Do you have a new set of full or partial dentures? If you think you can just go on eating the same foods as you did with your original teeth, think again. While dentures will give you back the ability to chew many foods, there will be some restrictions. According to Prevention Magazine, dentures cannot replace teeth completely for 100% function. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some of your favorite foods, so long as you’re aware and creative. It is possible to find satisfying substitutes and, in some cases, enjoy the same food in new ways.
Beware the Seeds
If you enjoy poppy seeds and other types of seeds in bread, rolls or bagels, this can be a big problem for denture wearers. Think of what it’s like to get a small pebble in your shoe, and imagine the same thing, but in your mouth, underneath your dentures. Annoying, right? It might be painful as well. Instead of seeded bagels and rolls, try whole grain bread and bagels with the grains smoothly baked in. They have the same satisfying substance without the loose seeds, plus they’re extremely healthy.
Oh, Nuts — Alternative Snacks for Those with Dentures
Those little pieces that break off from nuts, not to mention seeds in those popular nut mixes, can be a big problem, especially for those with partial dentures. Most people only eat a nut or two at once, and will chew only on one side. It is important to chew on both sides if you wear dentures. Why? Because chewing on only the left or right side might cause your dentures to come lose or flip up on one side. For the same health benefits as nuts, try pitted olives instead. They contain heart-healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol. Other denture-friendly nibbles include fresh berries and seedless grapes.
Popcorn Substitutes for Denture Wearers
Just as pieces of popcorn can get stuck in real teeth, they can also get stuck in dentures. Any food that contains small hard pieces can get stuck beneath your dentures, which in some cases might be painful. If you’re looking for a salty snack for movies or TV viewing, consider air-puffed veggie crisps. Drink fluids to increase your saliva production. Saliva helps the mouth maintain a strong suction cup seal that prevents dentures from slipping around.
Candy Junkies: Take Heart!
If you’re a candy junkie, you’ll want to find something flavorful to chew without the danger of dislodging your dentures. To avoid problems, stay away from anything sticky — especially things that are hard and sticky, like peanut brittle! You should also avoid salt water taffy and gum, since they can get stuck on dentures, and chewing can move them around. However, you can suck on sugar-free hard candies to enjoy the sweetness of candy without the danger.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables for People with Dentures
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important for one’s overall health. Raw fruits and veggies are especially healthy, since you’re not losing nutritional value by cooking them. However, biting into a hard piece of fruit or a vegetable such as an apple, carrot or especially corn-on-the-cob puts pressure on your front teeth. This biting action might loosen the dentures. Instead, make delicious fruit or vegetable smoothies, which are extremely popular and very healthy — not to mention delicious! Corn-on-the-cob can easily be cut off the cob and then eaten.
Meat Lovers, Have No Fear
Are you a steak lover? Don’t worry; you don’t have to give up that T-bone when you get your dentures. Just cut the meat into smaller pieces. You’ll still get the same flavorful enjoyment, but will be putting far less pressure on your new choppers. The same goes for chicken, fish and ground meats like hamburger.
Say No to Peanut Butter, Say Yes to Hummos!
Instead of sticky peanut butter or other denture-unfriendly nut butters, choose hummos or tapenade, which is a yummy mixture of olives, anchovies, capers and olive oil. Like peanut butter, these spreads are rich in protein. Tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad and salmon salad can be spread onto whole wheat bread to make a delicious sandwich, or onto crackers for a between-meal snack or appetizer.