How to Get Used to Eating With New Dentures (2022)

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.

How to Get Used to Eating With New Dentures (1)

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 welldue to the insulating effect of the dentures. Test hot foods on your lips before putting them in your mouth.
  • Don't hold liquids in your mouth. Doing so canloosen bottom dentures.
  • Avoid spicy foods. If you do have sores or irritation, spice can cause burning or stinging.

Caring for Dentures Is Easier Than You Think

Dietary suggestions

Among dairy, meat, and protein, try:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soft cheese
  • Poached or broiled fish
  • Diced meatloaf
  • Tuna or egg salad
  • Shaved deli meat (like ham or turkey)

Among fruit, try:

  • Applesauce
  • Cooked fruit
  • Soft fruit like bananas, peaches, and melon (without the skins)

And among starches, try:

(Video) learning to eat with dentures?? this will help

  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes
  • Soft muffins or rolls
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice

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 differentwith 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 toughredmeats 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
  • Crackers
  • Crunchy fruits
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Crusty bread
  • Popcorn
  • Raw vegetables
  • Sticky candy
  • Tough, stringy meats
  • Whole nuts

How to Manage Your Dentures

Summary

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.

(Video) How to Chew With False Teeth

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.

    Learn More:What to Eat While You Get Used to Dentures

  • 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.

    Learn More:How to Care for Dentures

    (Video) Eating with 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.

    Learn More:A Guide to Dental Health

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(Video) Adapting, Speaking and Adjusting To Your New Dentures

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6 Sources

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.

  1. University of Wisconsin Hospitals. Mechanical soft diet.

  2. The University of Toledo. Understanding mechanical soft diets.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    (Video) 5 recommendations for NEW Denture wearers

  5. 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

  6. Oral Health Foundation. Dentures.

FAQs

How long does it take to get used to eating with dentures? ›

Expect Discomfort Early On

As a general rule of thumb, dental professionals are likely to tell you that adjusting to new dentures takes about 30 days, on average. You might not be keen to wait this long, but you need to be careful how quickly you try to get back to normal.

Will eating ever feel normal with dentures? ›

It can take a few weeks to adjust to dentures, but once your mouth is strong, you can eat just about any food. There will always be some foods that aren't denture-friendly, like chewing gum, popcorn, whole nuts, steak, and sticky candy.

Why is it so hard to eat with dentures? ›

Any food with pieces your natural teeth cannot grind or chew easily present problems for dentures. Popcorn kernels, sesame seeds on rolls, and shelled nuts or seeds can get stuck in and around dentures. Hard foods. Hard foods require your jaw and your dentures to apply uneven pressure.

How can I practice chewing with new dentures? ›

Learning to eat with new dentures requires time and patience. Before placing food in the mouth, bring the teeth together and swallow. This will help to seat the denture fully. Then place small bites of food in the mouth and chew it slowly on the side that seems the most natural and comfortable.

How many hours a day should I wear my new dentures? ›

Generally you should wear your dentures for at least 8 hours a day. This will give your gums and jawbone time to get used to the dentures and prevent sore spots from developing. It is best to take them out at night so that your gums can rest.

Do most people adjust to dentures? ›

In many cases, learning to adapt to the feel of the lower denture can require somewhat more time than the upper denture as the lower denture is typically less secure and your tongue can feel a little cramped. It can take up to a number of weeks before you are completely comfortable with them.

What should I do on my first day with dentures? ›

It's important that you don't remove your dentures during the first 24 hours so the gums have a chance to heal. Your full dentures act much like a bandaid during your first day, which is why you'll even need to wear your dentures to bed. After 24 hours, we highly recommend removing your dentures before going to sleep.

Why does food taste different with dentures? ›

In addition to the simple fact that our taste-buds grow weaker over time, dentures can also affect your taste. Because your upper denture covers your upper hard palate (which contains taste buds), some loss in flavor can result.

What does eating with dentures feel like? ›

New wearers often report a “full-mouth” feeling, as though the dentures are too big and pushing the lips forward. This feeling will diminish as you adjust to wearing dentures. They may feel like they don't fit properly at first. They may “gag” you or cause you to bite your cheek or tongue.

Why can't I bite with dentures? ›

Answer: Biting raw vegetables is one of the most difficult challenges for a denture wearer. Biting on the front teeth of a denture, especially into something as hard as a raw carrot, can put so much pressure on the front that the back of both dentures comes loose and the dentures “float” in your mouth.

How long does it take to break in new dentures? ›

How Long Does It Take for Dentures to Feel Normal? For most people, it takes anywhere from 2–4 weeks or longer to function reasonably well with new dentures.

Can you brush your dentures when they're in your mouth? ›

Yes, you can clean your dentures while they are still in your mouth. As long as you use a soft-bristled brush and avoid the use of any abrasive toothpaste, brushing your dentures as if they were natural teeth won't do any harm. You might use this practice as quick way to freshen up your mouth between meals.

Can you tell if someone is wearing dentures? ›

Signs Of A Person Wearing Dentures Are Not Very Clear

You have to make sure that the dentist will make the color or the look of the denture seem as natural as possible. You can check your smile and see if your teeth would look natural or if they would seem too perfect and not believable.

