Full or partial dentures are a cost-effective alternative to replace a row or complete set of severely decayed or missing teeth. In this survival guide, we go over what to expect when getting used to dentures.
When transitioning to dentures, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the first month with new dentures:
If dental extractions are necessary, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers as directed. Consume liquids and soft foods that do not require much chewing.
New dentures act similarly to a bandaid during the first day, so do not remove dentures at this time. After the first 24 hours, remove dentures before bed. Gums are not designed to be covered 24/7, so dentures must be removed to allow the gums to rest and remain healthy.
After the first few days since tooth extraction, return to the dentist’s clinic so that they can monitor your gum health, make sure that you are healing correctly, and that the dentures fit properly.
It takes a while for the gums, tongue, facial muscles to adjust to an oral appliance. After a few weeks, you may notice less saliva and sore spots.
Also, it’s important to rehearse eating and speaking with your new set of teeth. At first, you may have a lisp when you talk, or your dentures may pop out of place when you eat. However, practice makes perfect, and functioning with dentures should get easier with time.
The CDC reports that almost half of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease. Don’t be one of them. Take the following precautions to optimize gum health:
- Brush the dentures, remaining teeth, and gums twice a day to remove bacteria and prevent odor.
- Submerge dentures in water or denture cleanser when not in use.
Just like all prosthetic dental devices, wearing dentures requires an adjustment period. Here are four issues that you may run across during this time:
- Soreness: When wearing gum-supported dentures, the prosthetic may rub and move around on the gums if they do not fit properly. Over time, excess friction and pressure can result in tenderness. The American Dental Association recommends speaking with your dentist if you experience the symptoms of ill-fitting dentures.
- Difficulty eating: Chewing tough, hard, and large pieces of foods can be complex with dentures. Start with soft foods and smaller portions of food.
- Reduced taste: Similar to our tongues, our mouth palates house tastebuds that allow us to experience a wide range of flavor sensations (such as sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness). Conventional dentures must cover part of the palate, making it more difficult to taste food.
- Social anxiety or fear: Adapting to dentures can be all-around challenging, but denture wearers who are frequently concerned about others’ perceptions when eating or speaking pose a unique challenge. Removable dentures sometimes slip, which can feel embarrassing and push some into isolation. By practicing speaking, singing, and eating at home, you can avoid these problematic social moments in public. Also, do not be afraid to experiment with denture adhesive to figure out which one works best for you.
Our Napa Family Dental team is dedicated to helping patients of all walks of life have a new smile with the support of partial or full dentures. If you believe that you could benefit from a fuller, functioning smile, contact us online or call 505-323-7700 at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment at our practice.