What foods are off limits with dentures?

Having dentures can require some adjustments to your eating habits. While dentures allow you to eat most foods, some modifications may be necessary to avoid damage and maintain proper nutrition.

Why do some foods need to be limited with dentures?

There are a few key reasons why certain foods may need to be avoided or limited with dentures:

  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods – These textures can potentially dislodge or break dentures.
  • Avoid overly hot or cold foods – Temperature extremes can loosen dentures and cause sensitivity.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods – Caramel, taffy, and chewy candies can remove denture adhesive.
  • Avoid tough, chewy meats – Dentures may not be able to properly chew meats with fibrous textures.
  • Avoid sharp foods – Crispy chips, nuts, seeds, and hard bread crusts could potentially scratch or break dentures.
  • Avoid overly acidic or spicy foods – These can irritate the gum tissue under dentures.

Foods to Avoid Completely

While denture wearers can still enjoy a wide variety of foods, there are some that are better to avoid completely:

  • Nuts and seeds – Due to their hard, irregular texture, nuts and seeds can get caught under dentures and damage them. Avoid whole nuts, seeds, popcorn, and nut butters.
  • Crunchy raw vegetables – Raw carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and other crunchy vegetables can also become lodged under dentures. Cook or steam vegetables instead.
  • Chewy, sticky, or hard candies – Caramels, taffies, gummies, jawbreakers, and hard candies pose a risk for denture damage and loss of adhesive.
  • Tough, chewy meats – Beef jerky, ribs, tough cuts of steak, and tendons require a lot of chewing force, which dentures cannot easily replicate.
  • Crunchy chips and crispy breads – Foods like tortilla chips, croutons, crackers, pretzels, and crusty bread can crack, dislodge or break dentures.
  • Whole apples and corn on the cob – The crunchy texture and bulky shape of these foods make them difficult to bite and chew with dentures.

Foods to Limit

In addition to the foods that should be completely avoided, some other items are best consumed only in limited quantities or modified forms:

  • Tough, fibrous meats – Meats like steak, beef jerky, and pork require a lot of chewing. Opt for ground meats, tender cuts chopped into small pieces, or cooked in stews or soups.
  • Crunchy raw fruits and vegetables – Whole raw carrots, apples, broccoli and others are too hard. Choose softer fruits like bananas, melon and berries. Cook vegetables to soften.
  • Crusty breads – Baguettes, French bread, ciabatta and others have a very crispy crust. Opt for softer sliced breads and rolls.
  • Oily and greasy foods – Fried foods, burgers, and other greasy items can loosen denture adhesive. Use moderation.
  • Popcorn and rice – Due to the risk of kernels getting stuck, limit quantities. Avoid caramel corn.
  • Fruits with small seeds – Berries with seeds like strawberries and raspberries tend to get stuck under dentures easily.
  • Hard, crunchy fruits and vegetables – Raw celery, broccoli, peppers, carrots and others require more chewing. Cook thoroughly or use small pieces.
  • Chewy dried fruits – Dried apricots, dates, mango and other sticky dried fruits cling to dentures.
  • Gum and sticky candies – Chewing gum, caramels, gummy bears and taffy can remove denture adhesive and damage dentures.

Tips for Eating with Dentures

Making some simple modifications to your eating habits can help you get the most out of your dentures:

  • Cut food into small pieces to aid chewing.
  • Thoroughly cook fruits and vegetables to soften them.
  • Moisten and soften foods with sauces, broths, and condiments.
  • Avoid putting all chewing pressure on dentures – use tongue and roof of mouth too.
  • Eat slowly and carefully, especially with sticky foods.
  • Consider avoiding problem foods in public to prevent embarrassing denture slippage.
  • Remove and rinse dentures promptly after meals.
  • Avoid very hot foods and drinks that can loosen adhesive.
  • Difficult foods may be easier to eat at the end of a meal.

Foods Safe to Eat with Dentures

Despite some limitations, you can enjoy plenty of foods with dentures. Here are some of the top foods denture wearers can eat freely:

Category Good Food Options
Dairy Milk, plain yogurt, soft cheeses, pudding, ice cream
Protein Eggs, smooth nut butters, tender meat, fish, beans
Grains Cooked rice, pasta, oatmeal, soft breads
Fruits Bananas, melon, berries, canned fruit, applesauce
Vegetables Well-cooked vegetables, leafy greens, mashed potatoes
Beverages Water, juice, milk, coffee, tea, wine
Miscellaneous Sauces, soups, dips, honey, jam, baked goods

Focusing on soft, moist foods that are easy to chew and swallow can help maximize nutrition. Preparation methods like chopping, grinding, cooking, and pureeing can also broaden food choices.

Transitioning to Dentures

Adapting to dentures can take some time. Here are some tips to ease the transition:

  • Start with soft, mild-tasting foods until you adapt to chewing and tasting.
  • Stick with familiar foods and reintroduce new foods slowly.
  • Ask your dentist for advice about your unique situation.
  • Practice speaking, smiling, and other oral functions with dentures in.
  • Manage discomfort by taking pain relievers and using numbing gels as needed.
  • Be patient – mastering dentures takes practice. Improvement happens gradually.
  • Get adjustments from your dentist if dentures feel uncomfortable or loose.

Importance of Proper Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential for overall health, especially with the limitations posed by dentures. Be mindful of getting proper amounts of:

  • Protein – Choose soft, tender proteins like eggs, fish, poultry, yogurt, beans, and smooth nut butters.
  • Fruits and vegetables – Get creative with preparation methods by cooking, chopping, blending, and pureeing.
  • Grains – Opt for soft whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, rice and pasta.
  • Dairy – Drink milk and soy milk. Eat pudding, cottage cheese, and soft cheeses.
  • Healthy fats – Use olive oil, avocados, nuts butters and other plant-based fats.
  • Water – Stay well hydrated, especially when getting used to dentures.

Consult a dietitian if needing help maintaining proper nutrition. With some adaptation to food choices and preparation techniques, you can obtain all the nutrients you need with dentures.

When to See a Dentist

See your dentist right away if you experience:

  • Broken, cracked or damaged dentures.
  • Dentures that are uncomfortable, loose or rubbing.
  • Difficulty eating, swallowing or digesting.
  • Weight loss from eating difficulties.
  • Dehydration from trouble drinking.
  • Ongoing discomfort, sores or irritation.
  • Accidental denture swallowing or aspiration.

Schedule regular dental checkups every 6 months so your dentist can examine oral health and ensure dentures are still fitting properly. Ask your dentist to recommend specific foods to avoid or limit based on the type of dentures you have.


Dentures allow you to enjoy a wide variety of foods with some modifications. Stick to moist, soft foods while avoiding excessively crunchy, sticky, hard, chewy or sharp items that could potentially damage dentures. Implement special preparation techniques like cutting food into small pieces, cooking thoroughly, and adding sauces. Stay hydrated and continue to consume a nutritious diet. See your dentist promptly for any issues. With some simple adaptations, you can eat both safely and nutritiously with dentures.

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