Like most things in life, dentures take a little bit of getting used to. Whether they’re partial dentures or full dentures, it takes time for new habits to be formed and to get accustomed to new sensations. But, the good news is today’s dentures are more comfortable than ever before, making this process easier.
Adjusting to the feel of your new dentures
Even if you’ve worn dentures before, your new dentures may take a little bit of getting used to. Anything new feels different, and your mouth will require a bit of adjustment time to adapt to the new sensations.
Placing and removing your dentures
Your dental prosthetist will teach you how to insert and remove your dentures. He or she will make sure that you are clear about the procedure and confident in performing the procedure at home, before leaving the clinic.
TIP: never use force to remove your dentures.
Eating with your new dentures
Some of your biting and chewing habits may have to change. For example, avoid biting hard with the front teeth. Biting hard can cause the denture to tip at the front, which places excess pressure on the gums. Focus on the canine teeth instead, which are the pointed teeth next to our front teeth, and get them to do more of the work.
Hot food should be approached with caution until you become more adjusted to sensing the temperature. Remember to avoid sticky or hard foods, such as raw carrots.
Any initial troubles you have talking are likely to disappear soon. At first, you may feel a little self-conscious having something foreign in your mouth, and you may have trouble pronouncing certain words. Most things improve with practice and time, though, with speech being no exception. Try practicing difficult words by saying them out loud.
Some denture wearers report a clicking sound when they talk. If you experience this, try speaking more slowly. Others report that their dentures slip back a little when they talk. If this happens, try to reposition your denture by biting down gently and swallowing. Don’t be alarmed at the thought of having to practice these things. In time, your muscles will improve, and your strength and coordination will become automatic.
Using a denture adhesive
Some individuals choose to use a denture adhesive which gives added confidence knowing that the denture will not slip out of place when they talk. If this idea appeals, talk to your dental prosthetist; he can advise you on the correct adhesive that works with your denture.
Feeling sore or uncomfortable
If you are feeling sore around the gum under the denture, this often means that the denture needs to be adjusted. If, at any time, the discomfort worsens, take the denture out for a little while to rest the tissues. However, if you’re going to see your dental prosthetist about your problem, make sure you’ve worn your denture for several hours before so that they can see where there is irritation, and hopefully, what is causing it. Then your dental prosthetist will adjust the denture accordingly.
Maintaining oral hygiene
It’s essential you maintain excellent oral hygiene when wearing dentures. You’ll need to gently rub the gums with a warm, wet cloth or face washer. Rub over the gums where your dentures sit – and rub over the top of the tongue as well. Always speak to your dental professional if you have any queries about maintaining your dental hygiene.
Looking after your dentures
Your dentures are delicate and can break easily, so be careful when handling and cleaning them. For example, when cleaning your dentures, place a towel underneath the denture so if it falls, it won’t break.
Remember to be gentle when brushing your dentures, too.
If any part of the clasp or denture breaks, stop wearing the denture immediately and call your local denture clinic to see your dental prosthetist. DO NOT try any do-it-yourself maintenance, either by resorting to gluing together the broken denture or altering the clasp, as this may damage either the denture or your gum tissues.
What to do with your dentures overnight
Most people do not wear their dentures at night. However, discuss this issue with your dental prosthetist. Generally, it’s considered that leaving your dentures out at night gives your gums and tissues a chance to rest. Going without dentures also helps prevent any teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which is best avoided.
Maintain regular checkups
It’s essential that you have six-monthly checkups with your dental prosthetist to ensure your dentures are fitting properly and are not damaged in any way. At your checkup, your mouth will also be examined to make sure your gums and cheeks are remaining healthy.
Most dentures have a lifespan of around seven years. Providing you look after your dentures, this is the time you can expect. After this time, you will need to have a new pair of dentures made.