Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth. They help patients eat, speak, and smile with complete confidence once again! If you’ve decided to move forward with treatment, you’re probably nervous about your upcoming dental implant surgery. Since your dental team provides you with aftercare instructions, you might feel pretty confident about what to do to optimize your recovery. But do you know what things you shouldn’t do? Here’s what you should avoid following your procedure to ensure successful treatment and faster healing.
Osseointegration is a biological process in which the jawbone develops and grows around the dental implants. It’s a crucial part of recovery because that fusion is what provides durable and long-lasting results. Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect the mouth’s healing process and greatly hinder your recovery following dental implant placement. If you’re a smoker, your dentist will develop a plan to help you quit smoking before or after the procedure.
After any type of oral surgery, it’s strongly recommended that you avoid rinsing vigorously for at least 24 hours. It’s especially critical to avoid doing so after receiving dental implants, as excessive rinsing can aggravate the site and cause bleeding. While cleaning your teeth, gently swish mouthwash or warm salt water around your mouth to disinfect the areas. But don’t spit it out! Let it naturally flow out of your mouth over the sink.
For the first two to three days following your dental implant surgery, you should steer clear of strenuous exercise and other intense activities. Your body needs as much rest as possible after the procedure so it can heal quickly and properly. Plus, intense physical activity can increase blood flow and cause bleeding around the surgical site. Wait until you’re cleared by your dentist before engaging in any physical exertion.
Eating Hard or Hot Foods
Immediately following dental implant surgery, you should stick to a diet of soft and pureed foods. Do not eat hot, hard, or spicy foods because they can affect the mouth’s healing process, an essential part of recovery. Allow a few days for your implant site to heal before progressing to more solid foods. Once you start eating firmer meals, be sure to chew on the side of your mouth away from the dental implant.
Use a Straw
Avoid drinking with a straw after your procedure! The suction your mouth creates can dislodge the blood clot that’s formed over the implant site, potentially creating a dry socket that can cause significant pain. Also, stay away from carbonated drinks (i.e., soda and sparkling water) as they could irritate the gum tissue around the implant site.
Are you ready for your dental implant surgery? By avoiding the things outlined above, you can ensure a breezy and smooth-sailing recovery!
About the Author
Dr. Nelson Howard is passionate about helping his patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. After graduating from the UCLA School of Dentistry, he completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the V.A. Medical Center in West Los Angeles. Dr. Howard uses his vast clinical knowledge and experience to give patients a smile they can confidently show off. If you have any questions about the recovery process following dental implant surgery, he’ll be more than happy to answer them for you. Visit our website or call (760) 599-6559 to schedule an appointment.