Losing teeth is not an uncommon occurrence. Factors like genetics, age, and diet can all play a role in our oral health, and it’s not abnormal to lose teeth during accidents like a slip and fall, sports-related trauma, or an auto collision, just for example. In some cases, tooth loss can be dramatic, affecting multiple teeth.
When this happens, you’re going to want to replace teeth in order to regain normal function. Losing a single tooth or just a couple of teeth gives you options for bridgework or dental implants, but what if you lose all of your upper or lower teeth? In this case, your best option may be to get fitted for dentures.
This option is a relatively fast and affordable way to improve your smile and ensure that you can eat normally, as opposed to dental implants, which could take months to complete, depending on the state of your oral health and whether or not you need to build up your jaw bone to support titanium posts. That said, you may be understandably nervous about eating with new dentures.
Is it difficult? Are there ways to avoid the embarrassment of slippage while eating? If you’ve suffered tooth loss and you’re considering dentures, here are a few things you should know about eating with your new teeth.
Give Yourself Time
Although your dentures are designed to fit your mouth and emulate your natural teeth in form and function, they aren’t your natural teeth and they will take some getting used to. The best thing you can do is go slow and give yourself time to acclimate.
As you grow used to using dentures, you’ll gain confidence in using them, but make sure to pay attention to how they fit, if they chafe, or if you have trouble with certain foods. These are all issues you can discuss with dental professionals to ensure the best fit and the greatest comfort. You may need some adjustments to ensure optimal fit, avoid common frustrations, and enjoy a smooth transition.
Start with Liquids and Soft Foods
Becoming accustomed to eating with dentures will take time, and you may experience issues like discomfort, slippage, and gagging in the beginning. This is all normal, and you should definitely talk to your dental professional about any issues you experience, just in case adjustments are necessary.
In the meantime, it’s best to start experimenting with liquids and soft foods like soup, Jell-O, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and so on that are relatively easy to chew and swallow. Just avoid hot liquids that could compromise your dental fixative.
Cut Food into Small Pieces
One of the most difficult things for many new denture wearers to get used to is biting and chewing tough or hard food items, but there are workarounds that still allow you to enjoy your favorite foods. If you like to eat tough food like meat, for example, you’ll want to cut it into small pieces that are easy to chew and try to evenly distribute bites on both sides of your mouth to reduce the potential for unseating your dentures by chewing predominantly on one side.
You might also want to consider cutting back on red meat in favor of chicken, fish, or softer forms of protein. Another option is to slow-cook meats in order to make them tender and easy to chew. Cutting up hard items like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob is also advisable as the act of biting down on these foods can cause your dentures to slip out of place or even pop off.
Avoid Certain Foods
Sticky foods are going to be problematic, and these include not only candy but whole grains items like bread and cereal, for example. The easiest solution is to avoid sticky foods, but if you can’t give them up, you’ll want to eat them with plenty of liquids to help break them down and make them easy to chew and swallow.
Cereal is a cinch – just add plenty of milk. As for toast, sandwiches, and so on, take small bites and sip water or other beverages to ensure that your dentures don’t get stuck and accidentally become dislodged while chewing.
If you’re seeking qualified and caring dental professionals to help you transition to dentures and maintain optimal oral health, contact the team at Elevate Dental at 210-686-1888 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment and learn more.