Cigars 101

Cigar 101: Cigars for Smokers with Dentures

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The advice given in this article answers questions that you’ve likely never asked out loud. The need for dentures can be an embarrassing subject for some, and for obvious reasons, it’s not often an attribute of someone’s life they’d wear on their sleeve. Typing your questions via the anonymity of the internet has its perks in this case, and unless someone is looking over your shoulder at this very instance, your secret is safe with me. Made you look.

I recently sat down and had a conversation with a cigar enthusiast (and Famous Smoke Shop regular) who wears dentures to better understand his experience. Over the years, trial and error has honed his ability to adapt, because, and let’s be honest here…caring for dentures is enough of a chore without throwing cigars into the mix. For the sake of this article, we’ll refer to him as Chris.

Throughout this article, I’m going to be offering tips and tricks that he detailed; a roadmap if you will, into minimizing your frustration and maximizing your enjoyment. It dawned on me as I listened that a lot of this advice rings true, even if you don’t wear dentures yourself, so if you’ve stumbled into this piece by accident, it may be worth your while to stick around.

Before we get too granular, it’s important to note the following: Cigar Advisor is not giving medical advice. These tips and tricks will not necessarily suit, or work, for everyone, so check with your dentist to make sure that your dentures, and more importantly, your mouth, are getting the care that they need.

 

CA: What would you say the biggest cigar-related challenge has been for you in reference to your dentures?

Chris: Oh, flavor for sure. People don’t realize there are taste buds on the roof of your mouth…so when you put your dentures in, and you hold them in place with adhesive, those taste buds get cut off.

CA: Is there any way that you can get around that?

Chris: I’ll take my teeth out if If I’m smoking alone at home. Obviously, I can’t do that if I’m out with the guys I smoke with. But if I’m going to a cigar lounge, or an event where I’ll be smoking cigars with my friends, I probably skip the adhesive. The adhesive is good for keeping your dentures in place when you’re eating. Anytime else, the uppers are just held in by suction – it’s basically gravity keeping the lowers in place. It’s like a big suction cup. You just have to be careful, though. If you don’t use adhesive, it’s easy to get sores – so I only do that when I smoke.

CA: Even with the adhesive gone, I’d imagine it’s still a challenge to get the smoke to reach the roof of your mouth?

Chris: It will never be the same as smoking without dentures, but I get around it by chewing on the smoke. Chewing pushes the smoke through my whole mouth, so some will get up there to the roof.

CA: That’s interesting because that’s a technique I employ when I smoke to identify more flavors, especially when I’m reviewing a cigar.

Chris: Exactly – and while it isn’t a perfect solution, at least I get more flavor out of my cigar by doing it.

CA: Many smokers grapple with cigar breath. Is the effect heightened for you with dentures?

 

Chris: In some ways, yes and no. When you have dentures, the smell comes from plaque. And for people who don’t have dentures, they get rid of it by just brushing their teeth. In my case, some of that plaque gets underneath – it gets between your denture and your gums. So that’s why I have to take them out and clean them.

enjoying cigars for smokers with dentures how to get rid of cigar breath
Cigar breath is bad enough on it’s own, but dentures can compound the problem. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Because of the smoke and the smell of a cigar, cleaning my dentures after I smoke a cigar takes a bit more care. I could just brush my dentures like other people brush their teeth, but I can’t use toothpaste – it’s too abrasive for the resin the teeth and palate are made out of. So I use denture tabs – those are really the best and you can get them at a pharmacy for a few bucks. I like the three-minute variety. That way, I can clean them quick in a pinch, or give them the overnight treatment if I need to. These tabs are really the only effective way that you can get the cigar odor out.

CA: What about placing them in a glass of water overnight?

enjoying cigars for smokers with dentures cleaning teeth in a glass of water
Putting your chompers into water alone is the stuff of TV sitcoms. It might seem like it’ll do the trick, but it’s really just a bandage on an artery.

