Candice Shea Maxwell
3 min readAug 4, 2020

The No Teeth Diet. Or lack there of.

It has officially been a month since my teeth extraction. I did a lot of Pinterest hunting at the start of this to find foods that would be easy to eat. I was sick of living off of apple sauce, soup, and mashed potatoes.

In my hunting I have discovered something frustrating. You can search on Pinterest for meals to eat after surgery. You can obviously find lists of foods to feed your pre-teeth toddler. You can even find lists of foods to eat when you have dentures. What you can’t find on Pinterest is a safe and not boring diet for adults who simply don’t have teeth.

You may be thinking, well why would that exist? Don’t people without teeth get dentures and move on with their lives? It would seem that not always, no. Maybe they can’t afford them. Maybe they simply don’t want the hassle. I’m not ready to interview those I see around town lacking teeth to find out. Maybe their entire dental plan got derailed by a global pandemic and they just want to eat like a normal human again. Maybe.

So I have been working on said foods. Experimenting, noting, and possibly pushing my gums too far. It is important to note that the more you use your exposed gums to chew the more you damage you do to the bone structure in your mouth.

Fun Fact…Unilateral measurement of maximum bite force in the molar region averages between 300 and 600 Newtons (N) in healthy adults with natural teeth. Multiple studies have revealed that maximum bite force of someone with traditional dentures is closer to 50 pounds of pressure or about 25 percent of the bite force of someone with a full set of teeth. The bite force of someone with just gums is basically zero.

So here is a list of foods I can and can’t eat with the 11 bottom teeth I have left, because why not.

  1. Mashed Potatoes & Gravy — Yes, but not at first because it was weirdly acidic to my open sores.
  2. Spaghetti — No, unless it is cut up like you would for a small child. Otherwise you are deep throating endless noodles because you can’t make a break with your teeth. Pretty unpleasant tbh.
  3. Scones — Yes and no. Before I fully healed it was too rough, but they seem fine now. I eat the more biscuit type scones though.
  4. Mac and cheese — Yes. Very easy to eat. Especially the little Velveetta cups.
  5. Watermelon — In tiny bites I can just swallow, yes.
  6. Salad — Nope. We have teeth literally designed to crush down greens and those babies are gone.
  7. Ice Cream — You know it! Actually considering an all ice cream diet. It really soothes my gums and is so easy to eat. Plus I LOVE ice cream.
  8. Scallops and creamed cauliflower — Yes! Fancy, delicious, and healthy.
  9. Cereal — I probably could now if I let it go to mush, but it’s not worth all the rawness to come.
  10. Pop Tarts — Thankfully yes. In small torn apart bites.
  11. Steak — Probably in tiny cut up bites, but I haven’t risked it yet.
  12. Fries — Yes, but so not worth it. Too much gum effort and the salt kills.
  13. Stuffed Shells — Yes! Mine are just spinach and cheese though. No meat.
  14. Cookies — Pure torture.
  15. Salt Water Taffy — Yes! You just suck on it until it turns to mush.
  16. Baked Chicken — Yes! Cut into small bites with silverware. Chicken is actually very moist and soft when cooked correctly and be a great meal when paired with baked yams, mac and cheese, or mashed potatoes.
  17. Parfaits — Yes! I tend to prep them the night before so the oats can soften. So far I can include bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. I use greek vanilla yogurt.
  18. Pancakes — Amazing breakfast. Super easy to eat in cut up bites.
  19. Burgers — Yes! Just no bun of veggies. A bun-less burger with cheese and ketchup or mayo is great!
  20. Chips — Nope. And I don’t see me trying any time soon. Too pointy.
Candice Shea Maxwell

“And if I see you, how it changes me. And if you see me, how it changes you.” — Andrew Bird