25/11/2014 by Allan Delsaut, Denture Specialist
LEARNING TO CHEW WITH DENTURES
By far the greatest challenge for most denture wearers is re-learning how to eat with dentures. A lot of denture wearers simply avoid foods that give them problems, but that’s not necessary. You just need to understand the mechanics and employ a few tricks to make things easier. Take some advice from the camel.
One of the greatest challenges for most denture wearers is re-learning how to eat with their new teeth. A lot of denture wearers simply avoid foods that give them problems, but that’s not really necessary. You just need to understand the mechanics and employ a few tricks to make things easier.
Chewing with dentures:
Eating with a complete set of dentures is quite different than with natural teeth. Your dentures are not embedded in the bone and so lack nerves that can sense pain, pressure and temperature. Instead, dentures rest on soft, movable tissue and of course can't sense pain or temperature.
The trick to eating is to keep the denture stable during chewing. If you apply force only on one side of the denture, the other side will and tip and possibly break the seal. The solution is to learn to chew simultaneously on both sides. And the best way to learn is to practice.
Start with brittle foods such as a cracker. Place half a small cracker on one side and half on the other side. Attempt to chew slowly, thoroughly and then swallow. Two-sided chewing feels a little awkward at first because we’re used to chewing on one side with natural teeth. But, two-sided chewing can be learned and will help you along the road.
- Selecting foods that can be eaten with a knife and fork.
- Cut the food into bite-sized pieces which can then be placed on the back teeth.
- Methodically chew on both sides at once until it can be swallowed. Gradually, this process will become natural and rarely will anyone be aware of your denture limitations - unless you call attention to them yourself.
- Initially it might be an idea to avoid certain foods such as tough breads, corn-on-the-cob or foods with tiny particle that can get in under the denture. It goes without saying that sticky substances such as chewing gum and caramels that can stick to the dentures and should be avoided.
Having dentures is no excuse for bad nutrition. It's important to maintain a proper diet and fluid balance which is important to your overall general health. Over-indulging in foods with high carbohydrates – such as diet pop, aren't a good idea anyway so simply avoid them. Lots of fruits and water (at least 2 quarts per day) is a good idea.
Above all, wear the dentures at mealtime despite the difficulties. Do not become discouraged. Don't fall back on the "crutch" of using old dentures or doing without. This will only prolong the adjustment period.
Remember, millions have learned these skills and you can too.