What Foods Are You Limited To with Dentures?

What Foods Are You Limited To with Dentures?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

If you are considering getting dentures or have recently had them fitted, you may be wondering what foods you can and can’t eat with them. While people who wear dentures can still enjoy most foods and drinks, there are some that should be limited or avoided completely in order to keep your mouth healthy – and to keep your dentures clean and in good shape for years to come.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are custom-made, removable artificial teeth that can provide a natural-looking smile and can restore your ability to eat and speak effectively. Full dentures are used when a person has lost all of their teeth (top and/or bottom teeth), and partial dentures are used if only a few teeth are missing. Partial dentures are held in place by attachments to nearby natural teeth to keep the denture firmly in place, whereas full dentures are custom-fitted to fasten into place directly onto your gums. 

Dentures are made of various strong, hard-wearing materials that resemble the appearance of your natural teeth and gums. Nowadays, they are designed to be more comfortable and functional than before; and with proper care, they should last up to 10 years or more.

Food Limitations with Dentures

Once you are fully adjusted to wearing and eating with dentures, you will be able to eat most foods without a problem. However, there are certain foods that may always be more difficult to eat, such as hard or sticky foods, foods with small pieces (such as seeds) that can easily get stuck in or underneath your dentures, and foods that require a lot of pressure when biting.

Denture adhesive may help for eating foods which require a strong bite, but that isn’t a favored option for everyone. Avoiding or limiting hard-to-eat foods will help to prolong the life of your dentures and to keep your mouth healthy.

Tips for Eating with Dentures

Avoid hard-to-chew meats. Red meat can be hard to chew, so try to replace it with other protein sources such as poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes. You can make red meats ground, stewed, or slow-cooked to make them softer and more tender.

Avoid sharp food and food with hard particles. Food with hard or sharp bits such as popcorn, nuts, and seeds can be very painful if particles get lodged or stuck beneath the dentures. It can also be difficult to remove food that gets trapped between the teeth in your dentures.

Avoid sticky foods such as hard or chewy candy, chewing gum, and peanut butter. Anything sticky is likely to dislodge the denture or get stuck to the dentures.

There are sugar-free, nonstick chewing gums available, made especially for people with dentures or who have had dental work. Chewing gum can be beneficial for people with low saliva production, because a certain amount of saliva is required to maintain the seal between your gums and your dentures (much like a suction cup).

A good alternative to sticky peanut butter is hummus. It is filling and full of protein; and although it isn’t as sweet as peanut butter, it does come in a variety of flavors. Hummus can be enjoyed as a snack with crackers.

Enjoy softer snacks. Other good snack options include cream cheese on crackers, veggie chips, yogurt, cereal, and pudding. Get flavors you enjoy so you will look forward to the snack.

Avoid hard foods. Foods such as corn on the cob and raw fruits and vegetables, including carrots and apples, can put too much pressure on dentures when biting into them. Try peeling and cutting up apples, steaming hard vegetables, and eating loose corn instead of on the cob to prolong the life of your dentures.

Know which sweet treats are best. If you have a taste for sweet things like candy, then rest assured that chocolate is still on the menu. As long as you avoid chocolate that contains toffee, nuts, or other chewy or hard pieces, it can still be enjoyed! A healthy alternative could be a banana or sliced mango or peach. For a real treat, blend up some fruits with ice cream or yogurt to create a delicious smoothie.

It is important to eat a healthy and nutritious diet for overall health and well-being, and it can take time and patience to adjust to eating meals while wearing dentures. If after a few weeks you are still finding them uncomfortable or painful, or if you have a problem such as mouth sores, it is important to discuss your concerns with your dentist so that adjustments can be made. 

Adjusting to Life with Dentures

Initially, dentures can feel uncomfortable and unnatural, and it can take a while to get used to wearing them. At first, the mouth may create an excessive amount of saliva which can cause them to slip; you may also develop sore spots while your mouth adjusts to them. Dentures can also change the way you eat. The facial muscles take time to adjust as you learn how to chew with them.

It is advisable to start with soft or pureed foods. Foods like soup, cooked cereals, applesauce, eggs, and pudding are a good place to start. Be mindful not to hold liquids in your mouth for too long before swallowing, as this can loosen dentures.

As you move on to solid food, it is important to eat slowly. Try to eat smaller pieces until you are more used to wearing your dentures. Chewing too hard, eating large pieces, or chewing on one side of the mouth can dislodge the dentures and cause discomfort.

Dentures can alter the way in which your mouth detects sensations, such as hot and cold, due to the insulating element of the dentures. This means you may be unable to feel the temperature of food, which could mean burning your mouth. Therefore, test food and drinks on your lips before consuming. You may also be less sensitive to hard foods, which can put your dentures at the risk of breakage.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Eugene, Oregon

Dental checkups are crucial for maintaining your dentures and your mouth. A trip to your dentist ensures that any issues with your gums and dentures can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible before they cause any lasting damage.

At 360 Dental, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimum dental health. If you are looking for a great dental practice to support you in your dental care, then look no further. Whether you need routine dental care, dental implants, or cosmetic dentistry, 360 Dental has the knowledge and experience to treat you.

Call us at (541) 689-1645 today to make an appointment. You can also fill out an appointment request form here. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain a wonderful smile!