What helps sore gums from dentures? ›

Regularly massage your gums to increase circulation and minimize swelling. Use a denture adhesive after the dentist has given the go-ahead; you may need to wait a few weeks after you get your dentures to start using an adhesive. Apply aloe vera gel to your dentures one to two times per day to soothe your gums.

Should you sleep in your dentures when you first get them? ›

Your Denture Health Care professional can help you learn more about your care and maintenance routine. And remember, don't sleep with your dentures in overnight – take them out and clean them and keep yourself safe from bacteria and infection.

What happens if I don't like my dentures? ›

Implant Overdentures— a Great Alternative to Dentures

If you would have continued to wear dentures, eventually you would have lost so much of your jawbone you wouldn't even be able to wear dentures any longer. This is known as facial collapse. With dental implants, bone structure is both essential and preserved.

How long does it take for your gums to heal for dentures? ›

For example, a custom-made denture requires gums to heal for three to six months. During this time, gums will be allowed to heal and patients meet with their dentist for fittings and adjustments. This ensures that when the gums are healed and ready for the permanent dentures, they will be a perfect fit.

Can you eat better with permanent dentures? ›

In fact, they look, feel and function much like healthy natural teeth, and people who upgrade to permanent dentures can generally eat just as easily and efficiently as they could before tooth loss.

Can dentures cause you to lose your appetite? ›

Your brain and taste buds regard dentures as a foreign object; hence, your body reacts to it unconsciously. You tend to produce more saliva and find that your appetite for food has been reduced. However, these effects are only temporary.

Should dentures stay in without adhesive? ›

Generally speaking, if dentures are properly fitted, denture adhesive is not necessary to keep them in place. If you feel that you need something to help your full or partial dentures stay in place, speak to your dentist about having your dentures refitted before attempting to fix the issue with adhesive.

Why do false teeth look so big? ›

Because dentures rest on that gum ridge and are customized to fit its shape and size, dentures loosen as this happens, and for many patients, end up feeling too big for their mouths. What are your options if this has happened to you?

Is it OK to brush dentures with toothpaste? ›

Many commercial types of toothpaste can damage dentures. Instead, use a soft-bristle denture brush, designed specifically for cleaning dentures, and water to brush all surfaces of the dentures, but be careful not to bend any attachments. Rinse your dentures with water after each meal.

Is it hard to smile with dentures? ›

Does It Hurt to Smile with Dentures? You may experience slight irritation or soreness during the first few weeks of wearing dentures. However, once you become accustomed to them, you will feel more comfortable and confident smiling with dentures.

Can you tongue kiss with dentures? ›

Although you won't have to worry about any slipping or irritation, your dentures can dislodge if kissing gets a little out of hand. Kissing that creates suction is more likely to loosen your dentures. Pushing against your partner's mouth too hard can also cause them to move.

What does eating with dentures feel like? ›

New wearers often report a “full-mouth” feeling, as though the dentures are too big and pushing the lips forward. This feeling will diminish as you adjust to wearing dentures. They may feel like they don't fit properly at first. They may “gag” you or cause you to bite your cheek or tongue.

Does it feel weird to have dentures? ›

When wearing dentures for the first time, the prosthesis would feel unnatural. But as the oral structures adjust to the appliance, normal sensations would return. Patients may also experience an increase in saliva production and irritation, but these are sure to return to normal over time.

Can you eat OK with dentures? ›

Eating with dentures

When you first start wearing dentures, you should eat soft foods cut into small pieces and chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth. Avoid chewing gum and any food that's sticky, hard or has sharp edges. You can gradually start to eat other types of food until you're back to your old diet.

Can you live a normal life with dentures? ›

The answer is yes; you can feel normal with dentures. Modern technology has made it easy; dentures can feel as if they are part of the mouth. You need your dentures to feel like part of your mouth because they play an important role in your life, including how you look and feel when you smile.

Can people tell you are wearing dentures? ›

By listening closely to the person, you may detect a lisp. This happens because the tongue and the mouth are not used to having dental plates. However, as time passes, the lisp will eventually disappear, and it will be impossible to know if the person is wearing a denture by observing the person's speech.

Why do false teeth look so big? ›

Because dentures rest on that gum ridge and are customized to fit its shape and size, dentures loosen as this happens, and for many patients, end up feeling too big for their mouths. What are your options if this has happened to you?

Is it hard to talk when you first get dentures? ›

You may feel like you sound louder than usual when you start speaking with dentures. This is because dentures alter the anatomy of your mouth, and therefore, the way sound travels from it. Don't worry—it's more noticeable to you than to others, and you will sound more natural over time.

Is it hard to smile with dentures? ›

Does It Hurt to Smile with Dentures? You may experience slight irritation or soreness during the first few weeks of wearing dentures. However, once you become accustomed to them, you will feel more comfortable and confident smiling with dentures.

What percentage of people are happy with their dentures? ›

Only 5% of those surveyed were completely satisfied with their dentures. The two largest categories for improvement were in comfort of their dentures (77%) and appearance (49%). 5.

What is the average age of people with dentures? ›

Studies reveal that people over the age of 40 are most likely to get dentures. Only 33.6 percent of people between the age of 40 and 64 do not suffer from teeth loss. As such, dentures become an indispensable part of a person's life once they cross the 40-year old threshold.

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