As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and some of those changes can lead to the loss of teeth. Fortunately, dentures can provide a solution to those who have lost their teeth. However, it’s important to remember that dentures may have some limitations on the types of food you can eat.
Choosing the proper diet can help ensure that your dentures stay in good condition and that you maintain good oral health. In this blog, we’ll explore what foods you should include in your diet when wearing dentures and some tips for making mealtime enjoyable and comfortable.
Tip 1: Eat soft, pureed food at first
With your new dentures, you’ll want to start eating soft, pureed foods. This can include hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced fruit, soup, and oatmeal. Over time, you should get back to your pre-dentures diet. But you should ease into it with your new set.
Take a look at these four easy, low-sodium soup recipes for inspiration!
Tip 2: Try to avoid sticky candy and popcorn
We’ve all been there – you’ve had a popcorn kernel lodged between your teeth that seemed impossible to get out. Or, you could have sworn that you felt your cavity filling get pulled up a little while eating a handful of Milk Duds. While it can be hard to avoid sweet and salty treats, eating foods like popcorn and sticky candy can cause issues with denture wearers. Instead, try eating air-puffed chips and soft-baked cookies to get your fix. If you’re open to cutting out candy entirely, try replacing it with sweet, soft fruits like mangos and blueberries.
Smoothies are also a healthy alternative to treat your sweet tooth while being easy to drink. Check out these nutritious and tasty smoothies for seniors.
Tip 3: Drink more water
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, most Americans need to get the recommended amount of water. Along with being essential for us to live, water has outstanding, beneficial qualities that help keep our bodies working properly. One specific aspect that water supports is oral hygiene. Saliva is 98% water and is used to help us eat and flush out bacteria in our mouths. Plus, it would help if you had saliva to keep your mouth from drying out, which can make your dentures uncomfortable.
Tip 4: Remember to take care of your gums
Overall oral hygiene is essential – and your gums are no exception. Failing to take care of your gums could put your health at risk. Over 90% of systemic diseases produce dental signs and symptoms. In addition, studies have shown that inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflamed arteries, which can lead to a stroke.
Along with brushing your gums and using mouthwash, you can incorporate certain foods rich in vitamins and minerals that promote healthy gums. A few examples include:
Vitamin C: Foods with high amounts of vitamin C are great for healthy gums because they reduce inflammation. Try adding more leafy greens and fruits to your daily diet.
Probiotics: Research suggests that probiotics can have a beneficial effect on oral health. More specifically, it’s been found that probiotics decrease bleeding in gums and therefore boost overall gingival health! Lots of dairy products – like yogurt and kefir – contain probiotics. Or, you can research supplements that can be purchased over the counter.
Whole Grains: Foods rich in whole grains have been found to lower periodontal disease. Incorporating whole grain treats and dishes, like oatmeal and brown rice, into your diet can help up your intake.
So, while you should focus on getting comfortable with your new set of dentures, remember to take care of the rest of your mouth!