Your new dentures are as close to natural teeth as you can get, today millions of people wear dentures and they all had to go through the initial period of adaptation. You will too. In the beginning you may experience some of the following:
- A feeling of fullness
- A gagging sensation
- Excessive salivation
- Difficulty in speaking
- A need for softer foods
- A possible soreness.
Adapting to speaking and eating with your new dentures will take some time. Your mouth will eventually adjust to the feel of your new teeth. You may have to practice saying certain words and syllables that you may have a problem with. In the process you will develop new control of swallowing and facial muscles. You must learn to control your tongue which will have a tendency to thrust forward, this may dislodge the lower denture. Don't be embarrassed, the transition time is often relatively short. At first try speaking a little slower than usual, and you will soon master the slight adjustment you have to make to acquire your former speaking ability.
When you are eating you should understand that you cannot bite, tear and grind food as before. Again, it will take some time to develop the special control over your muscles you will need to utilize your new dentures effectively. Your eating habits will have to change somewhat. You may have to temporarily avoid some foods that are hard, sticky or chewy. You may have to select more foods that are soft. You may have to cut up some of your food into smaller pieces at first and eat more slowly. Be sure while you are eating to move your jaw in a natural fashion as abnormal movement may dislodge the dentures. Drinking liquids while eating gooey foods will prevent them from sticking to your dentures. You should not bite down hard with your front teeth until you are well practised at it. Try to avoid very hot food and drinks to prevent burns, since dentures insulate temperature sensations. It is up to you whether or not you want to use a denture adhesive to increase your confidence and help prevent denture dislodgement. (Consult your dentist on this).
Proper care of your dentures:
Your dentures should be cleaned twice a day to remove plaque build-up, stains and odour-causing bacteria. Keep in mind that the surface of the denture material is considerably softer than natural teeth and can be more easily damaged. So treat your dentures with care and avoid using any kind of abrasive cleansers, which includes many of the regular toothpaste brands.
- Clean dentures twice daily; denture soaks are okay, but for thorough cleansing, the Dental Association encourages the use of a denture brush and low abrasive denture toothpaste.
- Brush gums and tongue gently using a regular toothbrush. They also need cleaning and stimulation.
- Clean dentures over a sink half filled with water to prevent damage should they fall.
- Store dentures in water solution of mouthwash when not being worn.
- Ask your dentist about removing your dentures at night; this is generally a good idea to rest the tissues of the bearing area.
- Take new dentures out for short rest periods.
- If soreness develops, contact your dentist.
- Don't use boiling water on your dentures; otherwise the denture material may warp.
- Don't use rough household products which can damage the denture surface.
- Don't use harsh abrasive dentifrice which may include regular toothpastes; consult your dentist on which one to use.
- Be sure to see your dentist for regular check-ups. Mouth tissues change and adjustments in your dentures may be required to ensure continued proper fit and good oral health. Remember, dentures are not permanent. The supporting bone undergoes constant change and shrinkage which can lead to reduced denture stability, retention and tissue irritation. Your dentist can determine when this change necessitates relining of your dentures.
- Never buy do-it-yourself denture repair kits, or you may end up damaging your dentures and altering the fit.
- Do not become discouraged. The more motivated you are the sooner you will feel comfortable with your new dentures.
With a little practice you'll soon be speaking and eating (and smiling) with confidence. Remember you're not alone. Millions of others wear dentures too.
Dr. Mansbridge's Hamilton dental office in Stoney Creek provides exceptional denture service for those who are in need. If you are in need of denture work, or have any questions about your dentures, feel free to pop into our East Hamilton office.
Learn more about Denture Care