Losing your teeth can be a real toothache! Imagine the difficulty of eating certain foods, being stuck with mushy food, the embarrassment of flashing a toothless grin, or the struggle of speaking with a lisp. Oh well.
Fortunately, dental implants could salvage your situation. For starters, you can find Honolulu trusted dentists at Pacific Dental & Implant Solutions – implant specialists dedicated to restoring teeth through a client-centered approach and innovative tech.
But what about food restrictions? We’re aware certain foods are bad for our teeth. Does it mean you should skip such foods if you have dental implants? Before we dive in, let’s get a better understanding of what dental implants are.
What A Dental Implant Involves
Dental implants replace lost natural teeth. They also blend in with the surrounding teeth. The prosthetic tooth comprises three parts, namely:
- The implant acts as an artificial root.
- An abutment that sits on top of the implant.
- A crown that provides the aesthetic look and feel of a natural tooth.
Implants offer several advantages over traditional dentures, bridges, and crowns because they securely integrate into your jawbone, providing added strength for biting and chewing. These sophisticated replacements for missing teeth can be as strong and reliable as your natural teeth.
That said, you shouldn’t go wild in the kitchen. Even though you can eat most things with dental implants, consider the following restrictions for at least ten days after the procedure.
1. Hard Foods
Nuts, hard candies, taco shells, chips, and other crunchy snacks fall on the list of foods you should avoid. Usually, these types of foods require a lot of chewing and can shift the implant out of place. If this occurs, you may require surgery to reposition it. To avoid the hassle, wait a couple of days before you can satiate your crunchy food cravings.
2. Sticky Foods
If you have a sweet tooth, it’s tempting to indulge in taffies, caramels, gummy bears, peanut butter, and other sticky confections. However, these goodies can get stuck to the tooth surface and cause inflammation of the gum tissues around the implant (peri-implantitis). Instead of taking your chances with these options, opt for healthier alternatives like applesauce or frozen yogurt.
3. Acidic Foods and Drinks
We can’t deny the sour satisfaction of a slice of lemon or a jar of pickles. And who can pass on a glass of freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice on a hot summer day? Unfortunately, acidic foods can erode your dental implants, weakening them and eventually leading to failure.
Also, avoid carbonated drinks – soda, energy drinks, etc. These can irritate the implant site, leading to inflammation and added discomfort. If you must enjoy these treats, rinse your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth to buffer the effects of the acid.
4. Spicy Treats
Yeah, your grandma is a great cook. We get it. But if you’ve just had dental implants, you may have to hold off on her fiery dishes for a week. Spicy ingredients can irritate your gums and increase the likelihood of infection. Likewise, peppers can cause tooth sensitivity, implying that you should avoid them until the implant area fully heals.
The same goes for hard-to-chew foods – tough steaks come to mind. Thus, that spicy, well-marinated steak can wait. The idea is to limit jaw movement to avert the risk of inflammation or dental implant failure.
Aftercare is Critical
Once the implant site heals, you can enjoy your favorite foods. Implants can help you chew better than you did with missing teeth. That said, adhere to your doctor’s aftercare instructions, including the foods you should avoid. To that end, the following care tips to ensure quick healing so you can resume your normal eating routine:
- Keep the implant site clean by brushing and flossing regularly.
- Eat a balanced diet complete with anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens and omega-3s.
- Avoid smoking – this may slow down the recovery process.
- Take antibiotics and pain relievers as prescribed.
- Avoid drinking through straws as they can cause suction that may dislodge a blood clot, leading to an infection.
- Consult your dentist if you experience persistent pain or swelling.
Implants are a long-term investment. Thus, what you do to ensure the longevity of your prostheses matters – especially after the procedure. Likewise, regular dental checkups and cleanings can also extend the life of your implants.
Dental implants allow you to indulge in everything you used to – including your favorite foods. That aside, mind what you eat and practice preventive care. The first few days following the surgical procedure are usually the most critical. Hence, treat your implants with care if you hope to enjoy your favorites as you once did, minus the dental discomfort.
Key Consideration for Long-Lasting Dental Implants