How to Eat with Partial Dentures

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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Partial dentures replace one or more missing or damaged teeth. These dentures provide both cosmetic enhancement, by keeping the smile as natural looking as possible, and may prevent abnormalities in speech or bite that one would have with missing teeth. All dentures, including partials, require special care beyond that of natural teeth.

Although dentures look like real teeth, they may not feel like real teeth to you--especially when you first get your partial. Eating with partial dentures may feel odd and will take getting used to. In addition, you must take extra precautions to protect your partial while eating.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Eat soft foods, cut into small pieces, when you first get fitted for your partial denture, as suggested by Quality Dentistry. This will help you ease into becoming accustomed to eating with a partial denture.

  2. 2

    Chew equally with both sides of the mouth. In other words, do not favour the area not covered by the partial. You need to get used to chewing as normally as possible, but never rip or tear at food with your partial as you would with your natural teeth. The partial may slip out of place if you try to rip or tear food.

  3. 3

    Chew your food more fully and be extra careful when eating hot or cold foods. According to Dentures USA, dentures are not as sensitive to hot or cold, and you won't notice large particles as easily as with your natural teeth. Take the time to let food warm or cool and take the time to chew each bite completely.

  4. 4

    Avoid sticky candies, gum and hard foods, such as nuts. Sticky foods stick more easily to dentures than to real teeth. Hard foods may actually damage dentures. The longer you have your partial, the easier it will be to eat foods, but you will still need to avoid sticky and hard foods.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove your partial for brushing twice a day to remove food particles or stains, as advised by Simple Steps Dental. You can do this at the same time you brush your natural teeth; however, do not use toothpaste on your partial as most toothpaste is too abrasive. Use a soft toothbrush and denture cleaner instead.
  • Dentures USA warns against using toothpicks on dentures.

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