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Getting Used to Eating With Dentures

It’s exciting to have your new dentures in. Beyond the benefit of having your smile again, this tool will eventually enable you to eat almost all the foods you love. However, in the meantime, you have to get used to them. It can be a little difficult at first, but you won’t be on a soft diet forever. So stay patient and stick with it, and you’ll master eating with dentures in no time.

How do I eat the first few days after getting dentures?

Discomfort is to be expected, especially if your mouth is healing from teeth being extracted during your dentist appointment. Either way, your gums need time to adjust to your new dentures.

Start with a soft diet of puréed or blended foods and work up from there. It may be hard to think of soft, puréed foods that are nutritious (and taste good!), so we’ve outlined some ideas for you.

Soft starches you can still enjoy include oatmeal and cream of wheat, mashed potatoes, or sweet potatoes. You could get protein through blended creamy soups, protein shakes, yogurt, milk, and custard. For fruit and veggies, think of mashed cooked veggies, mashed avocado with some lemon and salt, applesauce, or other fruit sauces. If you want a sweet treat, there’s ice cream, gelatin dessert, sorbet, or mousse. Remember: you can have fun by adding more nutrition to your diet through drinks, such as smoothies, juice, hot chocolate, and broth.

Be cautious when it comes to temperature. The dentures look nice, but they can falsely give you the impression that food is not as hot or cold as it really is.

When can I start chewing things?

In a couple weeks, you can slowly begin adding foods that require some chewing. Take small bites and be sure to chew on both sides of your mouth to keep the denture from sliding around.

This phase of soft foods can last a few weeks, so it’s important to have a variety of nutritious, soft foods available at your disposal. If you like cooking, there are a lot of foods you can make that you can eat with your new dentures.

Some ideas of things you can add to your starches include soft bread products, such as pancakes and white bread, cooked rice, well cooked pasta, and pumpkin or banana muffins without nuts. For fruits and veggies, you can add things like soup with cooked vegetables, cooked greens like spinach or swiss chard, canned fruit, skinless soft fruit (bananas, peaches, watermelon, nectarines).

Your protein options will widen also. Start by trying things like soft, skin-free fish, baked beans, other soft meats such as meat loaf, soft cheese or melted cheese, scrambled eggs, and cottage cheese. You can also finely shred your meat and add it into casseroles and soups.

When it comes to putting a meal together, here are some ideas to get you started. Refried beans and rice are delicious when topped with sour cream and avocado. Try pasta with meat cut up into small chunks and veggies or add crackers to soup. There are lots of things you can do with potatoes, from cheesy potato casseroles to shepherd’s pie, so get creative with potatoes. You can also do a lot with rice; for example, fried rice and rice bowls with small bits of meat and soft cooked veggies. Pasta is another great way to go: there’s lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti, and mac ‘n’ cheese. You can also try your hand at quinoa salad, or egg salad or tuna salad can be made into a sandwich on soft white bread.

Things to Keep in Mind

Avoid foods such as raw fruits and veggies; spicy things; sticky foods like nut butter, crunchy granola bars, nuts and seeds; things that will get stuck in your dentures; tough meats, like rib and steak; sticky candies; seeded berries; corn on the cob; and toast. As a general rule of thumb, avoid anything that is hard, crunchy, sticky, or seedy.

You can use gravy, savory, and sweet sauces to soften your food to make it easier to chew. Prosthodontists advise chewing on both sides as this prevents your dentures from moving around in your mouth. Take small bites and cut your food into small pieces. Dentures aren’t the same as natural teeth; natural teeth bite with about 250 pounds of force while dentures only have about 50 pounds of force. But after time and with practice, you will become a pro at eating with your dentures.

Care Tips For Dentures

It is very important to take good care of your dentures from the start. Clean your dentures every day with a gentle brush and denture cleaning solution. Be sure to remove your dentures every night and soak them, as most denture types need to soak in water or a mild soaking solution overnight to maintain their shape. Follow the instructions given to you by your dentist and the manufacturer. Be careful with your dentures; they’re fragile. Handle them with care when taking them in and out.

Visit your dentist regularly and contact them if you start experiencing any problems with your dentures. Here at Staley Dental we are here to help you along each step of the way.