What not to eat with dentures?
Tips for Eating With New Dentures
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series (as Shereen Jegtvig).
Updated on September 08, 2022
Brian T. Luong, DMD, is a board-certified orthodontist at Anaheim Hills Orthodontics and Santa Ana Orthodontics in California.
As a replacement for missing, diseased, or otherwise faulty teeth, dentures are man-made appliances that are custom-molded in plastic or metal. People who have dentures often praise them as one of the world’s greatest inventions.
They may look great but can feel uncomfortable for several weeks as you get used to them. Plus, as you produce more saliva during this adjustment period, the denture might slip around. And this movement might cause a few sore spots to develop.
As you might guess, none of these realities make eating a mindless joy. But try to remember that while dentures can be permanent, the immediate discomfort they present is temporary.
This article explains the merits of following a so-called mechanical soft diet while you’re getting used to your dentures. It also offers advice for transitioning back to your normal diet and cites the food you may wish to forever banish from your palate.
Mechanical Soft Diet
The first rule of thumb when wearing new dentures is to «take it easy» with food. Start slowly with soft foods that are don’t require excessive chewing.
Eating red meat, crackers, raw carrots, and or anything crunchy will place undue stress on underlying gum tissues and increase the risk of irritation and inflammation.
Until your gums adapt to dentures, follow these simple self-help tips:
- Start with a mechanical soft diet. The name stems from food being mechanically altered by blending, chopping, grinding, or mashing so that it is easy to chew and swallow. Pureed foods like applesauce, pudding, cooked cereal, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes provide the nutrition you need without compromising your gums or stressing your jaw muscles.
- Check the foods’ temperature. Be careful with hot foods that can burn your mouth. You won’t be able to judge temperatures as well due to the insulating effect of the dentures. Test hot foods on your lips before putting them in your mouth.
- Don’t hold liquidsin your mouth. Doing so can loosen bottom dentures.
- Avoid spicy foods. If you do have sores or irritation, spice can cause burning or stinging.
Among dairy, meat, and protein, try:
- Scrambled eggs
- Cottage cheese
- Soft cheese
- Poached or broiled fish
- Diced meatloaf
- Tuna or egg salad
- Shaved deli meat (like ham or turkey)
Among fruit, try:
- Cooked fruit
- Soft fruit like bananas, peaches, and melon (without the skins)
And among starches, try:
- Soft muffins or rolls
You’ll probably notice that the list of foods to avoid is longer. But check with your dentist for recommendations based on your particular circumstance.
Dentures Can Alter Taste
You may find that certain foods taste different with dentures, particularly salty and bitter foods. Try not to worry; your sense of taste should improve over time.
Returning to Your Normal Foods
It will take at least several weeks (maybe more) to adapt to your new dentures. But you must continue to be vigilant about what you eat and how you eat it.
No matter how solid your dentures are, remember that they are substitutes for teeth that were set solidly in your jawbone. By contrast, dentures merely rest against the gums.
When you’re ready to make the transition back to your normal diet, be sure to:
- Sit down while you eat. Rushing through a meal standing up could cause you to gulp down food before you chew it properly.
- Cut your food into small or tiny pieces. You’ll get used to it (and may even get full faster and eat less).
- Chew on both sides of your mouth. Distribute your food evenly on both sides of the back of your mouth when you chew. It will help keep your dentures stable while you eat.
- Drink with your meals. Whole-grain bread and cereal are good for you, but they may stick to your teeth. Eat them with liquids to make them easier to chew and swallow.
- Avoid hard-to-chew meats. Replace tough red meats with poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes, or choose stewed or slow-cooked meats.
- Avoid sticky or gummy foods. These include taffy, caramel, marshmallows treats, peanut butter, and raisins. These can adhere to the upper and lower molars (chewing teeth) and dislodge your dentures.
Choose Adhesive Carefully
The choice of denture adhesive is important. Adhesives in glue form tend to provide the greatest stability but can make cleaning difficult. Adhesive seals and powders offer less stability but easier clean-up, reducing the risk of gum irritation.
