What foods cant you eat with partial dentures?

Getting partial dentures can be a big adjustment. While they allow you to eat many of the foods you love, some modifications may be necessary. Understanding which foods to avoid or alter can help prevent damage to your partial dentures.

Hard Foods

Hard foods are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to damaging partial dentures. Biting into something hard or crunchy can dislodge or break your partial denture. Some hard foods to avoid include:

  • Nuts – All nuts should be avoided or chopped finely before eating. The hardness of nuts can damage the delicate acrylic in partial dentures.
  • Seeds – Seeds from fruits and vegetables can easily get lodged under partial dentures and damage the acrylic.
  • Hard candies – Sucking on hard candies can dislodge clasps and damage acrylic teeth. Stick to softer candies instead.
  • Ice – Chewing ice should be avoided as it can crack and warp the acrylic.
  • Raw vegetables – Carrots, celery, broccoli stalks and other crunchy raw veggies can potentially damage partial dentures. Consider steaming or boiling veggies first.
  • Popcorn – Unpopped kernels and the hard popped pieces can damage partials. Opt for soft, fully popped pieces instead.

When in doubt, it’s best to avoid any food with a very hard, crunchy texture. Instead, choose softer foods that are easier to chew and swallow.

Sticky Foods

Sticky, chewy foods can also wreak havoc on partial dentures. These foods can dislodge the denture, remove acrylic teeth, or get stuck under the plate. Here are some sticky foods to enjoy cautiously with partial dentures:

  • Gum – Chewing gum should be avoided altogether. Even non-sugary varieties can remove acrylic teeth.
  • Caramels or taffy – Their gooey, sticky consistency makes them likely to pull out denture teeth.
  • Dried fruits – Raisins, apricots and other dried fruits tend to stick to acrylic.
  • Soft candies – Gummy bears, fruit snacks, jellies and marshmallows can get lodged in dentures.
  • Bread dough – The doughy consistency can stick to partials and remove clasps or teeth.
  • Starches – Pasta, breads and grains can get trapped around or under partial dentures.

Go easy on these foods, chew slowly, and clean partials thoroughly after eating. Cut dried fruits into small pieces and cook starches like pasta until very soft.

Crunchy Fruits and Veggies

While fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, their crunchy textures can potentially damage partial dentures. Some firmer produce to enjoy cautiously includes:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Corn on the cob

Carefully chewing small pieces, cooking thoroughly, or pureeing these foods can make them safer for your partial dentures. Remove corn kernels from the cob before eating.

Crusty Breads

Breads with hard, crusty exteriors could damage partial dentures. Baguettes, rolls, and toast are examples. However, softer bread is fine. When eating bread, follow these tips:

  • Choose soft bread without hard crusts.
  • Tear off small pieces rather than biting into it.
  • Dip hard bread in soup or other liquid to soften first.
  • Avoid crusty types of toast and rolls.
  • Spread soft butter, cheese, or other topping to soften the bread first.

Sandwiches made with soft bread cut into small pieces are an ideal alternative. Hard bread crusts can always be removed before eating as well.

Tough Meats

Meats can be problematic if they are too tough, crunchy, or chewy. Some meats that may damage partial dentures include:

  • Beef jerky
  • Tough cuts of red meat
  • Ribs
  • Dried meats
  • Poultry with bones
  • Pork scratchings
  • Bacon rinds

Opt for tender cuts of meat without bones. If eating ribs, scrap off any excess cartilage and bone. Cook meats until tender enough to cut with a fork. Add sauces to help soften them up. Ground meats like hamburgers are also easier to chew. Remove bacon rinds before eating.

Chewy Foods

Foods with a sticky, chewy texture are hazardous for partial dentures. They can tug on clasps and teeth. Here are some chewy foods that require caution:

  • Bagels
  • Pizza crust
  • Biscuits
  • Pretzels
  • Croissants
  • Rehydrated dried fruit
  • Sourdough bread
  • Licorice
  • Beef jerky
  • Gummy candy
  • Marshmallows
  • Granola bars
  • Taffy
  • Dried pineapple
  • Toffee

Take small bites of these foods and chew completely. Avoid very sticky and chewy candies altogether. Consider dipping harder items in coffee or tea to soften them first.

Popcorn and Chips

Two popular snack foods – popcorn and potato chips – need some precautions with partial dentures but don’t have to be avoided completely. Here are some tips:

  • Popcorn – Choose soft, fully popped pieces. Avoid unpopped kernels. Opt for light buttery popcorn rather than extra crunchy varieties.
  • Chips – Go for thicker, sturdier chips rather than thin, brittle ones. Kettle cooked chips may be too hard. Wavy and ridged chips tend to be safer. Dip chips in dips or salsa to soften them before biting.
  • Take small bites of popcorn and chips, chewing thoroughly on both sides.
  • Cut chips into smaller pieces to reduce crunching force on partials.

