Today, more than 44 million Americans wear dentures. Most new dentures have to go through an initial period of adaptation or “breaking in”. In the beginning, you may experience some of the following:
- A feeling of fullness. It is normal to feel different and awkward at first with your new dentures. Your appearance has most likely undergone a slight change. With time, patience, and some training of your facial muscles, things will soon begin to feel more natural.
- A gagging sensation. Many times dentures and partials give difficulty in the beginning stages while swallowing. With time, this will improve.
- Difficulty in speaking. Careful practice and repetition in pronouncing those hard to say words will make your transition period easier. You must also learn to control a tendency to tongue‐thrusting, which may dislodge the denture.
- Difficulty eating. Start with soft foods or those that are easy to chew. More difficult foods that are fibrous (steak) or hard (apples) will require a gradual learning curve. To bite foods that normally require the front teeth, try spreading the tongue against the back of the upper denture to keep it in place. Always try to eat with food on both sides to keep the denture balanced. Also, try chewing vertically (up and down) rather than horizontally (side to side).
- Possible Soreness. Soreness from uneven pressure on the gums due to healing or irregularities may develop at any time and is not unusual. This can be corrected with a simple adjustment appointment.
- Excessive salivation.
- Looseness. If you have had teeth extracted immediately prior to placement of the denture or partial, it may feel loose, due to gum shrinkage from the normal healing process. A process called a “Reline” may be needed after healing is complete.
Cleaning your Dentures or Partials
Cleaning your denture or partial should be an everyday habit to keep your smile beautiful. Plaque and tartar buildup can form on dentures just like it does on your natural teeth. Failure to remove your denture for proper cleaning can result in staining of the teeth, mouth odor, or possible gum irritation. Here are a few simple tips that may help:
- Dentures can break, so always fill the sink with water, and clean them over the sink, just in case you drop them. Alternatively, they can be cleaned over a towel-lined counter top.
- Don’t use hot or boiling water; the denture material may warp.
- Don’t use rough household products, such as bleach to clean your dentures. These products sometimes contain abrasive particles that may scratch your denture or partial.
- Don’t use abrasive regular toothpaste. It could scratch the prosthesis resulting in poor cosmetics. Use the brush provided with dish soap to keep your denture clean. While you sleep at night, soak your denture or partial in a cleanser such as Fixodent, Efferdent, Polident, or any other denture cleaner that is recommended by our office.
- Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a regular toothbrush to remove plaque, bacteria, and to stimulate good circulation.
Be sure to have your dentures checked at least once annually as changes in the mouth, such as shrinkage and bone loss will occur. Careful maintenance and routine checkups will help to slow down these changes. If you have a partial and some remaining teeth, an exam and cleaning should be scheduled every 6 months.
If you have any questions or concerns please call us.