Helpful Tips for your New Denture
It will take a bit of time to get use to your new denture, particularly if it is your first. Unfortunately, a complete denture will not feel like your teeth did when you had them. They should, however, become comfortable and functional with time. It usually takes 2 weeks for your body to get used to them. Please wear them or you never will!
Eating takes practice as well. The important thing to remember is that you do not chew with your denture as you did when you had teeth. Natural teeth chew in an up and down motion. Denture teeth, on the other hand, use a side to side motion to mash down the food. Always cut your food into small pieces for more effective denture chewing. It is unpredictable how well you will adapt to eating. Some patients can chew just about anything whereas others find they are limited in how well they can chew. All patients will improve with practice, time, and a bit of patience. We recommend chewing soft foods at first, then graduating to harder ones.
At first you will have some difficulty with speaking and this is to be expected. Some people describe this as trying to talk with a “mouth full of marbles”. Be patient; you will quickly adapt with practice and soon you will find you cannot speak properly without your denture. There is no way to predict how long this will take, each patient adapts at a different rate.
Your denture will “settle in” in a short time and should fit well. We will gladly adjust for any sore areas that develop. Upper dentures usually fit snugly and stay in with suction. The lower denture, however, does not develop this suction due to the different shape of the lower jaw. The lower tends to “float”. You will learn with time how to help hold the lower stable by the way you use your tongue while eating, speaking, and resting. Once again, this takes time and it is not possible to predict how well each patient will adapt. Using denture adhesives during the first few weeks can help of wearing your new denture until you get used to your new teeth. Also sucking on hard candy helps your gums seat faster and decreases the adjustment period.
Care of Your Dentures
Keep your denture clean by brushing it with denture toothpaste or dish detergent after each meal, or at least before bed. This removes loose food debris, plaque and some stains. Do this over a sink filled with water to prevent breakage in case you drop the denture.
Take your denture out every night when you go to sleep. Wearing them at all times without allowing your gums a chance “to breathe”, can result in infections of the soft tissues under the denture. Place it in some water in the denture cup we provide. Letting your denture dry out will slightly change its shape enough to change the fit.
Occasionally soak your denture in a commercial product such as Efferdent to help disinfect it to remove or loosens light stains and deposits. Dilute bleach every month or so will help reduce fungal growth. Rinse the denture with water afterwards. Do not soak or rinse the denture in hot water as this can distort the shape and fit of the denture.
Rinse your mouth with mouthwash (without the denture) at least once a day to keep your mouth clean. This helps cut down on the amount of bacteria and fungus in the mouth which can lead to bad breath, denture sores, and infections.
Your jaw bones and gums shrink up to 1/32 of an inch per year when your teeth are missing. This is one of the main disadvantages of dentures. Because of this shrinkage, you should plan to have your dentures and oral tissues evaluated by us once one year. We will inform you when relining or re-basing of the dentures is necessary. Wearing ill-fitting dentures for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Even dentures that “fit” comfortably need to be checked along with your tissue. Oral cancer screening should be performed yearly. Make an appointment as soon as you develop any sores, change in fit, or any other problem you would like us to address.
Should you have any questions about your new dentures, please call our office!