The type of foods that denture wearers can eat depends mostly on practice. Much like an athlete does not start training program by running a marathon, new denture wearers cannot start practicing on tough, chewy foods. Eating with dentures requires practice because not only does your tongue, lips, and cheeks have to move food around to eat, but these muscles also have to manage the dentures in your mouth.
Dr. Schafer recommends that patients start with drinking fluids and eating softer foods such as baked fish, mashed potatoes, eggs, and yogurt. After these foods have been mastered, the next level is soft chewy foods and crispy foods. Foods such as steamed carrots, pasta, and bananas are great as well as dry cereal such as Cheerios. Also at this time, you should start trying to eating boiled crawfish and shrimp. The third level is chewier and crispier foods such as berries, fried seafood, hamburgers without a bun, and white bread. Most denture wearers can get to the third level with enough practice, but only some can pass this level to tougher foods such as chicken, pork, or broccoli. The hardest level is foods such as whole apples, steak, corn on the cob, and dressed po-boys. Dressed po-boys are especially challenging because of the many different types of foods and textures.
While Dr. Schafer has met some denture patients with an iron lock bite, most find these initial learning period frustrating as they want to go back to eating the foods they enjoy. Thankfully with today's technology, most of this learning can be avoided with implants. The implants will help retain a denture in the right spot so that the tongue, cheeks, and lips can focus on assisting with chewing the food.