Dental implants are high-quality, surgically-implanted replacement teeth. Implants include a metal implant post, an abutment, and an artificial dental prosthesis. They look and function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat, chew, and speak normally.
The procedure occurs in several stages, requiring several months of healing time to allow the implant post to fuse with the jawbone. Aftercare is critical to ensure the success of the implant. The most important aspect of dental implant aftercare is diet: it is crucial for patients to monitor their diet immediately after the procedure and avoid foods that may cause complications.
Hard, Crunchy Foods
Hard, crunchy foods must be avoided after dental implant surgery. These foods can become lodged in the implant site and cause pain, bleeding, and damage to the sutures. Hard food can also irritate or cut the gums around the implant, lengthening the recovery process. Some hard foods to avoid:
- Potato and corn chips
- Raw vegetables
Food with Crumbs or Small Seeds
Foods containing small seeds or crumbs can easily become lodged in the implant site and cause inflammation, abrasions, and infections due to bacterial growth. Keeping the implant site clean and free of debris during recovery is vital. Foods with small seeds or crumbs include:
- Fruits with seeds
- Breakfast cereals
- Seedy vegetables
If food does become lodged in the implant site, rinse gently with salt water by shaking your head from side to side and allowing the water to fall from your mouth into the sink rather than spitting.
Spicy or Acidic FoodsAcidic and spicy foods can irritate the soft tissue and gums, leading to complications such as bleeding or delayed healing. Spicy or acidic foods to avoid:
- Hot sauces and salsas
- Citrus fruits
Sticky foods can easily irritate the implant site and cause inflammation. If food sticks to the implant site, it can lead to infection. Sticky foods can also become stuck to the implant post or abutment, loosening them and elevating the risk of implant failure. Ensure you avoid:
- Nut butter
- Jellies and jams
- Gum and candy
Potential Complications After Dental Implant Surgery
If your dentist’s post-surgery instructions, the procedure has a very high success rate; if not, you may be at risk for several unwanted complications, including infections like peri-implantitis and implant failure.
Symptoms of complications following dental implant surgery include:
- Swollen or tender gums around the implant site
- Excessive and persistent bleeding for more than a week after surgery
- Bad breath
- Severe pain
If you have any of the following symptoms, contact Valley Dental Care immediately for an emergency dental evaluation.
In addition to modifying your diet to include non-chew foods, there are several other ways to reduce the risk of post-surgical complications. Rest with your head elevated to facilitate drainage and reduce swelling. Take OTC medications and use an ice pack intermittently for 15 minutes on and off to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine to prevent infection.
Restore Your Smile With Valley Dental CareTo avoid complications, it is essential to stick to the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist and attend follow-up exams after each stage of the dental implant procedure.
Valley Dental Care provides top-notch dental implant procedures and aftercare. Call our dental offices in Aurora: (630) 892-2193 and Oswego: (630) 551-7000 today for a consultation and learn how you can restore your smile, oral health, and confidence.