11 Foods to Avoid with Dentures: Tips from a Dietitian

How Dentures Affects Eating Habits

Having dentures can be a big life adjustment, especially when it comes to eating. Losing your natural teeth can not only be mentally difficult, but the physical adjustment is difficult too.

It’s important to be mindful of what you eat to ensure the longevity and comfort of your new dentures. Let’s explore some valuable tips for eating with dentures so you can still enjoy your favourite foods!

Why Would Someone Need Dentures?

Individuals who get dentures will likely have gone through a few dental procedures prior to getting them. They may have had bridges or dental implants, but not all teeth can be saved.  Dentures aren’t the first step, they’re usually the last step.

Some reasons for getting dentures may be:

Gum Disease
Missing Teeth
Failing Dental Bridges
Extensive History  of Dental Work
Want Improved Quality of Life

Dentures in hand.

Adjusting to New Dentures and Eating

Adjusting to dentures can feel like a never ending journey, but I promise that you can still enjoy all the foods that you love!  But there are certain tips that will make adjusting to new foods easier that I’ll discuss below.

New denture wearers may have some diet restrictions to begin with, but as you go through the adjustment period and find the right fit, you will be able to resume eating normal.

Helpful Tips for Eating with Dentures

  • Start with Soft Foods: When you first get dentures or if you’re experiencing soreness, stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and well-cooked vegetables.
  • Chew Slowly and Mindfully: Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly to avoid putting excessive pressure on your dentures.
  • Be Cautious with Sticky Foods or Hard Foods: Avoid sticky candies, chewing gum, and hard nuts as they can dislodge or damage your dentures.
  • Cut Food into Smaller Pieces: Make eating easier by cutting food into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Avoid Very Hot or Cold Foods: Extreme temperatures may cause dentures to warp, so be cautious with extremely hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • Use Both Sides of Your Mouth: Distribute the pressure evenly by chewing on both sides of your mouth.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid in digestion and maintain overall oral health.

Top Foods to Avoid with Dentures

Popcorn

This is close to the number one culprit for issues with dentures.  Even without dentures, popcorn kernels can get stuck between teeth and we all know how uncomfortable that can be!  But with dentures, you may chip and damage the tooth trying to remove it.  It’s best to cross popcorn off your snack list for now.

Tough Raw Vegetables and Hard Fruits

Carrot sticks, celery, and beets, can be incredibly uncomfortable for someone with dentures.  Instead try softer vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or even any hard vegetable steamed.  Moistening and softening the vegetables can enhance the flavour and allow for easy chewing.  

There are some crunchy fruits with tough skin that are hard to bite through like apples.  This can dislodge the denture and leave mouth sores from shifting around too much.  If you want to continue having apples, try baking them with a little bit of oil and cinnamon for a softer texture.  

Or try some new fruits such as berries, citrus fruits, and bananas, all of which have great health benefits and soft texture.

Sticky Candy, Hard Candies and Chewy Foods: 

Steer clear of taffy, caramels, gummy candies, and chewy candies.  These can stick to the dentures and pull them out of place.  Unfortunately there is not a way to make these hospitable for denture wearers so it’s best to find a candy that isn’t quite as sticky.  

Hard candies can also damage the denture if you bite down and chip a tooth.  It’s best to either suck on the candy to make it smaller or just avoid them altogether.  

assorted candy.

Tough Meats

There are certain meats that tend to be dryer and tougher to chew.  This includes pork chops, steaks, roast beef, and some other red meat products.  If you do want to opt for some of these meats, try slow-cooked meats with lots of liquids cooking.  A pot roast in a slow-cooker for about 8 hours can yield a very moist and easy to chew meat. 

If you aren’t quite willing to give up a good steak because of dentures try having it cooked less (not well done), and have plenty of BBQ sauce to go with it.  The moister the meat the easier it will be to chew.

Seeds and Nuts

Avoid foods with small seeds and nuts as they can get lodged under your dentures.  Nuts and seeds like almonds, sesame seeds, pistachios, can all be difficult to manage with dentures.  

Crusty Breads

Hard, crusty bread can be difficult to manage with dentures.  Your baguette days are over but the good news is there are many soft bread options that are still available to you!  

Staining Drinks

While you don’t have to completely avoid drinks like red wine and coffee, these can lead to stains on your dentures if they aren’t cleaned off.

After having these drinks, brush your teeth to try to get the staining properties off as soon as possible.

Meal Ideas for Denture Wearers

  • Creamy soups with soft vegetables and proteins like chicken or tofu.
  • Pasta dishes with smooth sauces and finely chopped veggies.
  • Soft fish fillets with mashed potatoes and cooked greens.
  • Oatmeal with fruit and a drizzle of honey for breakfast.
  • Smoothies with yogurt, fruits, and vegetables for a nutritious snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  Can I eat chips with dentures?

Chips can be problematic for denture wearers as they are hard and crunchy. They can cause discomfort and may even damage your dentures. It’s best to avoid eating chips with dentures

  1. What foods will ruin dentures?

Foods that are very hard, sticky, or chewy can potentially damage or dislodge dentures. Additionally, extremely hot or cold foods can warp dentures and affect their fit.

  1. Can you eat any food with full dentures?

While full dentures provide better chewing capabilities compared to no teeth, it’s still essential to be cautious. You should avoid hard, sticky, and tough foods that can cause issues or discomfort

4.  Can I still have hot foods with Dentures?

Of course!  But you need to be cautious when doing so.  The dentures may block the heat on that initial bite so always check how hot the food or drink is before chowing down.  You don’t want to burn your mouth!

If you’re finding any of the following, it’s a good idea to talk with your Dentist in order to adjust the dentures for optimal comfort:

Sore spots in your mouth
Facial muscles are sore
Degree of diet restriction you are finding too difficult 
Denture discomforts

Your Dentist and/or Denturist can help you find the perfect fit and you should be able to resume a diet filled with your favourite foods!

If you’re looking for more healthy eating tips check out these articles below for nutritious health advice!

50 Nutritious Soft Food Ideas for Seniors

25 High in Iron Cereals: A Dietitian’s Recommendations

High Protein Foods for the Elderly: Why They Need More

If you want more helpful denture tips, check out this great dental office!

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Michelle Saari is a Registered Dietitian based in Canada. She has a Master's Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and is a passionate advocate for spreading easy to understand, reliable, and trustworthy nutrition information. She is currently a full time online entrepreneur with two nutrition focused websites.

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