Currently, over 3 million Americans have dental implants, and studies show that, on average, dentists fit another 500,000 patients with full or partial implants every year. It's no wonder, given that implants can ensure the 69% of Americans ages 35 to 44 missing one or more teeth have a new, full mouth of teeth with a success rate of 98%. If you believe dental implants are the best way to improve your smile, it is essential to know how to care for them -- immediately and over the long-term.
24 Hours After Surgery
Technology in dentistry is ever improving, but -- as it stands -- it is wise to follow a soft diet for the first 24 hours during tooth implant healing or, in most cases, the first 24 hours after restorative dental care. Patients should stick to soft foods that do not require chewing, like applesauce, oatmeal, grits, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and cold or lukewarm soups. Depending on the procedure (exactly how it is done, how many teeth are being replaced, etc.), dentists may advise you eat a soft food diet for up to seven days. Keep in mind that foods that are extremely hot or extremely cold, or foods that may easily get stuck to teeth, are also not advisable.
What About Long-Term Care?
Once your dentist gives you the O.K. and deems that you are in the final stages of the tooth implant healing process, you can typically start re-introducing normal foods. Of course, always follow your dentist's advice first and foremost. One of the many benefits of dental implants is that, once they have healed, they look, feel, and function much like natural teeth. That means you'll be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods again. You should also take care of implants like you would take care of your regular teeth, brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist at least biannually.
More and more Americans are getting dental implants -- and with good reason. Keep dental implants in top condition with an appropriate post-surgery diet and proactive dental care thereafter.