Dentures are custom-made appliances molded in plastic or metal to substitute missing, diseased, or faulty teeth. They help restore your confidence and the full functionality of teeth you’ll be able to eat, talk, and smile.
While they may look great on you, adjusting to dentures may be a daunting experience to some first-time users. After all, you’re now asking a piece of metal or plastic that rests on top of your gums to do what your natural teeth did.
Smiling and talking might be easy, but chewing may be challenging to new users. This is because your facial muscles must adapt to the new sensations that come with dentures. It is not uncommon for some new denture users to feel like giving up within the first few days. They might feel uncomfortable, with a possibility of the dentures slipping off.
However, the discomfort that comes with dentures is only temporary. All you need is some adjusting to, and you’ll live to enjoy having your new set for a long time to come. In this post, we highlight some ways to acclimate yourself to your new dentures.
What makes eating with dentures difficult?
Eventually, most denture wearers report being able to eat most (if not all) types of foods that they were used to when using their natural teeth. However, there is an adjustment period and process that takes place as soon as the new set is fitted.
Besides not being able to chew some foods at first, dentures can cause the mouth to feel fuller than usual. This gives out a sensation that the lips are protruding outward. After your adjustment period, this feeling goes away, and you’ll be much more comfortable wearing your dentures.
During this period, you may produce a lot of saliva. This might force the dentures to slip around, a movement that may cause a few sore spots to develop.
There are different types of dentures, but they are all foreign objects introduced into your body, and both your mouth and mind need some time to get used to them. Your dentist will advise you to take things slowly at first, as you try to make your mouth get used to the new dentures.
All you will need is patience, practice, and the skills on how to take care of your dentures, and you will be enjoying your new set in no time. Just take one step at a time.
Helpful tips for seniors eating with dentures
Your dentist will take you through everything regarding your lifestyle change after getting dentures, during your first dental visit. Here, you can easily know what to expect, including your dietary changes. Here are a few tips to help you get started eating with dentures:
1- Start slowly
As a rule of thumb, patience is key to enjoying your dentures in the long run. While you will be able to eat almost everything you did with your natural teeth, you have to give your new set some time to get used to your body. This adjustment period can last anywhere between a few days and some weeks or as directed by your dentist.
Do not go straight to eating hard foods, but you can plan a diet that comprises mainly of liquid food. Trying to chew food immediately after getting your new set could potentially harm your sensitive gums making your experience quite uncomfortable.
2- Cut food into smaller pieces
Cutting your food into smaller pieces protects your dentures from applying too much pressure. This protects you from the discomfort that you would have otherwise felt during your adjustment period.
3- Be mindful of tough foods
If you’re unable to avoid tough foods like red meat due to some reasons, you should ensure that they are cooked until they are soft.
4- Be careful with sticky food
Sticky food might be a haven for bacteria and infections. Whenever you enjoy any sticky foods, be sure to clean your mouth and dentures afterward thoroughly.
5- Be careful of hot liquids and food
Your dentures provide some sort of insulation against hot food and liquids. With dentures on, you lose the ability to sense heat as you would have with your natural teeth.
This means you can easily take in a very hot liquid without realizing only to notice it when it is too late. It would be prudent first to take tiny sips to determine if the drink or food is of optimal temperature before devouring it.
What can you eat with dentures
Foods to eat with new dentures
Can you eat with dentures? Absolutely. It all depends on the types of foods that you eat. Here are a few of our recommendations.
For dairy, meat, and protein:
Foods to avoid with new dentures
Ideally, you should avoid all hard, tough, and sticky foods with dentures during your first few weeks. Here are a few things you can’t eat with dentures before your body fully adjusts to them:
If you’re considering dentures to replace missing teeth, your dentist will take you through all these do’s and don’ts during your initial consultation. This gives you a bigger picture of what to expect, and if you’re not satisfied, the dentist will recommend to you other options, and you can compare them, such as dentures vs implants.
Taking care of your dentures
Your dentures are a replacement for your natural teeth. Even though they are prosthetics, you will still have to take care of them to maintain your oral health.
Ensure to brush them daily and after every meal. Be sure to stay away from hard and sticky foods and only stick to a specific diet at the beginning. Overall, schedule regular checkups with your dentist to affirm that they are in pristine condition.