Can You Eat with Dentures?

Dentures are designed to restore the look and function of your smile, which includes regular activity like eating and talking. Eating with dentures does have a bit of a learning curve, since the muscles in your face and mouth will have to adjust to the new piece (or pieces) of dental materials in your mouth. When done correctly, learning how to eat with dentures can be a positive experience that will have you back enjoying your favorite foods in no time. Read on to get everything you need when learning to eat with dentures, including:

  • A list of what you can eat with dentures and what to avoid
  • The number one trick to how to eat with dentures, mechanically
  • Quick and easy tips to keep in mind when eating with dentures for the first time

What Can You Eat with Dentures?

Your dentures are designed to function in a similar fashion to teeth, so with practice, you should be able to eat most — if not all — of your favorite foods. However, when you first get your dentures, eating things that are firmer in texture can be a little difficult as your body gets used to the feeling of dentures on your gums.

While you’re still getting used to eating with your dentures, you can look for softer foods that will be easier to eat, like:

  • Soup
  • Applesauce
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Poached, broiled, stewed, or canned fish or chicken
  • Pudding or gelatin
  • Potatoes
  • Rice or pasta

You should avoid these foods altogether while you learn how to eat with dentures, and be sure to ask your dentist about when incorporating them back into your diet:

  • Chewing gum
  • Pretzels, crackers, and popcorn
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples, pears, and other crunchy fruit
  • Crusty bread
  • Any raw vegetables
  • Sticky candy
  • Well-done beef (or any other meat that is stringy or tough)
  • Whole almonds, cashews, pistachios, or other nuts

How to Eat with Dentures

Eating with your dentures in, mechanically, is the same as how you’d eat with your normal teeth. Adjusting to the feeling and pressure of your dentures in your mouth as you chew will take time. The only major difference long-term between eating with your dentures and your natural teeth is that, when eating with dentures, you’ll need to chew with both sides of your mouth at the same time. When chewing with natural teeth, most people tend to favor one side over the other, but that can loosen your dentures.

Tips for Eating with Dentures for the First Time

  • Take it easy! Start with softer foods that don’t take as much work to eat. Tenderness and soreness is normal as your mouth gets adjusted, so be sure to treat yourself kindly and start off slow and soft.
  • Test your food’s temperature on your lips before eating. Dentures can affect your perception of temperature, due to the insulation the material provides.
  • Cut food into smaller pieces or take smaller bites. It’ll help you get a handle on the mechanics of chewing with your dentures in.
  • Things might taste different, and that’s normal. When you first get dentures, your brain is processing lots of new signals and senses from the “foreign object” in your mouth, which can influence how it processes more ordinary signals and senses like taste. As your body gets used to the dentures’ presence, your taste will return.
  • Avoid spicy foods. Early on in your adjustment period, you may find that your gums get a little sore or irritated. (This is normal!) Spicy food will only irritate those spots further, so skip the salsa ‘til you feel totally adjusted.
  • Make sure you’re using the right adhesive for maximum comfort. And be sure to talk to your dentist before switching brands.
  • Clean your mouth and dentures properly and regularly to avoid additional irritation or infection. Check out our blog on cleaning dentures for tips if you need them!

While learning how to eat with dentures is a process, it’s a quick one due to the fact that we eat multiple times a day. Before you know it, you’ll be eating with dentures with total confidence. And, if you had broken, damaged, or decaying teeth that were replaced by dentures, you may find that you’re able to eat even more food now that your smile is restored! Contact a denture specialist near you, we are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have, and can provide valuable personalized tips for you as you get used to eating with dentures for the first time.

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