If you’ve recently traded in your natural-grown teeth for a fancy new set of artificial chompers, you’re probably feeling pretty fantastic right now. Finally, you can enjoy all the foods you’ve been avoiding as a result of missing teeth, right? Well…not so fast.
While dentures can restore your ability to chew and enjoy many different foods, experts say there should be some restrictions. Edmond Hewlett, DDS, professor of restorative dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry and spokesperson for the American Dental Association, says, “dentures are not a replacement for teeth insofar as restoring complete function.”
Additionally, it should come as no surprise that dentures can cost a pretty penny. For this reason, if you are fortunate enough to have dentures made for you, you should take every precaution to ensure they stay functional, clean, and structurally intact.
What can’t I eat with dentures?
You’ve put a lot of money and energy into getting dentures, and that’s why you should do everything you can to take care of them. Courtesy of Nursing Home Reviews, here are a few delicacies that are considered to be some of the worst foods for dentures.
Coffee and Tea
The majority of the human race can’t fathom an existence without their favorite hot beverages, especially coffee and tea. Unfortunately, these beverages have a tendency to stain both natural teeth and dentures. In addition, large amounts of caffeine can be dehydrating, leaving you with a dry mouth. When it comes to false teeth, a dry mouth is just about the last thing you want.
Popcorn and Nuts
As almost anyone who’s ever enjoyed a bag of popcorn at the movies can tell you, a single hull that becomes lodged in your teeth or gum line can be incredibly annoying to endure. With dentures, this issue becomes even more magnified. Sometimes, people who crave salty snacks opt for nuts instead, but unfortunately, these snacks can make dentures unstable as well. Getting hard bits of food stuck beneath your dentures can be painful, and even a single errant kernel or almond can break or chip your newly minted teeth.
Sticky Foods, Like Candy and Peanut Butter
No dentist has ever been a fan of chewy or sticky candy for their patients, and this is especially true of anyone who has had some work done on their teeth. When it comes to dentures, anything sticky, including peanut butter and candy, are almost guaranteed to dislodge your dental implants or wreak havoc on your dentures.
Seeds, Seeded Bread, and Seeded Crackers
The nutty flavor of poppy seeds can be great on things like dinner rolls, bagels, or bread, but if you wear dentures, experts say steer clear. These tiny little seeds are even more likely to slip beneath your dentures than popcorn or nuts, leaving you at risk for inflammation and infection. Just as no one likes getting a stone stuck in their shoe, no denture wearer wants to deal with having a seed stuck in their hardware.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Many medical doctors recommend fleshing out your diet with raw fruits and veggies, and they are correct about the health benefits of doing so. However, for those who wear dentures, particularly fibrous plants, like carrots, apples, and corn-on-the-cob can be a big problem. Biting into these treats can put a lot of pressure on your front teeth, and this can dislodge your dentures entirely.
What can I eat with dentures?
If you’ve made it this far into our list, you are probably frustratingly asking yourself “what CAN I eat with dentures?” Well, fear not. Even for the most hardened of candy, coffee, and popcorn junkies, we have some alternative options that can turn some of the worst foods for dentures into some of the best foods for dentures.
Leave the caffeine, take the coffee.
If you are one of those people who just can’t live without your coffee, there are ways you can get around the beverage issue. Caffeine-free options can allow you to enjoy your acquired tastes without risking a dry mouth. That said, if you still can’t give up the caffeine, at least make sure that you are also getting an adequate amount of hydrating fluids to maintain hydration.
Salty snack lover? Try air-puffed veggie crisps.
Not all salty snacks need to be especially crunchy. If you are craving some sodium, try trading in the popcorn and nuts for options like veggie crisps and puffed snacks. That said, some brands of these snacks get stickier the more you chew them, so be aware of this when looking for a safer alternative.
Give up the toffee and peanut brittle, opt for sugar-free options.
In most candies and sweet treats, it’s the high amount of processed sugars that cause that sticky sensation. For a sweet treat that won’t wreck your teeth, you can always substitute your usual favorites with sugar-free options. Sugar-free chewing gum is usually a good trade-off, for example.
Keep the earthy nutty flavors you love without all the hardness.
If earthy flavors and healthy fats are your thing, you’ll be happy to learn there are many alternative options available that provide the same taste without all the crunch. For example, pitted olives and whole-grain breads can provide the same taste without leaving you at risk of breaking a tooth or having a tiny seed stuck beneath your dentures.
No need to open wide for a big bite, try a fruit or veggie smoothie.
If you’re concerned about getting all your recommended vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and veggies without having to worry about harming your dental hardware, you can always opt to blend or puree whole fruits and vegetables inside the skin into one healthy and delicious smoothie. Enjoy with a sip or a straw!
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