Dentures are artificial teeth that replace missing or damaged natural teeth. They help seniors speak and eat better than before, and they can create a more appealing facial structure and look. Dentures are not teeth, however, and there are several things that family caregivers and home care providers must do to ensure the dentures last a long time and serve the aging adult well.
Topping the list of denture care requirements is staying away from certain foods. While most ingredients are fine for seniors to eat with their dentures, dentists recommend staying away from several different kinds that can hurt the gums or lead to breakage. Since family caregivers and home care providers are generally responsible for preparing meals, they need to know what foods to avoid.
Nuts and Seeds.
While these are healthy and delicious, they are simply too hard for seniors to chomp on. It requires far too much force to crack a nut in the teeth, which can irritate the gums. Most people chew nuts on their molars, and the pressure on just one side of the mouth can cause the dentures to pop out of place, crack and even fall out. Tiny seeds, on the other hand, can cause irritation in the gums if they get caught between the denture and the gums. Irritants can rub against the soft tissue and create sores.
Hard Fruits and Vegetables.
Similar to nuts, hard fruits and vegetables require a lot of force to bite into. It’s far too easy for seniors to ruin their dentures by biting into a hard, raw fruit or vegetable. Common culprits of broken dentures include apples, carrots, celery, corn on the cob and coconut.
Certain sticky food is a challenge to eat, even with natural teeth. However, things like peanut butter, taffy, chewing gum, fruit paste, and caramel can be very difficult to remove from the surface of the dentures. Further, an elderly person’s efforts to dislodge the sticky substance can pull the dentures out of place.
Stringy or Tough Meat.
When meat is prepared a certain way, it can be soft and tender. However, there are several types of meat, or ways to prepare them, that can lead to extremely stringy and chewy bites. Family caregivers and home care providers should avoid serving seniors any tough, grilled steak, chewy pork chops, barbecue ribs, and similar cuts of meat that will challenge them.
With some planning and preparation, aging adults can have just about any type of food they want with their dentures, with the exception of a few items. However, it’s well worth it to avoid these problem foods so the aging adult can have a comfortable, attractive and pain-free mouth.
If you or someone you know needs caregiver services in Blaine, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.