A dental implant has many benefits. It can allow you to eat the foods you love, protect you from bone and gum loss, and keep your smile looking great. However, depending on the type of implant you get, the process may take some time. While mini implants can be set in a single visit, most implants need around three months for your jaw to adjust to the implant before your dentist can insert a crown that allows you to eat normally. Most people adjust to eating with a temporary bridge or spacer in place within a few days. But there are several reasons why you may want to use this time to change your eating habits.
Smaller Bites Can Lead to More Intentional Eating
For the first few days after your surgery, you are likely to need a soft-food diet. This includes foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, and applesauce, which don't require chewing. Even without chewing, you will likely want to take small bites to accommodate for any swelling or soreness in your mouth. When your dentist approves, you can add a wider variety of foods to your diet. Because you should avoid chewing directly on your implant while it is healing, you may find it easiest to cut your food into small bites.
Taking smaller bites is a well-known way to enjoy your food, be more aware while eating, and be more aware of portion size. If you've ever wanted to try intuitive eating or other eating methods that involve small bites as one of their tools, you can use your healing time as inspiration to get started.
You May Find Unhealthy Foods to be More Work
For many people, grabbing a burger or burrito may be a simple, quick way to eat. However, when you have to cut your food into manageable bites, you may find that these fast choices, which are often less healthy, are also more work than a balanced, sit-down meal. Additionally, a lot of unhealthy foods, such as chips, cannot be eaten easily without risking your implant. You can take your healing time to weed out these unhealthy foods.
Changing Your Eating Habits May Protect Your Implant
Perhaps the best reason to change your eating habits during your healing time is that it can promote better healing. A high-protein diet can help you heal faster and prevent infection. A diet low in acidic foods and sugary beverages can protect your healing gums. If you are getting an implant, you should take the time to consider how it can impact your overall health. You may find this is the perfect time to build some healthy habits.