what can I eat with dental implants

Are there certain foods to avoid if you have dental implants? Do you need to eat or chew a different way if you’re replacing all of your teeth? Are there dietary considerations you don’t know about? Believe it or not, your DFW dental implants are designed to make it feel like you have a natural smile all over again. Still, there are some things you’ll need to know about eating and applying pressure, particularly when it comes to different types of implant restorations. 

Can I Eat Hard, Chewy, or Crunchy Food with Implants?

With the right dental implants, you can eat any food you want. Including gum, taffy, nuts, steak, carrots…you get the point. Modern dental implants are physically stronger than your natural teeth. Once they’re completely integrated, they can withstand practically any amount of biting pressure that comes with normal eating. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can use your dental implants as tools to open packages, bite your nails, or tear packaging tape. Treat them exactly the same way you would your natural teeth. Any atypical end-to-end biting or excessive force could cause unwanted strain to your smile. All that being said, there really aren’t any foods that are off limits. 

However, removable appliances like implant-supported dentures can lift out of place if you’re eating something sticky 

Dietary Considerations: Eating with All-on-4 vs. Overdentures

Depending on the type of dental implants you have, your dietary considerations can vary significantly. 

All-on-4 implants provide the most natural, comfortable option at mealtime. They essentially work the same way as natural teeth, so everything from chewing to swallowing is simple. 

That isn’t necessarily the case for overdentures. Overdentures—also called “implant stabilized” or “implant supported” dentures—are a clip-on prosthesis that snaps to dental implants underneath. Like a traditional denture, it features a plate that rests across the roof of your mouth. But it doesn’t have as strong or firm of biting pressure as an All-on-4 treatment does. These dentures are more stable than a traditional version, but for the most part, you will still want to take smaller bites and stick to slightly softer textures of food. 

Overdentures have a wide variety of uses. If you’re planning to get dental implants in DFW, you want to be sure of which type of restoration that you’re getting. Some treatments involve a temporary or long-term overdenture, depending on which dentist you’re seeing. 

Do I Need to Clean My Implants After Eating? 

As long as you’re brushing and water flossing each day, you don’t necessarily need to clean your mouth every time you eat. That can be pretty hard to do if you’re out running errands or spending time in the office. 

While it’s never a bad idea to brush if you have time, there are some simple things you can do to keep your dental implants and mouth fresh after eating. First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water at your meal and throughout the day. Water naturally flushes away bacteria and leftover food particles. Second, try to make a point to rinse your mouth out well with water after you eat. Just step away for a few minutes, find the restroom, and thoroughly rinse your mouth out at the sink. The vigorous swishing will help get between your implants and gums.

All of that being said, if you can’t clean your mouth except for twice a day, that’s completely fine. Your implants are made to stand up to what the day has to throw at them. As long as you’re brushing and flossing them before you go to bed, then again in the morning, you’re doing exactly as you need to. 

If you’re wearing a removable overdenture, consider taking it out and rinsing it after every meal. 

How to Remove Food Stuck Around Dental Implants

Just like natural teeth, there will probably be some times where food gets stuck around your dental implants. Keeping your implants clean each day will help to reduce any spaces developing that could harbor food. That being said, certain parts of your mouth—and certain types of food—tend to need more attention than others. 

If you’re out and about, consider keeping some toothpicks or floss picks in your car. You won’t be using the flosser end, but the pointed tip can still come in handy. Carefully use one of these hygiene aids to grab or pull away any stringy meats or vegetables that might be caught along your implants and gum tissues. 

Once you get home, make sure you clean that space well with a water flosser. As a general rule of thumb, there’s usually more buildup in our mouths than what we can actually see or feel. Your water flosser will help flush away any residue that you can’t reach with a toothpick between meals. 

Dietary Considerations: Eating Immediately After Implant Surgery

When you get dental implants—even if it’s a “teeth in a day” solution—the first several days after your implant installation will require a bit of extra care. We recommend sticking to a softer diet at first, while your mouth is healing. Your interim dental appliance (what you wear while your mouth heals and implants integrate) won’t be made to hold up to as much biting pressure as your permanent implant restoration. So, for those first few months, you’ll gradually progress to firmer foods but still probably want to take smaller bites. 

Eating softer foods will reduce the irritation to your gums and implant sites as they heal. The good news is that this stage of implant treatment is short-lived. Once everything is fully integrated, you’ll be able to eat whatever you like. 

Enjoy the Foods You Love

DFW dental implants give you your life back. From eating the foods you want to, to enjoying social gatherings around the table, you’ll gain the confidence you deserve to smile and share meals with other people. 

Find out if dental implants are right for you. Reserve a consultation at ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry to speak with one of our skilled implant specialists.