It’s one of the most disappointing things people discover about having dentures: you just can’t bite and chew as well as you used to. You might be unhappy with the limited list of foods you are able to eat comfortably, and wish that you could expand them. You might be unhappy with the amount of time it takes for you to chew foods. Or you might have noticed more digestive problems since you got dentures from your dentist in Rochester, NY. All these can be addressed with improved chewing.
Here are three methods for improving your chewing with dentures.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Okay, so you’re probably not going to take this act to Carnegie Hall, but you can get better at chewing with dentures in time. People who have had dentures for years are able to bite and chew better than those who have had them for months. Don’t rush yourself.
Remember to bite down and swallow before you start eating. This helps seat your dentures in place. Make sure you’re chewing straight up and down, not with a side-to-side motion, which can dislodge your dentures. Also try to bite completely through handheld foods like sandwiches rather than relying on a tearing motion to separate the bite you want, which could dislodge your dentures.
Try a Soft Liner
You might think that having a soft liner would reduce your biting and chewing force, but it actually improves it. The soft liner not only cushions your gums, but also helps the dentures conform to the gums. Since your bones and gums are constantly reshaping under your dentures, soft liners help preserve a good fit for your dentures.
Get Dental Implants
Of course, the best way to improve your ability to chew with dentures is to get dental implants. While practice might improve your biting force by 20% or so, dental implants might make an improvement of 200-300%. There are many different options for securing your dentures with dental implants. Many people, especially those who have had removable dentures for a while, like the lower cost and greater ease of removable snap-on dentures. These dentures allow you to chew significantly better than with normal removable dentures. Just how much better depends on the number of dental implants and the type of connection used.
Can I Chew Gum with Dentures?
Chewing gum with dentures can have some advantages. First, it helps you get more practice chewing, which, as we noted above, can improve your bite force. Second, it can stimulate saliva production, and since many people with dentures struggle with dry mouth, this can be important.
However, chewing gum with dentures presents a serious problem. If the gum sticks to dentures, it will pull them, and pulling them out is the easiest way to dislodge them. Although there are several brands of chewing gum designed not to stick to dentures, such as Freedent and Biotene, many people find that these gums still stick to dentures, dislodging them. You can try chewing these gums with dentures, but do not be surprised if it doesn’t work.
However, with implant dentures, you will be able to chew gum without difficulty.
Can I Eat a Sandwich with Dentures?
Sandwiches present a significant problem for denture wearers. It is hard for denture wearers to bite through many types of bread. But the biggest challenge is that normally we eat sandwiches by grabbing and tearing the sandwich with the teeth. This pulls on the teeth. As we noted above, pulling on dentures is likely to dislodge them. Another issue is that bread and some sandwich ingredients stick to dentures, making it hard to chew.
So, if you want to eat a sandwich with dentures, you should avoid:
- Hard, crusty bread
- Lunch meats (and other hard-to-tear ingredients)
- Sticky ingredients
On the other hand, people with implant dentures have no difficulty chewing sandwiches. These dentures are designed to function like natural teeth, and can resist pulling forces. Plus, they can be made with materials that are more stick-resistant than traditional dentures.
Quality Dentures Can Improve Your Quality of Life
There are some dentures that make it hard to live a normal, healthy life. Many people feel these dentures make life worse. However, if you choose quality dentures, it can improve your life.
If you are tired of fighting your food and want the ability to chew it effectively again, we can help. Please call (585) 244-3337 for an appointment with a Rochester, NY denture dentist at Contemporary Dentistry on South Clinton Ave between Elmwood and Westfall in Brighton.