Eating with dentures

Incisive Bite

by Dr Sharon Rob

Sunday, October 07, 2018

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EATING with new dentures is an acquired skill and takes a little prastice, but over time you should be able to return to your normal diet — with one or two exceptions.

Dentures replace natural teeth but they do not feel the same. Although your mouth and tongue become accustomed to this new dental appliance, you will need to change how you handle your food. It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to learn how best to eat with new dentures.

New tastes and sensitivities

The effects of dentures on teeth primarily relate to food's natural characteristics. Some may not taste the same, and your mouth may become less sensitive to hard food — putting your dentures at risk for breakage. You may find it necessary to add more seasoning to your meals as well, and will need take special care not to eat or drink things that are too hot.

1. Take it slow

Eating with natural teeth is different from eating with dentures, but taking it easy in the early stages can help you adjust. Eat soft foods, and cut them into pieces before putting them in your mouth. You may also consider cutting food into thin strips, using both sides of your mouth to chew, and chewing more slowly.

2. Bite with care

Similarly, avoid biting at the front of your mouth when you have dentures in. This causes the dentures to become unstable, which can make your gumline sore as they move around. If you must bite down, do so using your canines (your “eye teeth”).

3. Gaining confidence

Over a few days or weeks you will feel more comfortable eating with dentures. So, when you feel ready, introduce firmer foods to your diet while avoiding chewing gum, hot foods, or meals that contain shells or sharp bones. It is recommended that you continue to keep an even pressure in your mouth by chewing your food on both sides at the same time.

4. Long term

Eating with dentures eventually becomes a pleasant experience, and you will soon be able to nearly adhere to the same diet you upheld before. As your confidence grows, return to eating your normal range of foods but prepare these foods correctly if they are hard or sticky by nature. These foods can always damage dentures, particularly implant-supported appliances. You may choose to avoid nuts and seeds, too, as they can slip under dentures and irritate the mouth.

5. Removing food from dentures

Keep your dentures clean by removing them every day and brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush, to remove food deposits and prevent staining. Brush your gums, any remaining teeth, and tongue at the same time. Keep in mind dentures should also be soaked overnight in denture-cleaning solution so they can stay clean and don't dry out.

Eating with dentures is not as convenient as eating with natural teeth, but it is an efficient alternative. When you've become accustomed to your dentures rest assured you can relax and enjoy a wide range of foods. As well as improving your smile, dentures can improve your quality of life.

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa for an opportunity to take advantage of weekly specials.

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