Whatever you do, take things slow and remember that a little soreness is to be expected as the muscles in your mouth and cheeks get used to keeping your dentures in place. Tell your dentist if pain or other problems do not go away.
Eating After Healing
Once you are fully adjusted to wearing dentures, you should be able to eat almost anything. However, there may be some foods that will always be difficult to eat, such as food that is hard, sticky, or tough.
Even with a strong mouth and well-fitting dentures, there are some foods you may wish to banish from your diet. Follow the advice of your dentist, who probably knows your situation better than anyone when it comes to:
- Chewing gum
- Corn on the cob
- Crunchy fruits
- Crunchy peanut butter
- Crusty bread
- Raw vegetables
- Sticky candy
- Tough, stringy meats
- Whole nuts
Adjusting to life with dentures can take time as your facial muscles adapt to changes in your bite and the altered position of your tongue, lips, and cheeks. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize these effects as your dentures settle in. Watching what you eat, as well as how you eat it, is a large part of the transition to dentures.
A Word From Verywell
Following a healthy diet requires the ability to chew your food, which isn’t easy if you’ve just been fitted with dentures. But with time and a little patience, you should be able to chew and eat normally in a few weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I eat steak with dentures?
Not right away, but once you’ve adjusted to your dentures, you should be able to eat steak. Cook the steak to the right tenderness and then cut it into small pieces.
What do I do with my dentures after I eat?
You don’t have to do anything immediately after eating. But you should clean your dentures every day, brushing them gently to remove food. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for soaking and disinfecting your dentures.
Is it hard to eat with partial dentures?
It takes getting used to, but people with partial dentures often find them a better experience than trying to eat with missing teeth. Break in your dentures by starting with soft foods, avoiding hard or sticky foods, and chewing food on both sides of your mouth to balance the pressure.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals. Mechanical soft diet.
- The University of Toledo. Understanding mechanical soft diets.
- Srinath HP, Akula R, Maroli S, et al. Altered taste perception among complete denture patients. Indian J Oral Sci. 2014;5(2):78-82. doi:10.4103/0976-6944.136845
- Bogucki ZA, Napadlek P, Dabrowa T. A clinical evaluation denture adhesives used by patients with xerostomia. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Feb;94(7):e545. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000000545
- Su Y, Yuki M, Hirayama K, Sato M, Han T. Denture wearing and malnutrition risk among community-dwelling older adults. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):151. doi:10.3390%2Fnu12010151
- Oral Health Foundation. Dentures.
By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker.
Eight Foods You Can and Cannot Eat With Dentures
Dentures can help restore your smile and replace missing teeth, but you must be cautious when determining what you can and cannot eat, so you don’t damage them. After your procedure, Dr. Luke Riley and the team at Riley Dental in Haslet, TX can provide you with all of the home care guidelines, including a list of foods that you can and cannot eat to ensure a long-lasting smile with your new dentures.
Foods you can eat
Here are a few of the foods that are suitable for eating:
- Soft bread: Soft bread products are easy for dentures to manage, plus they will not require as much chewing as hard bread items. Be sure whatever soft breads you eat don’t come with many pieces that might come off, including seeds.
- Fish: Fish is appealing for being flaky and easy to eat. It doesn’t feel overly rough, so it will be easy to consume. The wide variety of fish products out there also makes it something worth watching for.
- Yogurt: The great part about yogurt is that it is safe to consume in many forms. You can enjoy traditional yogurt, or you can add some fruits and other items to it. You could also try Greek yogurt, as it is a little thicker but still easy to consume.
- Various soups: Soup is useful for how it is not only soft but also makes many of the solids that go inside of it a little softer. You can enjoy various meats in soup, as they will blend in well with the rest of whatever you have. Be sure to keep the soup from being too hot, though, as your mouth might be sensitive to heat.
