Getting dentures for the first time can feel like your lips are being pushed forward and that your teeth are too big. However, this will subside within the first few days. The best way to get used to your dentures is to keep them in your mouth progressively longer each day during the first two weeks. For dentures placed immediately after surgery, the dentist will want you to wear the dentures continuously for the first few days, or as they recommend. Wearing dentures during the night when you sleep is not recommended, it is important for the soft tissue to rest uncovered overnight. Address any questions or concerns about wearing dentures to your dentist.
Because of the natural shape tendencies of a mouth, the lower denture will not be as tight as the upper. Over time, you won’t notice the loose fit as much and your dentures will feel more natural.
Speaking with New Dentures
Tongue position with dentures is different than with natural teeth. This may cause a hissing or whistling sound while speaking, but most patients adapt quickly to their new dentures. A good way to train your tongue to return to its natural position is to practice by reading out loud for a few days. As you do this, you will train your tongue to say S, Sh, Th, and Ch sounds more clearly.
Eating with Dentures
Eating with new dentures is an acquired skill and takes time, patience, and practice to become comfortable and efficient. It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to learn how best to eat with new dentures. Some foods may be more difficult to eat, such as corn on the cob or apples, and require caution when eating.
It will also take longer to finish a meal when dentures are new. By choosing easy-to-chew foods at first, it will help gradually strengthen muscles and prepare them for more difficult and tougher foods later on.
Tips for Eating with Dentures
- Do not use your front teeth for biting at first. Push food back to the side of your front teeth rather than biting things off with the front teeth
- Cut up your food in small pieces and try to chew on both sides of the mouth at the same time
- Try easy-to-chew foods first before you try hard foods or tougher meats
- Try chewing your favorite foods at home first before eating them out in public
- Generally speaking, new denture wearers have a difficult time eating salads since lettuce does not tear well with denture teeth
Dentures’ Impact on Taste
Dentures should not affect taste, as all taste buds are on the tongue so covering the palate with denture acrylic should not affect a person’s taste of food. However, some new denture patients complain that they can’t taste food as well with the dentures as they could before they had dentures. This should improve with time as you get used to eating with dentures.
How to Clean Dentures
Just like natural teeth, it’s important to brush dentures and keep them clean to avoid the spread of bacteria, to keep breath fresh and keep your gums healthy. Read below for information regarding how to clean dentures.
- Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and water to brush all the surfaces of the dentures twice per day. This removes food particles and plaque, and also helps keep your dentures from staining. Avoid conventional toothpaste. You can purchase cleaner created just for dentures at your local drug or grocery store
It is important to regularly clean your dentures and handle them with care. With proper maintenance, you can protect your investment for years to come.
- Handle carefully. You can easily prevent denture damage when removing or cleaning dentures by filling the sink with water or placing a folded towel in the sink to prevent accidental falls
- Keep dentures moist. Soak your dentures in cool water or denture cleaning solution when not in use. This will keep them from drying out. Refrain from using water that is too hot, as this can warp dentures
- Think of them as real teeth. Just as you would brush your natural teeth twice a day, you should brush your dentures twice a day as well. Use a soft-bristle denture brush and cool water to brush all surfaces. After every time you eat, be sure to rinse your dentures with water to keep them fresh for longer
- Give them a rest. Remove your full or partial dentures and soak them every night. This will keep them moist and allow your gum tissue to rest
- Visit your dentist regularly. Regular checkups are good for your dentures and your mouth overall. At your regular checkups, your dentist will ensure that your dentures are in good condition and fit continue to fit properly. Your dentist will also provide a thorough cleaning, just like they would for your natural teeth at a regular checkup
- Follow directions. Be sure to follow all instructions that your dentist gives you regarding care and cleaning, and do not hesitate to ask questions