Full and partial dentures can pose special challenges when trying to maintain your usual diet. Unlike dental implant-supported dentures, full or partial dentures aren’t exactly replacement teeth and require some creativity and patience when it comes to chomping away on some of your favourite foods.
So, let’s review 6 food types that can be troublesome for denture wearers and how to get around the problem.
Whether you wear dentures or not, too much caffeine isn’t a good thing. And you can be assured that coffee and tea won’t stain your dentures any more than they would natural teeth.
However, caffeine does dehydrate and could lead to ‘dry mouth’. Denture wearers need to be vigilant about keeping a moist mouth. Saliva helps lubricate dentures and prevent them from causing friction and irritating the gums.
Be sure to balance out caffeine intake with plenty of fluids that will increase saliva flow.
What could be better than a large bag of buttered popcorn? Nothing, except when bits of the hull get lodged in your teeth or dentures. It can also be particularly painful for denture wearers when food is stuck between the dentures and gums.
If salt is what you really want, other types of crisps might be a solution. Be sure to chew well and hydrate often. Again, the extra saliva and moisture is required to maintain the suction seal on the dentures, otherwise you may experience some slippage.
Toffee, peanut brittle and candies are frowned on by everyone in the dental profession. For denture wearers, eating sticky candy is a sure-fire way to dislodge your dentures.
If you really want a sweet, try some sugar-free gum, which does double duty in increases saliva production.
It’s hard to argue with the nutritional value of nuts, but denture wearers should be leery. It’s not just about getting the little end bits lodged in between the denture and your gums, but nuts require a chewing action (biting down) that is usually performed on only one side of your mouth.
The problem? Chewing with dentures requires an even action on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Too much pressure on one side could dislodge the denture on the other side.
Solution? When nuts are served as a snack, either avoid them or try an alternate. It might be wise to also lean towards seedless types of breads such as whole wheat or rye.
Since chewing with dentures requires using both sides of your mouth at the same time, digging into a steak or biting into raw veggies can destabilize and dislodge your dentures. Having to apply additional pressure on your dentures can also create sore spots.
Cutting hard-to-chew foods into smaller bite sized pieces is certainly one way to enjoy the meal. Don’t’ eliminate raw fruits (like apples) or veggies (like carrots) put them in a juicer or become really creative and start making your own whole smoothies.
All three are probably best avoided. Ever watch a dog eat peanut butter and try to get it off the roof of its mouth? You’ll find yourself in the same situation except your dentures will be slipping. Consider other types of spreads such as hummus (the no-garlic kind for breakfast probably) tapenades or pate.
Wearing dentures doesn’t mean that you can no longer eat the foods you love. In fact with a little creativity, you can continue enjoy all the foods and flavours you like – just a little differently.
Remember, when it comes to getting used to new dentures, what you really need is patience, perseverance, practice and in this case some imagination.