When you get dentures, it’s likely that your diet is going to change. Unfortunately, that’s not always for the better, especially if you have dentures that don’t fit you very well. But with smart choices, and maybe better dentures, you can still eat a healthy diet with dentures.
How Dentures Can Lead to Unhealthy Eating
There are two main obstacles denture wearers face when it comes to eating: a loss of chewing efficiency and a loss of taste.
Chewing efficiency goes down dramatically when you have dentures. You just can’t bite and chew the same way, even if your dentures fit really well. Fresh foods can become a challenge, including unprocessed meats (such as steak), and raw fruits and vegetables. When it gets hard to eat fresh foods, you may start choosing more processed foods, which are higher in fat, salt, and sugar.
And a loss of taste can make this even worse. An upper denture plate typically covers your palate, which is almost as important for taste as your tongue is. With less taste, you might be less motivated to eat a variety of foods, and may stick to those foods that are loaded with salt and sugar to give them stronger taste. You may stop cooking because it’s not as fun when you can’t taste things. And you might eat less overall.
Because of these changes to eating, many denture wearers may experience weight gain, weight loss, and, sometimes, malnutrition. But you can still have a healthy diet with dentures.
Recommended Diets for Seniors
Most important is to make sure you’re still eating a variety of foods that includes a range of nutrients. Seniors need higher levels of protein and iron, and while carbohydrate needs may be less, there is concern that seniors on high-protein, low-carb diets might experience constipation. Elevated cholesterol levels are also a concern for seniors on these types of diets. For healthy eating, remember alternate sources of protein, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils, which have the benefits of being low in cholesterol, high in fiber, and soft so they’re easy to eat.
It’s also important to remember that cooking can actually release more nutrients in some fruits and vegetables, so if you pick the right ones, you can get balanced nutrition even if you can’t eat raw fruits and veggies.
For seniors trying to lose weight, doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which have good taste value and can help control diabetes and cholesterol.
Better Dentures for Better Eating
But what do you do if you feel like your dentures just don’t let you eat a healthy variety of foods? New dentures may be the answer–New You Dentures™, to be precise, which are designed for optimal fit and chewing ability. And if you really want to enjoy the full benefits of these neuromuscular dentures, we recommend dental implants to anchor them.
In addition to improving your chewing efficiency, implant dentures allow us to make an upper denture without a full plate. That means your palate is exposed and you will have a much better sense of taste.