Living with Dentures

By December 28, 2018

There are more that 33 million people of all ages that have dentures. If you are considering getting dentures or just got them, it can be an easy transition with the proper mentality. Yes, sometimes at first it can be a challenging experience, but with dedication and patience you will become accustomed to wearing them.

There will be an adjustment period for users. Eating will feel somewhat strange during the first few days.  People dentures will first need to select foods that are easily chewed and swallowed, which can include fish, cooked vegetables, eggs, yogurt, and ice cream. At least for a short while, foods that are chewy in nature such as caramels should be left off the menu. 

Expectations and Performance

Dentures don’t chew like natural teeth. Natural teeth bite harder and bite from many different angles without falling out. With dentures, biting from behind the front teeth tips the denture out.  Directing the bite from the front tends to seat the denture.

Once the dentures have been in place from two weeks to three months, you’ll likely find that eating has become easier. This is when you can start adding more difficult foods into your diet that require more work to break down. Many users find that a zinc-free adhesive helps to form a protective barrier that prevents seeds, nuts, or other food particles from irritating the gums. Try to use both sides of your mouth when chewing for balance and symmetry. Dentures can tilt forward even if they are properly fitted.

You may notice more saliva in your mouth than usual when wearing dentures. This is a normal occurrence and will improve in time. Mints or gum can help control the excess saliva. 

Speaking clearly may also present a challenge to you at first and you may find you speak with a slight lisp. It will take some time and practice to retrain the muscles in your mouth to talk around your new oral appliance. Many new wearers have found that a few tricks can remedy the problem. Words containing “f” and “s” can be cumbersome, and it can be helpful to practice speaking out loud while standing in front of a mirror as a way of obtaining greater confidence. Practice makes perfect.

Cleaning and Care

Proper cleaning and care of your dentures can keep both them and your mouth in good shape. Remove and rinse dentures after meals. If you can’t always clean your dentures after every meal, be sure to rinse and brush them at least once a day with a denture cleaner, a mild dish soap or liquid hand soap to remove plaque, food, and other particles.

If you use a denture adhesive, clean off any leftover adhesive on your gums. Don’t use a denture cleanser to do this. Soak your dentures in the solution overnight.

Never clean your dentures with abrasive cleaning items such as stiff bristled brushes and harsh cleansers. Toothpaste is also too coarse and can seriously damage dentures. Whitening toothpastes are very rough, so you should not use these either. Any products with bleach can weaken dentures and change their color.  

Dentures can become warped if they dry out or are placed in hot water. So, when you are not wearing them, they should always be kept in room temperature water or in a denture solution recommended by your dentist.

Be sure to visit your dentist regularly.  The dentist will check and monitor your dentures and the condition of your gums.

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