The Challenges of Eating With Dentures
Eating With Dentures? Here’s What You Need to Know
Over the past few years, the number of people dealing with dental problems has increased considerably. And while there are countless issues that people might be facing, missing teeth are one of the more serious ones. Luckily, thanks to medicinal advancements, nowadays, people can opt for treatments such as dentures to replace missing teeth. In fact, dentures are so popular that, according to research, over 40 million US citizens are wearing them. And if you are looking to become one of them, you can get partial dentures at Lindenbrook dentalcare, one of the best clinics in the area.
However, it’s hard to deny that new denture users are having a hard time protecting their dentures. More specifically, many wearers are unaware of how and what they should be eating with dentures. And since without proper care they can end up breaking their fixture, it’s essential to understand how dentures work.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are appliances that are used to replace missing teeth and are usually supported by the surrounding tissue or other healthy teeth. Generally speaking, they are made out of metal, porcelain, or acrylic, with most people preferring the latter. Nevertheless, all dentures are fairly durable and can withstand thousands of hours of intense usage.
Types of Dentures
Depending on how many teeth a patient is missing, they can opt for a variety of dentures. From partial to complete dentures, understanding how they work is important when deciding what foods you should eat.
Partial dentures are mostly used when the patient has at least one or two natural teeth left in their upper or lower jaw. The main purpose of this type of dentures is to fill a gap between teeth and prevent future teeth movement. It’s important to mention that some types of partial dentures can be removed for easy cleaning or eating. Therefore, if you have removable partial dentures, you should always take them off before eating.
Complete dentures work best for people that are missing all of their teeth. While some dentists prefer to place complete dentures right after tooth extraction, others install them a few months later, depending on the gum’s structural integrity. But since complete dentures don’t put enough pressure on the bone in order to stimulate its growth, they can hardly prevent bone loss. And while some complete dentures can be removed when eating, most of them are permanent.
Dentures implants are similar to complete dentures but use two to four implants to keep the denture in place. Namely, they combine the durability of implants and the good looks of complete dentures. Thus, most dentists recommend dentures implants for people whose traditional dentures keep falling or slipping. And since they are removable, denture implants allow their wearers to take them off before eating hard foods. However, keep in mind that denture implants are more expensive and require a more complex procedure than traditional dentures.
Eating With Dentures
Adjusting your eating habits is essential after getting dentures, especially if you want them to last. If you are a new denture user, you will need some time to get used to how they feel. As a result, you will have to start with a soft diet and gradually move to a diet that involves solid food.
Soft Foods Diet
As previously mentioned, it will take a while for your facial muscles to adjust to dentures. In other words, you don’t want to force your muscles with excessive chewing or complex foods, especially if you are eating with dentures for the first time. Therefore, you should avoid meat, crackers, carrots, or anything crunchy that can increase the risk of irritation or inflammation. The following guidelines will allow your gums to adapt to the dentures and increase the recovery speed:
- Soft Foods: Foods like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, applesauce, and puddings provide all the minerals and vitamins you need without forcing your jaw and facial muscles.
- Watch Out for Liquids: Although you can drink liquids when wearing dentures, you shouldn’t hold them in your mouth for too long. Otherwise, you run the risk of loosening the glue that holds your dentures.
- Avoid Hot Foods: Similar to liquids; hot foods can damage the glue that holds your dentures in place. Not only that, but they can also burn your mouth, leading to injury. As a result, you should avoid hot foods for at least a week after getting dentures.
Solid Foods Diet
Once your mouth has gotten used to the dentures, you can switch to eating solid foods. However, you should still pay close attention to your diet, especially if you are wearing porcelain dentures. We recommend that you follow these guidelines to avoid damaging your dentures:
- Avoid Sticky Foods: Sticky foods such as caramel, taffy, or peanut butter can adhere to your upper and lower teeth and dislodge your denture.
- Avoid Hard-to-Chew Foods: Even if you are now comfortable with your dentures, you should still avoid putting too much pressure on your jaw. You can replace hard-to-chew foods like meat with fish, eggs, or poultry.
- Take Small Bites: Cutting your food into small pieces or slices is a great way to avoid forcing your muscles. Just be careful not to gulp large pieces of food as that can cause choking.
- Drink When Eating: If you decide to eat food that can stick to your dentures, you can use liquids to make it easier to chew and swallow.
- Chew on Both Sides: Make sure to distribute food equally on both sides of your mouth in order to keep your dentures more stable whilst you eat.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s important to understand that once you get dentures, you will have to change your diet accordingly. From chewy to sticky foods, you will have to avoid anything that can cause damage to your dentures. Not only that, but it might take you a few weeks or even a month to get used to how your dentures feel. Therefore, you will have a harder time eating anything else than mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
However, if that sounds too hard, you can always ask your dentist for dentures that can be removed before eating. But no matter what dentures you go for, with proper care, they can last almost a lifetime.