Chris: Your dentures should always be wet, even if you’re not using them. So if I’m going to have them out for a while to enjoy a cigar, that’s pretty good. But for cleaning them – no, I wouldn’t do it. The smell from your cigar doesn’t come out just because you’re soaking your dentures in a glass; they still need to be cleaned. So I pop a tab in there and I’m set.

enjoying cigars for smokers with dentures how to clean dentures instructions
Denture Tabs will take away cigar breath quickly with ease, and they’ll do it while you sleep!

CA: A lot of smokers cleanse their palate between cigars. Is there anything extra that needs to be done in your case?

Chris: If I can, I’ll at least rinse them off. If I’m out in public and that’s not an option, I’ll try to eat or drink something with citrus in it, or eat an apple. Or drink apple juice. I’d even recommend swishing it around a little, to get the juice underneath them. Othwerwise, I’ll just excuse myself and go to the bathroom, and take care of it there.

CA: Can you still bite a pigtail off if that’s your preference?

enjoying cigars for smokers with dentures biting off a pigtail cap on a cigar
You can still bite off that pig tail, but dentures aren’t as sharp as natural teeth. Exercise caution when you do it!

Chris: I don’t smoke a lot of pigtail cigars, but yeah, I can bite the pigtail off when I do. The only thing is that dentures aren’t as sharp as natural teeth – so I just have to bite kind of carefully so I don’t break open the cap. Because then I start getting little pieces of tobacco in my mouth, and that’s no good. I’d say if you have dentures, use a cigar cutter – that way you won’t mess up the end of the cigar. And you won’t mess up your teeth, either.

 

If you found this advice helpful, please let us know in the comments below!

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Richard
3 years ago

Thanks for this article. It has taken a year for me to get used to smoking a cigar with dentures. It feels so unnatural and Chris is correct about the taste. I still haven’t found the right “grip” so it’s been a bit annoying.

Jared Gulick
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Richard,

Thanks for reading! Things like this can be a struggle, but I hope some of this info can help you get the most out of your cigars.

ChrisD
3 years ago

Mahalo for the very informative article, My Braddah!
The advice given will be a tremendous help since I now have full dentures, top and bottom.

Jared Gulick
3 years ago
Reply to  ChrisD

Chris, glad I could help man. Best of luck in the future!

Tom Meier
3 years ago

Great article. I recently took up cigars again after a 10 year break(ex wife blah, blah) but during my break, I have started wearing dentures and have struggled with the tasting part. Like Chris, I prefer to take them out when at home. I haven’t tried not using adhesive but that is a great suggestion. I have found “chewing the smoke” to help

Jared Gulick
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Meier

Tom, it’s awesome that you’ve found this information useful. Thanks for reading and stay smokey!

George Stapleton
2 years ago

I found this article very interesting. I didn’t smoke cigars for 20 years and just recently started back to smoking them again, and the tips for denture wearers helped me under stand why I wasn’t getting the true flavors that I thought I should be getting, especially the part about taking your top denture out. I tried it and it really helped me get a lot more flavor out of my cigars. Thanks for doing this article. I read all your articles, and also I am a customer of Famous Smoke Shop which is very customer oriented. Keep the good tips and articles coming. Regards George Stapleton. Lowesville, N.C.

Jared Gulick
2 years ago

George, thanks so much for reading. I’m so happy that you were able to get more enjoyment out of your cigars from this article. Famous thanks you for and appreciates your business, too. Have an amazing day!

Jared Gulick

Jared Gulick

Features Editor, Jared Gulick, is a Certified Tobacconist, nerd of all things science, musician and serial abuser of the Oxford comma. He made his way to the Famous Smoke Shop retail store in 2018 and joined the Advisors when it was discovered that he could locate the shift key. Prior to his work in the cigar industry, he was a recording studio engineer, songwriter, and a journalism major at Northampton Community College.

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