Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about how to eat with new dentures. This includes sticking to an soft diet initially, key dietary recommendations, returning to a normal diet and eating after a full recovery has been made.
The first key tip for eating with new dentures is that it is best to stick to soft foods to begin with. This means avoiding any chewy meats, crunchy crackers, or raw vegetables. This is because these foods will put your gums under unnecessary pressure and can lead to potential irritation or swelling. What’s more is that you need to get used to the chewing mechanism so start with simple foods first. When first getting dentures it’s not uncommon to unintentionally bite cheeks and/or your tongue.
A mechanical soft diet can be great with new dentures, and it involves foods that are pureed, grinded or mashed to make them easier to chew and swallow. This includes such items as apple sauce, puddings, scrambled eggs, or mashed potatoes, which will not put pressure on the gums or stress your jaw muscles.
You should also try to monitor food temperature before consumption, as any foods that are particularly hot can burn your sensitive mouth. Dentures will also insulate your mouth, so it can be difficult to judge heat. Be sure to test hot foods with your lips before they enter the mouth. You should also try to avoid holding any liquids in your mouth, as it may potentially loosen the bottom set of dentures. Spicy foods should also be avoided due to potential for burning/stinging on the gums.
Key dietary recommendations for people with dentures
Some key dietary recommendations for those with new dentures are recommended below. However, it is best to discuss with your dentist beforehand, to ensure you do not have any specific dietary requirements based on your oral situation.
- With regards to dairy, meat, and protein, the best options are:
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft deli meats such as sliced ham or turkey
- Softer salads such as tuna or egg salad
- Soft cheeses such as cottage cheese or cream cheese
- Finely chopped meat or minced meat
- Soft fish
- Shepard’s/Cottage pie
- With regards to fruit, the best options are:
- Apple sauce
- Any soft fruits including ripe bananas, peaches, or melons
- The majority of cooked fruit
- Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- With regards to carbohydrates and starches, the best options are:
- Rice, ideally white rice
- Pancakes or waffles
- Any soft cakes or muffins
- Pasta, ideally white pasta
- Mashed potatoes
Returning to a normal diet after dentures
It will likely take weeks, if not months for you to fully adapt to your new set of dentures, and it is essential to remain strict with what foods you consume. You must understand that these are not like natural teeth which are set solidly in the jawbone, instead dentures just rest against your gums. Subsequently, some key tips have been outlined below to follow when you are returning to your normal diet…
- When eating, try to remain seated, as if you stand up and rush the eating process it is possible that you gulp food down rather than chew it properly.
- When possible, try your best to avoid any particularly chewy or sticky foods. Among the key foods to avoid are toffee, caramel, marshmallows, and dried fruits. This is because that can stick to the upper/lower molars, and potentially dislodge the dentures.
- Try to ensure your food is cut into small pieces before consumption. Not only is this beneficial for your oral situation, but it can make you get full faster and reduce your overall consumption.
- Minimise your consumption of chewy tough meats. Try instead to consume chicken, fish, eggs, and vegetables. If you still want meat in your diet, then try softer, slow cooked meats which are not tough on your jaw.
- Ensure you are drinking water with all your meals; this avoids any food/debris getting stuck to your teeth and it can also make it easier to chew/swallow.
- Try to distribute your chewing among the whole mouth on both sides, as it will ensure you dentures remain stable while eating and avoid undue stress on one area.
Eating with dentures long term
When you have finally reached the stage that you can consume most foods, and have slowly transitioned back your normal diet, it is still essential to keep a few things in mind. This includes knowing that some foods will always pose an issue to your oral situation, such as any foods which are particularly tough, crunchy, or sticky. No matter how strong your mouth is or how well fitted your dentures are, these foods will likely be problematic for life. If you do want to try some of these foods then it is best to ask your dentist beforehand, however, it is likely that they should be eaten sparingly at most.
Eating advice can vary from patient to patient depending on the arrangement of missing teeth and anatomy of the mouth. For complete upper and lower dentures, without dental implants, its best to cut everything up into smaller pieces and then chew on the back teeth. Ensure you are chewing on both sides as this creates balance and avoids the dentures tipping. Avoid biting directly onto the front teeth as this can cause tipping of the dentures.