Best Foods for Senior with No Teeth


Many people dream of their teeth falling out, but for many seniors it is their reality. The loss of teeth can not only hinder the ability to speak but can also affect the types of food you can consume. According to an article by Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) professional Scott Grant of Graying with Grace, many seniors “have difficulty chewing solid food due to dysphagia, partially missing or complete loss of teeth, poor dental hygiene, reduced sense of taste or smell, and a host of digestive and other medical conditions.” [1] In fact, about 2 out of 3 adults over the age of 65 suffer from gum disease, and nearly 1 in every 5 adults 65 and older have lost their teeth, as stated by the CDC, in the United States and 45% of the elderly in India have lost their teeth. [1,2] Whether these issues were caused by medical reasons or personal life choices, the number of seniors living without their original teeth is on a global rise.

Although the loss of teeth is a sign of aging or poor personal hygiene, the food seniors consume can still be a delight. Soft foods are easier to chew and to digest; so, what are the best soft foods?


Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein full of healthy fats. They are easy to make and easy to chew. Have them scrambled with a scoop of sour cream or cottage cheese in the mix for an extra tab of flavor, or grab some mayonnaise and create a refreshing egg salad.


Steamed Vegetables

According to Graying with Grace, steaming vegetables keeps the much-needed nutrients compared to the boiling method that drains all the nutrients into the pot. [1]


Soups

Another versatile food is the endless amounts of soups. Some of the best recommendations are chicken noodle, tomato, bisques, minestrone, and beef vegetable. Soups are another great supplier of nutrition, and seniors don’t have to worry as much about chewing.


Fish and Meats

Lean meats and flaky soft fish can still be enjoyed. Flaky fish cooked until the “flesh flakes easily with a fork,” as stated by the Graying with Grace website, is best. Chefs for Seniors suggests slowly cooked pulled pork or beef chew as great alternatives to that of a tough steak or a slice of chicken breast that requires harder chewing. [1,3]


While this list only covers a handful of possibilities, there are many other foods that can be just as easy to make and eat for seniors. These softer foods are some of the best, according to several resources, because they are easy to prepare and digest without creating a mound of stress or a mundane routine for the senior diner or cook. The key to any diet is summed up best by CSA certified Scott Grant of Graying with Grace, as he says, “elderly people – even those with no teeth at all – will find that they can eat a lot of foods that will make them happy and keep them healthy.” [1]


References:

1. Grant, S. (n.d.). Guide to Soft Food for the Elderly (31 Quick & Easy Ideas). Retrieved from Graying with Grace: https://www.grayingwithgrace.com/soft-foods-for-elderly/


2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, May 5). Older Adult Oral Health. Retrieved from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/adult_older.htm#:~:text=About%202%20in%203%20(68,or%20older%20have%20gum%20disease.&text=Tooth%20loss.,65%2D74%20(13%25).


3. Lifestyle Desk. (2022, April 20). The Indian Express. Retrieved from Five foods that are best-suited for elderly people with no teeth: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/foods-seniors-no-teeth-chewing-healthy-food-nutrients-7775209/


Contributors:

Author: Emily Pau

Editor: Lauryn Agron

Health scientist: Rayven Hall


@werise4wellness

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