When you first replace your teeth with dentures, there are several new changes to your routine that you need to be prepared for. If your favorite food to snack once was once sticky candy, it’s probably not going to come as any surprise that you need to find something else to sink your teeth into. While this adjustment period might be overwhelming for you and those closest to you, having a good list of safe foods and obvious foods to avoid will help steer you in the right direction.
At Ashley Manor Assisted Living, we have several professionals on staff to help you make good, healthy eating habits if you have dietary restrictions or dentures, but here are eight foods to avoid and eight foods to safely eat with your new teeth.
Foods to Avoid
1. Your Morning Cup of Coffee
If you are a creature of habit and enjoy your morning cup of coffee, as most grown people do, you might find it hard to admit that it’s time to find a new hot beverage to enjoy in the mornings. It’s not the caffeine that’s the problem, it’s the stain the liquid will leave. Coffee over time can stain anybody’s teeth since it is a dark beverage on a light-colored area, but since the new teeth aren’t your natural ones, they will stain much faster. Having a light colored hot beverage such as green tea might still give you the caffeine you’re needing and with a touch of honey or sugar, you might even enjoy it like you would a cup of coffee.
2. Popcorn at The Movies
When you go to the movie theater, the first thing you think of, besides the latest film you are about to watch, is that delicious bag of popcorn you can’t wait to dive into. Popcorn at the movies, at home and anywhere you go really needs to be avoided. Have you ever had a pesky kernel get lodged in one of your back teeth and you can’t get it out? With dentures, you run the risk of getting a piece of popcorn up underneath your new teeth and possibly causing a lot of unnecessary pain for yourself. The best bet is to stay away from this snack and find another alternative to keep your dentures in good shape.
3. Sticky Candy
While Starbursts, peanut brittle and other chewy candies are many people’s favorite choices for sugary snacks, if you wear dentures you need to stay away from any food or candy that has the potential to stick to your teeth. Trying to get sticky candy out of your natural teeth is a challenge, but it is even harder with dentures in your mouth too. It ends up being way too much work. Try satisfying your sweet tooth with a soft cookie or a piece of cake.
Unfortunately, one of the healthiest snacks you can have throughout the day is a handful of nuts. With dentures, however, this is not an option any longer. When you eat nuts, you usually have them on just one side of your mouth to chew and enjoy. Denture-wearers have to relearn how to chew their food and evenly distribute it on both sides of the mouth to keep the dentures from popping off on one side. This is nearly impossible to do with nuts, and if you do attempt it, you run the risk of a piece getting lodged up underneath the dentures. The best option, again, is to replace your nut eating habits with another softer and safer snack.
5. Bread with Seeds
While sesame seeds can really add to the flavor of your hamburger, they can also cause a lot of headaches later on after you have finished your meal. Those pesky seeds have a habit of getting stuck and causing discomfort for people who wear dentures. Unless you want to have a similar pain to a rock being stuck in the bottom of your shoe, you might avoid poppy seed bread too as the same effect is likely to happen.
Eating a nice, juicy steak is a great way to make your dentures come loose because of the excessive chewing necessary to eat a bite. Because of the heavier chewing required to eat a piece of steak, many people who wear dentures have reported saying that their gums are sore due to the dentures having to push harder to get through the food. There are several other soft types of meat out there for you to enjoy, but if you are set on having your steak dinner, you might try cutting it into very small bites to help your mouth handle the increased chewing.
7. Corn on The Cob
Raw vegetables are always very tough to chew for regular teeth, and with dentures, it might be impossible to enjoy. A good rule of thumb when deciding which foods to eat and which to avoid is to imagine how your teeth would handle the food if you had braces on. If you are concerned about the pressure on the hardware or food getting stuck (like corn on the cob), then it’s probably safe to say that it will be nearly impossible to eat with dentures, too. If you have to use a lot of pressure on your initial bite of the food, then it is probably not a safe choice for you to be eating that particular item.
8. Peanut Butter
Many people have found that a spoonful of peanut butter helps give them just enough protein to get their day going and feel reenergized throughout the day. With dentures or other dental hardware, peanut butter needs to be avoided as it will stick to any surface it touches.
Foods to Enjoy
Tea is a great option for people looking to get some of the benefits and enjoyment coffee provides with almost no stain. Tea comes in an almost endless quantity of varieties and many blends contain caffeine. If you’re looking for an alternative to your morning cup of joe, tea is the perfect option.
2. Veggie Chips
Instead of eating popcorn, try a bag of veggie chips. They are a tasty alternative and don’t have a bunch of tiny pieces that can get lodged in your dentures. If you are looking for a salty snack, be sure to always have plenty of water to keep your mouth moisture high and your dentures cleaned out.
3. Sugar-Free Gum
While sticky foods are not your best option for food, eating sugar-free gum is a great way to increase the moisture in your mouth. The reason you must avoid sticky candy is that the sugar makes it stick to your teeth – with the sugar-free option, your teeth will be free from stickiness and you will be able to enjoy a tasty treat.
Olives might not be one of the top items on your shopping list, but with new dentures you will find this to be a great go-to snack choice. Olives are soft and easy to chew while containing fats that are good for your heart and lower cholesterol. Be sure to get the pitted olives, or you will find yourself in a lot of pain later on!
5. Baked Bread with Grains
If you are needing the extra flavor of the grains on your bread, try baking them in so they are not hard and chewy on top of the bread. This softens the grains and makes it so that no tiny pieces will get lodged in your dentures.
6. Ground Meats and Soft Meats
Ground beef is a great way to get your red meat without having to bite into a tough, chewy steak. As mentioned before, try cutting your meat into smaller bites so you can easily chew them, and try light colored meats such as fish or chicken for ease of eating.
7. Steamed Vegetables
Eating your daily vegetables is necessary for a healthy and balanced diet, so cutting them out entirely is not an option. Try steaming your veggies to make it easier for you to chew them – add seasonings for more flavor and you might even start to love them!
Instead of peanut butter, try a spoonful of hummus with your crackers during snack time. Hummus isn’t as sweet as peanut butter, but it is full of protein and will fill you up faster than other snack choices. Other soft snack options include applesauce, mashed potatoes or a smoothie.
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