Dental implants act as your own teeth, replacing an individual or series of teeth with an artificial teeth. This procedure can be done for a number of many reasons, but one of the biggest anxieties we’ve seen in patients about this procedure is how dental implants will effect what they can eat. Food provides us with enjoyment and enjoying a meal with others is often a key part of any social engagement.
Dental implants allow for patients to retain 90% of their chewing ability vs. dentures which retain only 20% of chewing ability. What this means in practical terms is that most patients with dental implants are able to eat most anything that can be cut with a fork.
Immediately After the Procedure
Following your procedure, Dr. Bowyer will advise you on what you can and cannot eat. However, the first week or two will be the period where chewing will be most difficult and where there is a greater risk of complications. During this initial period, it is recommended that you stick to softer foods than you will have to in the long-term. Anything hard to chew should be avoided in favor of cooked, easy to consume foods. You will also want to avoid acidic, sugary and alcoholic beverages and using straws, as this could lead to developing “dry socket”.
Long Term Eating with Dental Implants
Since you will not have 100% chewing ability with dental implants, you will want to make some long term considerations when you are deciding what to and to not eat.
Can you eat nuts with dental implants?:
Carefully. After the initial recovery period, nuts are still a food group that you should consider carefully before snacking on. Nuts are especially hard, and could cause problems. While you don’t need to avoid completely, you should try to be careful when enjoying nuts.
Can you eat candy with dental implants?:
Most candy. As a dentist, we wish that patients could avoid candy and other sugary items altogether. However, having a piece of chocolate or other candy bar is an indulgence that helps improve the quality of life. With dental implants, it is best to avoid chewing on hard candies or very sticky candies, like caramels or taffy. However, enjoying a few M&M’s or other candy is completely fine with dental implants.
Can you drink red wine, coffee or black tea with dental implants?:
Yes, with immediate teeth brushing. You may know that red wine, coffee and black coffee have the ability to permanently stain and discolor your teeth. Dental implants are even more susceptible to this staining. Consume these beverages in moderation and be sure to brush your teeth immediately after consumption to decrease the amount of staining. However, enjoying water or other non-staining beverages (white wine) will always be the safer option when trying to avoid discoloration.
Can you eat apples with dental implants?:
Cut them first. Avoid biting straight into an apples if you have dental implants – after all this may have been the action that lead you to needing dental implants. Apples, and other hard fruits and vegetables, should be avoided in the weeks immediately following your procedure, and consumed with care in the long run. If you can, try to cook or cut the fruits & veggies into small pieces before consuming.
Can you eat popcorn with dental implants?:
Not recommended. Popcorn has the unique ability to get stuck between your teeth, cut up your gums, and then there are those pesky kernels that show up in the middle of handfuls. These kernels are hard and can lead to the cracking of dental implants. Probably best to avoid or take caution when enjoying this snack.
Can you eat ice with dental implants?:
Not recommended. Chewing on ice is always hard on teeth, whether you have dental implants or not. Like popcorn, chewing on ice can lead to the cracking of your implants. If you can, try to avoid chewing on ice.