Controversial opinion: nobody likes going on a diet.
If we weren't supposed to consume certain foods, then why oh why did they make them so dang delicious? Diet fad culture is everywhere these days, and getting inundated with even more dietary restrictions after getting dentures is enough to send a person hurtling toward the nearest box of Cracker Jacks. Except– whoops! You can’t eat those!
Juggling a denture-friendly diet puts you in awkward situations such as dodging casual coffee dates, or insisting you're not hungry as your stomach moans at the company holiday party while standing over the crudite platter. You and the steakhouse no longer get along, and Grandma wants to know why you refused to sample her famous caramels at Christmas this year. You may find yourself walking wearily home from a festive event full of crunchy, sticky, and otherwise chewy finger foods with your gut loudly growling “CAN I LIVE?”, and we are here to tell you that, with a few totally non-weird adjustments, yes. Yes you can.
Popcorn is a nightmare food for teeth, and when it comes to dentures it’s pretty much a no-go. Thank goodness for brands like PopCorners creating a kernel-free popcorn experience that won’t stick in our denture sets. We’re also a fan of puffed veggie straws and other air-baked crunchy snacks. Sneak a bag into the movie theater, or serve up a bowl during your next Netflix binge.
Whole fruits and veggies vs bite size produce
Biting directly into a piece of hard produce can cause gum pain from pressure, or dislodge dentures. Fear not friends, serve up your plant-based snacks in bite-size pieces and you can't go wrong. Try cutting carrot rounds vs sticks, or slice apples thinly. Pack on the go in a ziplock or reusable snack container, and don’t forget the hummus!
Coffee is troublesome for dentures, but not for the reason that you think. Sure, nobody wants coffee-stained teeth, but did you know the dehydrating effects of caffeine can dry out the mouth, leading to loose dentures and sores? Try sipping a caffeine-free energizing alternative like an herbal blend or golden milk beverage. Or wean yourself off the morning jolt entirely, and settle for a fruit smoothie instead.
It’s tough. It’s chewy. It’s mayhem for denture wearers. You can still enjoy dense meats (or meat alternatives) by making sure you cut your portion up into small pieces before consuming. However, if large cuts of meat aren’t really your thing, you might want to stick with ground meat options instead. Hello protein-packed taco bowls, chili, and pasta sauce.
Gorging on gooey candy with dentures is as bad as the jokes on a Laffy Taffy label. Don’t get stuck on cheap thrills, swap gummies, toffee, and caramel for everyone's favorite treat– ice cream. It’s easy on the jaw, and often includes small pieces of whatever sticky candy you crave, without the jaw-jamming chew factor. Who knew Ben and Jerry were your denture BFF’s?
Let us lay a seed of wisdom on you– seeds are now your worst enemy. They travel, migrate, and lodge themselves between your teeth, under your gums, and around the wrong side of your dentures causing discomfort and general grossness– nobody asked you to save those sesame seeds for later, babe! If you’re craving the health factor of seeds, opt for whole grain breads and baked goods. Grind flax seeds to a fine powder and add to your oats, soups, and smoothies. Craving the taste? Try healthy spreads like sunflower seed butter, or pour on the tahini sauce for a smoother eating experience.