Whether you have recently had dental implants placed or are just starting the dental implant process, you may have heard that you will need to become familiar with a “soft food diet.” But what is a soft food diet, and why is it important to your dental implant healing process?
A soft food diet is just as it sounds, although not quite as scary: a soft food diet entails foods that are easier to chew or do not require any chewing. Your type of dental implant procedure (single or multiple dental implants or the DIEM® Full Arch Replacement) will dictate your specific soft food diet, but soup, eggs, pasta, fish, smoothies, and applesauce are all examples of suitable foods to eat. You should avoid hard or chewy foods, such as a crunchy apple or sticky caramel, or tough meats like steak.
While you may be thinking that a soft food diet is restrictive, keep in mind it is only temporary, and there are a lot of foods you will be able to enjoy while you recover. A well-balanced diet is critical to general health and can aid in the healing process. Your oral surgeon will instruct you on specific foods to eat and which ones to avoid.
The length of your soft food diet depends largely on how well you are healing. Other individual factors, such as overall health before the dental implant procedure, the amount of bone present in the jaw, and whether or not bone grafting was involved will all determine your healing time.
During the healing process, it’s important to remember that your new dental implants are fusing with your jaw bone. This process is called osseointegration and is why your dental implants will result in a secure foundation for chewing and will function just like a natural tooth. This new tooth root is incredibly strong but needs time to completely heal. Other dental replacement methods lack this “root” due to not being affixed to the natural bone, which is why dental implants are a secure, long-term solution.
During the healing period, your oral surgeon will want to see you periodically to check on your progress. Too much chewing of “harder” foods too early can lead to complications, such as risk of infection and less-than-optimal integration of the dental implant into the bone. By staying on your recommended soft food diet, you are promoting better healing and the best possible outcome. Once your oral surgeon has determined successful healing, you can resume eating and enjoying the foods you love.
For more information on dental implants or to schedule a consultation, please call our office today and find out if dental implants are the right choice for you.