foods like caramels and candy
  • Acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes
  • Hot or spicy food and drinks like coffee, soup, or peppers

Crusty bread, tough steak, apples, carrots, and the like require a lot of chewing, which is why you need to avoid any such foods, lest they delay your healing time or lead to more serious complications.

Sugary foods especially feed the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth, which may not only increase your risk of infection but also jeopardize the health and success of your dental implant, causing it to fail. It is important to avoid any food with high sugar content or added sugar. 

After You Heal

Once fully healed, your dental implants will act as regular, natural teeth. Once you get approval from your dentist, you can go back to your preferred eating habits without having to worry about infection, dislodging the implants, or any other complications.

Learn More About Dental Implants

Mercer Island Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers dental implant surgeries on Mercer Island. Learn more about dental implants on our website.