After a few weeks and multiple appointments with your dentist, you’re now the proud owner of brand new dentures in Parma Heights! Your smile and even your overall face look so much better now that you have all of your teeth back, but while they might look great, using them is an entirely different matter. Learning to eat with dentures can sometimes take a week or more to feel completely natural, but with these simple tips we’re going to share today, you’ll be enjoying your favorites again in no time.
1. Start Slowly
For just the first few days, it’s a good idea to stick to a liquid diet that includes items like apple sauce, pudding, oatmeal, soup, and so on. Immediately trying to chew could be very uncomfortable and potentially harm your sensitive gums, so give them a few days to get used to the dentures before progressing to solid food.
2. Chew Evenly
Most people tend to chew on one side of their mouth more than the other, but for denture wearers, this could make the prosthetic more likely to slip out of place. Once you start eating solid foods again, chew slowly, and make sure to use both sides of your mouth equally. This will help keep the dentures more stable, and eventually, you’ll do this without even thinking about it.
3. Be Careful of Hot Liquids
We all love our coffee and hot chocolate, but be extra careful with them right after you have gotten your dentures. They have an insulating quality that can make you not realize something is too hot until it’s too late. Give a hot drink a tiny sip at first to make sure it’s safe.
4. Cut Your Food Into Smaller Pieces
While you’re still learning to chew, cutting your food into smaller pieces will make your job that much easier and won’t put as much pressure on your gums while they are still trying to adjust.
5. Be Mindful of Tough Foods
Something like red meat can be extremely difficult to chew with dentures, so whenever you have it, it’s a good idea to make sure it has either been stewed or slowly cooked over a number of hours. Other good sources of protein that are easier to chew include items like chicken, fish, eggs, and legumes.
6. Be Careful with Sticky Foods
Sticky foods like candies, peanut butter, gum, and certain berries can easily become trapped between your dentures and your gums, making you more likely to develop irritation and an infection. Feel free to enjoy them, but make sure to clean your dentures and mouth thoroughly afterward.
7. A Little Soreness is OK
Even if you take things nice and easy, you’re still asking a lot of your body when getting used to your new dentures, so expect your jaw and/or gums to feel a bit sore during the process. If you get a particular sore spot on your gums or the pain becomes persistent or severe, be sure to contact your dentist right away so they can adjust your dentures.
With these tips, as well as a little patience, you’ll likely be eating normally within a few weeks. Learning to chew with dentures is no simple task, but it certainly beats the alternative of going through life with multiple missing teeth, right? Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying dinner with your family and friends and the absolute last thing on your mind will be your dentures.
About the Author
Dr. Glenn Shtarkman is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Parma Heights, OH. Over the years, he has helped hundreds of patients reclaim their smiles (and their diet) using custom-designed dentures. If you would like to learn more tips on how to comfortably use your new dentures, he can be contacted through his website.