Dental Bridge Recovery Timeline | When You Can Eat After Procedure

Dental Bridge Recovery Timeline | When You Can Eat After Procedure

March 28, 2024

After getting a dental bridge placed, one of the most common questions patients have is when they can resume normal eating habits. The answer is you can generally resume eating and drinking within a few hours to 24 hours after getting a dental bridge placed, depending on the specific technique and materials used. After 24 hours, you can get back to your normal eating. After getting a bridge placed, the gums and teeth need time to heal and adjust to the new dental work. Eating too soon could displace the bridge or irritate the gums. Follow your dentist’s post-procedure instructions and take care when first eating again to allow proper healing.

While initial food limitations help protect the bridge, many patients can transition back to their normal diet within about 2-4 weeks post-procedure. What you eat can impact your recovery time and affect the longevity of your restoration. This article will guide dietary modifications after dental bridge placement and tips for smooth healing.

Eating After a Dental Bridge

  • Short-term: During the first 24 hours, dentists recommend sticking to soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. This minimizes pressure on the bridge and allows the gums to adjust.
  • Gradual Reintroduction:  Over the next 2-4 weeks, you can gradually reintroduce regular textures to your diet. Focus on chewing gently and avoiding hard, sticky, or chewy foods that could damage the bridge.
  • Complete Healing:  Full recovery for normal eating typically takes around 2 weeks for simple bridges and up to 2 months for more complex procedures.

How Long After the Dental Bridge Can I Eat?

After a couple of hours to 24 hours, you can get back to your normal eating. The gums and teeth need this initial time to heal and adjust to the new dental work. Eating too soon could displace the bridge or irritate the gums.

Recommended Foods to Eat During the First 24 Hours

The ideal diet after bridge placement involves nutrient-rich foods that are soft and relatively smooth in texture for the first 24 hours. Helpful options include:

  • Soups, stews, and broths: Excellent sources of hydration and minerals. Choose creamy, pureed varieties or strain chunks for a smoother consistency.
  • Yogurt and ice cream: Provide protein, calcium, and probiotics without chewing. Avoid chunky add-ins.
  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes: Soft, smooth, and high in fiber and vitamins.
  • Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat: Naturally creamy cereals that are filling and simple to swallow.
  • Pureed fruits and vegetables: Blend cooked carrots, squash, apples, or bananas into smooth, nutritious purees.
  • Scrambled eggs: An easy protein source – prepare very soft and moist.
  • Cottage cheese: High protein and calcium. Blend into a puree consistency if desired.
  • Ground meat: It has a soft texture when thoroughly cooked – a good source of iron and protein.
  • Protein shakes: Provide concentrated nutrition.
Recommended Foods to Eat During the First 24 Hours

Eating After Dental Bridge With Teeth Removal

If teeth were extracted to prepare anchor sites for the bridge, recovery would take longer.

Chewing avoidance after extractions: Chewing must be avoided in those areas for around 6-8 weeks as the bone and gums remodel and strengthen.

Integration of implant sites: The implant sites require 3-6 months to fully integrate with the jawbone before chewing stress for an implant-supported bridge. 

During the initial healing phase, a soft diet is recommended to minimize pressure on the implant sites. You can consume soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soups. So post-op diet changes are more restrictive with extraction procedures, progressing in the phases below:

Weeks 1-2: Liquids and very soft foods.

Weeks 3-4: Soft, mushy foods that require little chewing.

Weeks 5-6: Firm but still soft foods like eggs, ground meat, and casseroles.

Weeks 6-8: Transition back to regular textures with caution on surgery sites.

With no extractions, dietary guidelines mostly focus on avoiding putting pressure on the bridge itself initially. Regular food textures can often be resumed more quickly by chewing gently on uninvolved teeth.

Chewing Adjustments After Bridge Placement

Besides choosing softer foods, chewing must be modified after a bridge. Your dentist teaches proper techniques for chewing safely around the new restoration:

  • Chew equally on both sides of the mouth to prevent excessive force on the bridge.
  • Allow food to rest on both back molars at once before chewing.
  • Avoid chewing directly on the bridge crown initially. Gradually add pressure as the bridge integrates.
  • Cut food into smaller pieces to reduce the chewing intensity required.
  • Chew slowly and gently – do not bite into foods forcefully.
  • If chewing on one side causes bridge discomfort, shift to the opposite side.

Adapt these tips during early healing until your dentist confirms you can chew normally. Rushing the chewing process risks damaging or dislodging bridge work.

Woman eating an apple after dental bridge recovery | Enhance Dental Centre

Conclusion

Immediately after the dental bridge procedure, from a few hours to 24 hours, only soft purees and well-cooked mashed items should be consumed, chewed lightly, and on the opposite side of the mouth from bridge sites. Hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy foods must be avoided entirely at first. Complete healing after dental bridge placement involves gradually progressing from a liquid diet back to normal solid foods over 2-4 weeks on average, depending on the extent of the procedure.

Understanding the detailed dental bridge process from planning to final placement helps you know what to expect with your treatment. Closely following your dentist’s instructions for post-procedure care ensures your mouth heals smoothly and your bridge integrates well for optimal restoration of dental function. While initially limiting your diet, new bridges let you regain the ability to eat comfortably over time.

Disclaimer 

The information on VancouverDentistBC.ca is for general purposes and not dental advice. We do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Consult a qualified dentist for specific issues. Use of this site implies acceptance of our terms; if you disagree, please do not use the site.

Disclaimer

The information on VancouverDentistBC.ca is for general purposes and not dental advice. We do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Consult a qualified dentist for specific issues. Use of this site implies acceptance of our terms; if you disagree, please do not use the site.