Adjusting to a new set of dentures can be uncomfortable or awkward at first. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 Americans have lost all of their teeth by the age of 65.
When it comes to adjusting to your new set of pearly whites, Colgate highlights some very basic tips:
What kinds of foods should you eat when you first get dentures? We have 4 diet tips for you!
Tip 1: Eat soft, pureed food at first
With your new dentures, you’ll want to start off with eating soft, pureed foods. This can include hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced fruit, soup and oatmeal. Over time, you should be able to get back to your pre-dentures diet. But, you may want to 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 in 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
Most Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of water, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control. Along with being essential for us to live, water has amazing, 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 mouth. Plus, you need 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 important – and your gums are no exception. Failing to take care of your gums could be putting your health at risk. Over 90% of systemic diseases produce dental signs and symptoms. 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 that are rich in vitamins and minerals that can 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 into 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, don’t forget to take care of the rest of your mouth!
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Author Bio: Caroline Gillard is a public relations professional and freelance writer for the health care and finance industries. As a stand-up comedian on the side, Caroline aspires to be playful with her writing while providing useful information for her readers.