What to Expect & How to Care for Your New Dentures
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Although you now
have new or relined dentures, the process of making your dentures is not yet
complete. Adjusting to new dentures takes patience and time. While you may hear
some people say that they never had to have any adjustments when they got new
dentures -- that is not the norm. Every person adjusts to new dentures and
relines differently and it will take both you and your dentist a number of
visits to make the dentures function adequately. Whether this is your first
pair of dentures or your sixth, your mouth will take time to adapt to the new
pressures and feelings that come with new dentures.
with New Dentures
An appointment will be made for
you 24 to 48 hours after insertion of your new dentures. Sore areas will
develop within this time period and it is important to find and adjust the
cause of the sores. Do not attempt to adjust the dentures yourself, as they can
easily be made worthless by a do-it-yourself adjustment. As patients use the
dentures, they will settle on the soft tissues. This will necessitate
additional adjustment appointments, as the occurrence of new sores is likely. Several adjustments may be required (3 or more
adjustments is typical.) If you find it necessary to remove your
dentures due to excess soreness, re-insert the dentures 12 hours preceding your
appointment for the adjustment. This will make it possible to see the pressure
area on the tissues and pinpoint accurately where to
adjust the dentures.
A Special Note on Immediate Dentures
Immediate dentures are full dentures inserted immediately after having
your last remaining teeth removed. Due to significant changes in the bones of
your mouth, the dentures may not become truly stable for almost one year.
Liners may need to be added to the dentures as healing progresses. After the
bone changes settle, you will need to pay for either a final reline or often
even a new set of dentures if the changes have been significant. You must go to your dentist every time you
notice changes, the dentures are becoming loose or you develop sore spots.
Learning to chew with new dentures will probably take 6-8
weeks. Practice is required to learn to eat with your dentures. At first, limit
your diet to soft foods that are easy to chew. Gradually learn to eat foods
that are more difficult. Take small bites and chew slowly, trying to overcome
the difficulties as they appear. If possible, learn to chew on both sides of
your dentures at the same time. The lower dentures rarely have a good retention
as the upper. Since the muscles of the cheeks, lip, and tongue will tend to
displace your dentures, do not develop the habit of displacing them with these
muscles. Rather, train these muscles to assist in keeping your dentures in
When biting with dentures, place the food between the
teeth toward the corner of the mouth rather than between the front teeth. This
will help reduce the movement of the dentures on the ridges. If you have
trouble keeping your lower denture in place during eating, it may be the result
of poor tongue habits. The tongue should touch the inner surface of the lower
denture to help stabilize it when eating.
Learning to talk with your new dentures in place requires
practice and perseverance. Reading aloud is very helpful method of learning to
pronounce words distinctly. Practice those words and sounds that seem to give
you the most difficulty. It takes time for the tongue to learn the different
positions necessary to make good speech sounds with new dentures.
Saliva with New Dentures
Do not be alarmed at the greater amounts of saliva in your
mouth during the first few weeks of wearing your dentures. This condition will
correct itself as you become accustomed to wearing them.
Cleaning your dentures is done
DAILY with a brush, soap and water. You should not use toothpaste since it is
abrasive. You can use any type of soap. Clean your dentures over a sink full of
water or a towel in case they drop. It is best if you can keep your dentures
out for 8 of every 24 hours to allow your tissues to rest. Powdered cleansers,
like Stain Away Plus and Kleenite, work well to soak your dentures in at night,
removing stains and odors. An ultrasonic jewelry cleaner can be used with the
powdered denture cleansers for a professional quality cleaning. Brushing your
remaining teeth or gums is also critical to good oral care. It is also recommended to rinse your mouth
and dentures after meals.
The assumption that dentures will last a lifetime is
incorrect. Take into consideration that both the denture and tissues will
change over a period of time. It is suggested that your mouth be examined and a
dentist on a yearly basis evaluate fit of your dentures.
Shrinkage or resorption of your ridges is a normal
occurrence. This results in a loosening of your dentures and perhaps a change
in facial expression due to the settling of the denture on the ridges.
Sometimes you will notice these changes within a few weeks. In some people it
may not occur for many months or even a year or more. Changes in your ridges
are beyond the control of the dentist and if it becomes necessary to re-fit or
remove your dentures to correct this change, an additional fee will be
Never try to repair, reline or adjust the dentures
yourself. This could be destructive to the tissue and underlying bone on which
the denture rests.
Do not expect your dentures to function as your natural
teeth once did. Dentures only function about 25 percent as efficiently as
natural teeth. Learn to know the limitations of your dentures and adjust your
living habits accordingly. And remember, a positive attitude helps. Keep smiling!