Moderate portions of these foods while being careful when chewing. Always clean partials carefully after snacking to remove any stuck particles.

Tough or Chewy Vegetables

Some fresh vegetables are naturally quite dense and fibrous. Their tough textures make them harder to chew with partial dentures. Vegetables to enjoy cautiously include:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli stalks
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn on the cob
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips

Proper cooking and preparation can make eating these vegetables safer. Try the following methods:

  • Cut into thin pieces. This makes them less likely to dislodge partial dentures.
  • Cook well until very soft, not just lightly steamed. They should be fork tender.
  • Puree or mash to a smooth consistency.
  • Dip raw veggies in hummus, sauce or dressing to soften them.

Take your time chewing pieces very thoroughly before swallowing. Go slowly with corn on the cob, removing kernels from the cob first if needed.

Sticky Foods That Adhere to Dentures

Some sticky foods can get lodged in partial dentures, coating their surface and getting trapped. This can affect chewing and damage the material. Sticky foods to eat carefully include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Gummy candy
  • Dried fruit like raisins or prunes
  • Bananas
  • Marshmallows
  • Nutella
  • Cake frosting
  • Soft cheese like Brie or Camembert

Rinse your dentures after eating sticky foods. Brush any particles off all surfaces. Soak and clean dentures as directed to remove clinging bits of food. Enjoy smaller portions of sticky foods.

Crumbly Foods

Crumbly foods that break down into small pieces during chewing can also get trapped in partial dentures. This includes:

  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Pie crusts
  • Biscuits
  • Dry cornbread
  • Granola
  • Energy bars
  • Crackers

Bite sized pieces and thorough chewing can help prevent crumbs from sticking and lodging. Avoid extra dry and crumbly items. Drink water while eating to help wash away crumbs. Clean your partial dentures after consumption.

Crunchy Raw Vegetables

Raw vegetables add healthy crunch to meals but also pose risks. Their firm, juicy textures and high water content can potentially dislodge dentures. Some raw veggies to enjoy carefully include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Zucchini

Make these veggies safer by slicing thinly, chopping into small pieces, grating, cooking until softer, or pureeing. Dip pieces in hummus or dressing before eating. Avoid whole big chunks which require more chewing force.

Additional Tips for Eating with Partial Dentures

Aside from being cautious with certain foods, there are other ways to eat with partial dentures while minimizing damage:

  • Chew thoroughly on both sides – Don’t favor one side as this can warp dentures over time.
  • Cut food into small pieces – This makes chewing easier and exerts less pressure.
  • Use dental adhesive if needed – Adhesives can help stabilize dentures during meals.
  • Avoid eating dentures when not needed – Remove them for snacks when possible.
  • Brush after each meal – Brush away food particles after eating to keep dentures clean.
  • Don’t bite into foods – Cut pieces off instead of biting directly into fruits, veggies, and other foods.
  • Adjust seasoning if needed – Add sauces and dressings to help soften and lubricate food.
  • See your dentist regularly – Have them adjust dentures that become loose or damaged.

Practice good oral hygiene and handle partial dentures with care to maximize their lifespan. See your dentist at least yearly, or whenever problems arise.

Foods to Enjoy with Partial Dentures

While some foods require caution, many foods can be enjoyed fully with partial dentures. Focus on foods that are soft, tender, and naturally well-lubricated. Some denture-friendly foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Well-cooked fish
  • Tender poultry without bones
  • Ground or well cooked red meats
  • Well-steamed rice
  • Oatmeal and cream of wheat
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soft fruits like bananas, applesauce, berries
  • Soft cooked or mashed vegetables
  • Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Casseroles
  • Breads without hard crusts

Explore moist, soft dishes from a wide variety of cuisines to keep meals exciting. Mexican food, Italian dishes, Chinese noodle or rice plates, and Indian curries tend to offer denture-friendly options.

Adjusting to Life with Partial Dentures

Adapting to partial dentures involves a learning curve as you discover what foods work well and which to avoid. Be patient with yourself as you adjust. Trying new items slowly and cautiously will let you learn which textures and consistencies you can handle best.

Chewing deliberately and using good oral hygiene habits can prevent excess damage. Finding the right dental adhesive can also improve eating ability. Over time, eating with partial dentures will become second nature.

Focus on a balanced diet full of nutritious fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy. Softer, moist dishes may become your new favorites. With the right dietary modifications and denture care, you can enjoy all your favorite healthy foods.


Partial dentures allow you to regain chewing function but require care with certain hard, sticky, and chewy foods. Avoiding popcorn, nuts, raw veggies, tough meats, crusty breads, and sticky candies can prevent damage. Proper preparation techniques like chopping, cooking thoroughly, and taking small bites make these foods safer.

Practice slowly with new foods to see if they agree with your partial dentures. Maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly. With time, you can discover a diverse, satisfying diet that works well with partial dentures.

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