Whether you are just starting the dental implant process or you have already had dental implants placed, it is safe to assume you have heard of a “soft food diet.” But what is considered okay for the soft food diet, and why is it imperative to your dental implant healing process?
We can assure you that while a soft food diet sounds intimidating, it is not as scary as it seems. A soft food diet consists of just that – soft foods that are easier to chew or do not require any chewing at all. And you can still maintain a balanced diet, full of vitamins and nutrients, which are key to general health and the healing process.
Once you hear the words “soft food diet,” you may be thinking it’s incredibly restrictive; keep in mind it is only temporary! Plus, there are a lot of delicious foods you can enjoy while you recover. The type of dental implant procedure you undergo, whether it’s single or multiple dental implants or the complete All-On-Four restoration, will dictate your specific soft food diet. Soft foods include soup, eggs, fish, all types of cooked pasta, and juice smoothies, which are all ideal foods to eat that are rich in good nutrients. The hard or chewy foods to avoid are crunchy fruits and vegetables or tortilla chips with those sharp edges. Specific foods to eat and which ones to avoid will be detailed by your oral surgeon.
A soft food diet is necessary and very important because your new dental implants are going through a natural process called osseointegration, which means they are fusing with your jaw bone. Dental implants offer a secure option for patients who want a dental restoration that functions just like a natural tooth, and the osseointegration process ensures that the new tooth root is incredibly strong after it has completely healed. Other dental replacement methods, like bridges or temporary dentures, lack a new “root” and are not attached to the patient’s jaw bone.
The duration of your soft food diet depends. Your oral surgeon will monitor your healing process and consider your individual factors, such as overall health and amount of healthy bone present in the jaw, and if any other procedures were performed prior to your dental implant placement. Healing time varies from patient to patient. Vigorous chewing of “harder” foods too early can cause complications, and you can be at risk of infection or less-than-optimal integration of the dental implant into the bone. You must adhere to your advised soft food diet to promote better healing and the best possible outcome. You can resume eating and enjoying the foods you love once your oral surgeon has determined your healing process is complete.
For more information on dental implants or to schedule a consultation, please call Greater Charlotte Oral & Facial Surgery and find out if dental implants are the best option for you.