Eating with dentures is a very different experience than eating with natural teeth. Think about it. You are now asking a piece of acrylic resting on top of your gums to do the work of teeth that were securely bound by bone. Some people feel as though they can’t chew with their dentures at all.
Make no mistake about it—learning how to chew with dentures is challenging. Your facial muscles must adapt and adjust to the new sensations that come with dentures. In the early stages, it is tempting to give up and say, “I can’t chew with my dentures.” To get really good at something takes a combination of time, patience, practice, and sheer determination in order to become a master. Learning to wear dentures is no exception. If you desire to master wearing dentures, you can do it! Just take it one step at a time.
Advice on Chewing and Eating Different Foods with Dentures
You may be wondering, how long until you can eat solid foods after getting dentures? It is important to be careful with your food choices in those first few weeks so that your mouth can adapt to life with dentures. Start with a diet that includes soft foods with the consistency of applesauce, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, or soup. Attempting to chew solid foods will be discouraging and will likely be uncomfortable to your sensitive gums. Give yourself at least 7 to 14 days to get used to wearing the dentures before progressing to more solid foods such as well-cooked meats and vegetables, eggs, spaghetti, and baked fish.
Most people tend to chew more on one side of their mouth than the other. This will cause the denture to dislodge and slip out of place. When you start eating solid foods, cut the food into smaller bites than usual. Chew slowly, making sure to distribute the food evenly to both sides of your mouth. Doing this will allow the dentures to be more stable and secure. With practice, chewing on both sides equally will become second nature, and you’ll do it without thinking about it.
Allow hot beverages to cool slightly before attempting to drink them. Dentures have an insulating quality that can cause you not to realize something is too hot until it’s too late. There is nothing worse than burning your gums while they are sore. Hot liquids can also break the suction and cause your dentures to become dislodged.
As your learning progresses, you will want to branch out to some foods that provide a sense of comfort and enjoyment. Specific foods can have their own inherent challenges. Some of the more difficult foods to deal with include sticky foods, large foods, and chewy foods. Let’s discuss each in greater detail.
Any food that easily sticks to natural teeth will present a problem for denture wearers. Foods like caramel and taffy are some of the most difficult foods to chew, even with natural teeth. Peanut butter is notorious for sticking to the roof of your mouth. Combine that with soft bread in the form of a sandwich, and you have a real mess. Foods like this are best enjoyed in the comfort and privacy of your own home. That way, it is possible to clean the dentures immediately after eating.
Can you chew gum with dentures? Chewing gum manufacturers have found ways to create softer versions of their products that work better for denture wearers. These are usually marketed as denture-safe chewing gums for dentures and are less sticky, preventing the gum from staining and sticking to the dentures.Large Foods
Learning how to eat a hamburger with dentures is a different process for every denture wearer. When you are faced with tackling large foods, such as a sandwich or a burger, break them down into smaller pieces. The different textures of the bread, meat, cheese, and vegetable toppings provide a challenge, even for those with natural teeth. If you are a new denture wearer, the easiest way to eat large foods may be to use a knife and fork to cut the sandwich into small, manageable bites. Practice at home. The best way to learn to eat something difficult to chew is to try it in the privacy of your own home. Ordering a hamburger in a restaurant without the benefit of first figuring out how to eat it without making a mess is a recipe for an unenjoyable experience from all perspectives.
Because denture teeth don’t tear into foods like their natural counterparts, chewy foods like steak, pizza, and bagels often require the denture wearer to chew each bite much longer in order to fully break down the food. Taking smaller than normal bites does help. In the case of bread, taking a small sip of a beverage also acts to moisten the food, making it easier to break down and swallow.
I Can’t Chew with My Dentures!
Not all treatment options work equally for all people. Denture wearers are no exception. The denturists and staff of European Denture Center can make you beautiful, great-fitting dentures and help you transition to wearing dentures as pleasantly as possible. But truly learning to make dentures work for you as a normal part of your life is up to you. If dentures aren’t for you, we understand. We have other alternatives to secure dentures and ways to avoid wearing dentures entirely. European Denture Center can guide you through all of the appropriate restorative offerings for you to live your best life!
European Denture Center offers an extensive line of full-mouth tooth replacement options.