- Slow-cooked meats: Meat that is cooked for a little longer tends to become more tender, making it easier for your dentures to go through. Slow cooking also adds a more intense flavor to whatever meat you prepare.
Foods to avoid
There are some foods you’ll need to avoid with your dentures. Our team at Riley Dental in Haslet, TX wants you to watch for these foods when using your dentures:
- Tough meats: Tough meats that aren’t prepared well and require multiple bites for them to become tender can be harmful to your dentures. The undue pressure you apply to the meat can damage the dentures and weaken them.
- Sticky foods: Various butter products and candies can be too sticky for your dentures. Some foods may require additional pressure to help you finish eating them. The dentures could slip out of place if you aren’t careful.
- Foods with small bits: These foods include ones that have pieces that might get stuck in your dentures and be harder to consume. Popcorn and various nuts are good examples. They have small bits that might not be easy to remove without using a toothpick.
Contact us for more details on denture care
Dentures can help restore your smile and your confidence, and you’ll find long-lasting success when you know how to practice the proper maintenance, including the right and wrong foods to eat. If you want more information and to find out if dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Luke Riley or a member of our team at Riley Dental in Haslet, TX. Contact us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all of your dental needs.
Foods To Avoid With Dentures – Our Top Recommendations
There are a few foods, in particular, that you may want to avoid to stay comfortable and avoid difficulties while eating with your new dentures. In this blog from Downey Park Family Dental, we’ll discuss a few of our top recommendations of foods to avoid for new denture wearers.
1. Extremely Sticky And Gummy Foods That Could Dislodge Dentures
For new wearers in particular, there are a few things you can’t eat with dentures. First, you should avoid sticky and gummy foods like gummy candies, caramel, taffy, and other such sticky and gummy foods. They can pull on your dentures and dislodge them, and the sugary food itself can get stuck underneath your dentures and irritate the underlying gums. Limit your consumption of these foods with dentures, and make sure to clean your mouth thoroughly after eating them to keep your mouth healthy.
2. Foods With Easily-Stuck Small Bits And Hard Pieces
Some types of foods have small bits and pieces that are hard to chew with your dentures, and can get stuck between your dentures and gums, causing irritation. This includes things like sesame seeds on rolls or bagels, popcorn shards and kernels, and some types of shelled nuts and seeds.
3. Hard And Crunchy Foods That Need A Lot Of Pressure To Bite
Hard and crunchy foods are not always the best option when eating with dentures. Bagels, for example, are hard to bite into with dentures, as are solid and fibrous fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and corn on the cob.
That’s not to say you can’t eat these foods at all, but you may want to consider cutting them into smaller, bite-sized chunks. These are easier to chew, and allow you to grind the food up more easily.
4. Tough Meats That Require Lots Of Chewing
While you can eat some types of tough meats with dentures, eating them regularly takes a lot of chewing and pressure, which can irritate your gums and even cause sores to develop. We recommend eating these meats sparingly as an occasional treat.
A good example of this would be pork chops, steak, tuna steaks, ribs, and other fibrous, tough meat that is hard to chew. When you do eat these meats, cut the food into smaller chunks that are easier to chew. This reduces the overall strain on your mouth.
Good alternatives to these meats include flaky fish like most white fish and salmon, chicken thighs and breasts. You can also braise or slow-cook most meats until they’re tender enough to fall off your fork, and are much easier to chew.
Know which foods to avoid with dentures from Downey Park Family Dental
For the most part, you can maintain the same diet after you get used to your dentures, but consider cutting back and limiting the above foods to maintain your comfort. And if you need a new set of dentures, or you’re considering dentures for the first time in Modesto, Dr. Corey Acree is here to help.
To get started and see if dentures are right for you, just contact us online or give us a call at (209) 529-0674. Dr. Acree can discuss all of your options for restoring your smile in Modesto, including dental implants, and help you make the right choice. Ask about our in-office membership plan to see how you can save on your dental treatments!