What to Expect and How to Care for New Dentures

NEW DENTURES – Expectations and Care

You are an Individual You have new dentures, which fit and feel different than the dentures you have been using. As you are adjusting to your new dentures, remember that no two people are the same. Therefore, do not compare your progress in adjusting to the new dentures with another person. What is annoying and painful to some will not be true for others. Some people have an easier time adjusting as they have larger, stronger bone to support their dentures. Disregard comments of others who may say “I never had a bit of trouble when I had my new dentures made.” Many people tend to forget the problems they had adjusting.

Sore Areas 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 certainly possible. If you find it necessary to remove your dentures due to excess soreness, re-insert the dentures 24 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.

Speaking with New Dentures

Learning to talk with your new dentures in place requires practice and perseverance. Reading aloud is a 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.

Chewing with New Dentures

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 denture rarely has retention that is as good as the upper denture. 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 place.

When biting with dentures, place the food between the teeth toward the center 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 stabilize it when eating.

Increased 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.

Oral Hygiene with Dentures

Your dentures should be left out of your mouth at least 8 of every 24 hours to allow the tissues to rest from the pressure placed on them by the dentures. Failure to allow the tissues to rest can result on chronic irritation on the tissues, the development of certain fungal infections and more rapid loss of bone. (Remember that this bone is desperately needed to provide support for the denture in future years so it must be conserved).

It is important to clean your dentures and rinse your mouth after every meal. The tissue of the mouth and tongue should be brushed daily with a soft bristle toothbrush. This provides stimulation for increased circulation and removes debris that could cause irritation and offensive odors.

Longevity of Dentures

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 by a dentist on a yearly basis to evaluate the 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 charged.

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.

Limitations of Dentures

Do not expect your dentures to function as your natural teeth once did. Dentures only function about 25% as efficiently as natural teeth. Learn to know the limitations of your dentures and adjust your living habits accordingly.

How to Care for Dentures

It is important that your dentures be kept clean. Accumulation of food debris around the teeth and under the dentures can result in irritation to the tissue and unpleasant odors.

Dentures should be cleaned after every meal by rinsing them thoroughly under running water and rinsing your mouth. Different commercial denture cleansers are available for cleaning your dentures. It is preferable to use a non-abrasive cleaner as you do not want to alter the surface of the dentures.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 952-935-5599. Your comfort and satisfaction are very important to us.