Dentures replace missing teeth, so they have a very important role in helping seniors chew food properly. Eating and drinking with dentures is much easier than trying to eat without teeth, but it does come with some unique challenges. If your senior loved one has dentures, follow this advice to make mealtimes easier.
1. Take It Slow
Many new denture wearers become frustrated because it is difficult to chew, and food items seem to taste odd. However, these frustrations go away as the brain becomes used to the dentures. Encourage your loved one to start with soft foods that do not need a lot of chewing, and remember the brain will begin ignoring the sensation of dentures and focus on the taste of food again. Instead of immediately trying to take big bites out of apples or corn on the cob, cut all food into tiny bites until your loved one is used to eating with dentures.
Encourage your elderly loved one to prepare healthy and easy-to-chew foods. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Dayton seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
2. Chew on Both Sides
Seniors with dentures may need to take a little bit of extra caution when chewing to avoid putting uneven pressure on their dentures. It is best to chew food with the back teeth because this keeps the dentures in the correct position. Using both sides of the mouth at the same time prevents the dentures from tipping and losing suction. Seniors also need to make sure to chew on both the back left and back right of the mouth to prevent sore spots.
3. Keep Dentures Properly Seated
Dentures only work for eating when they are in the right position. To keep them from becoming displaced, some seniors may benefit from a gentle denture fixative. Seniors with dentures can also practice better chewing habits to keep their dentures in place. Your loved one can start by putting his or her teeth together and swallowing before opening the mouth to seat the dentures, then gently open the mouth just wide enough to let the food in. This keeps dentures in the optimal chewing position.
Denture maintenance is not difficult but is vital for your aging loved one’s overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Dayton, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
4. Be Cautious About Temperature
Teeth are an important way of measuring the temperature of food, so many seniors end up with brain freeze or a burnt tongue while learning to eat and drink with dentures. Your loved one can try testing temperatures by taking a small bite slowly or touching the item with a fingertip before shoving a huge bite into the mouth. Hotter beverages and soups can also loosen denture fixatives, so your loved one should take extra caution.
5. Rinse Dentures Regularly
After drinking anything besides water or eating any food, it is best to remove dentures and gently rinse the dentures and the mouth with water. This keeps food and sugary liquids from becoming trapped in the crevices of the mouth, preventing unpleasant infections.
If your loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, consider hiring a caregiver. In Dayton, Ohio, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If you’re looking for a reliable in-home care agency, call us at (937) 353-1412.