Adjusting to life with dentures can be a difficult but important transition, especially when it comes to eating. While smiling and talking are important reasons for wearing dentures, food plays such a huge role in our day-to-day lives. Learning to eat with dentures is critical if you are one of the millions of Americans faced with wearing dentures to replace your natural teeth.
Foods like yogurt, fruit smoothies, stewed meats, well-cooked vegetables, and baked fish are fairly easy to consume. More intricate foods, like hamburgers, are much more difficult to eat and may cause issues while getting used to wearing dentures. Hamburgers and sandwiches often combine multiple layers of different types of foods – bread, meats, raw vegetables – each of which presents challenges on their own. But in combination, they can be quite difficult to bite and chew.
To help adjust to life with your new dentures, this article will guide you through the process of learning to eat difficult foods with dentures.
How to Eat a Hamburger with Dentures?
Step 1: Be Mindful of the Healing Process
Even if you are someone who has worn dentures before, getting used to a new set can prove to be quite challenging. No two sets of dentures ever function exactly the same. But if you’ve had teeth removed, expect it to take time for your gums to become tough enough for the dentures to work effectively. It’s recommended that you start slowly with soft or semi-solid foods and work toward more difficult-to-chew choices.
As you begin eating with your new dentures, try to avoid consuming anything excessively hot or tough to chew, especially if your gums are sore or you have had recent extractions. After practicing with your new dentures for a few weeks, begin introducing harder-to-eat foods to your diet. A hamburger may seem like a reasonable choice early on. However, you will need to keep a few points in mind in order to eat it. Let’s elaborate on this further.
Step 2: Use Cutlery
If you are wondering how to eat a hamburger with dentures, let’s break down the process for you. Rather than attempting to bite into the hamburger with your front teeth, use a knife and fork to cut the sandwich into smaller than normal pieces. Distribute the pieces evenly on both sides of your dentures, which helps to stabilize the dentures and keep them from popping up while chewing.
Use the back teeth to mash and pulverize the food. Keep in mind that it takes most denture wearers more time to fully break down food compared to someone who is chewing with natural teeth. It’s okay to chew slowly. Take the time to savor each bite. Remember, eating at a slower pace is actually better for your digestive system.
Another note: In the beginning, eating veggie burgers instead of hamburgers can be better for your oral health.
Step 3: Be Patient
It may be difficult to eat complex foods like hamburgers and sandwiches when you begin to use dentures. It takes time for each person to adjust to using their dentures effectively. The average amount of time to acclimate is between one and three months. But everyone is different.
If immediate dentures have been placed right after tooth extractions, the adjustment period may even be longer. Although dentures will help with the recovery process by controlling the swelling of the gums, you still need to be patient with yourself. Until your gums are fully healed, consuming smaller bites of softer foods and chewing thoroughly to break down each bite is advisable.
Eating Other Challenging Foods
Attempting to eat solid food besides hamburgers are also difficult to eat with dentures. These include apples, corn-on-the-cob, steak, bread, sandwiches, and tacos. When consuming these items, following the guide mentioned above may help. Just remember:
- Take smaller than normal bites.
- Chew the food longer in order for it to be fully broken down.
- Use silverware to your advantage. Remove the kernels from corn-on-the-cob. Cut apples, sandwiches, or steak into small pieces before you attempt to eat them. Identify the soft and juicy piece of every food item.
These steps will help protect your gums from becoming sore and make it less frustrating for you to enjoy your favorite foods. They will also help you safely get off of a all liquid diet.
Here are a few tips on how to adjust to your new dentures effectively:
Tips for New Dentures
Take Things Slow
Remember, it will take time for you to get used to your new dentures. The minimum amount of time to retrain the muscles for effective denture use is about three weeks. During this period, your gums may be sensitive to cold or hot food. You also may experience minor issues, such as gum or tissue irritation and excess saliva flow. Such symptoms usually will resolve with time, as your mouth becomes accustomed to wearing foreign objects.
There may also be a slight change in your speech pattern, and you may have difficulty pronouncing certain words. However, these are temporary issues and will usually disappear with time, patience, and practice.
Try New Foods at Home
Make sure whatever food you are trying is well-cooked. In the beginning, soft food and easily chewed foods can be a great option. Some of the best options include a soft diet like skinless baked chicken, fish, pasta, soft cheese, mashed potatoes, stewed vegetables, and soft fruits. Make sure to avoid:
- sticky foods, like gum
- hard food, like candy
- tough foods, like rare meats and raw vegetables,
- crunchy fruits, like fibrous breads
It is always best to try out certain foods in the privacy of your own home before attempting to eat them in public or in a social situation. Ordering a steak or burger in a restaurant before you’ve practiced can prove to be a disappointing and frustrating experience that may result in taking the food home in a take-out container.
Clean After Eating
Always maintain a good dental care regimen, as recommended by your dentist. Rinse your dentures after meals to remove excess debris. Then rinse your mouth to eliminate debris and food particles that can lead to plaque formation and bad breath. Prior to bedtime, brush your dentures with a denture brush and liquid soap. Dentures may be soaked for a few minutes or overnight in an effervescent denture cleanser to ensure that they stay fresh.
Before you put the dentures back in your mouth, rinse them free of the cleaning solution. See your dentist regularly to assure that your dentures continue to fit and function properly. Seek treatment whenever your dentures are uncomfortable or make your mouth sore. Adjustments and denture relines can solve a multitude of minor issues.
More Questions? European Denture Center Can Help
If you have more questions about your dentures, contact the professionals at European Denture Center. We offer quality dentures, partial dentures, and denture implants. If you are unable to be physically present at one of our clinics, you can still seek expert advice from one of our caring denturists through our video consultation services.
At European Denture Center, our dentures are stain and odor resistant, hypoallergenic, and bio-compatible. We partner with Idaho’s most advanced dental laboratory to guarantee affordable comfort. Whether you have sore or burning gums or loose dentures, we have the right solution for you. Get in touch with us today!