You Can Smile Again
You are about to join the millions of people in this country who wear dentures. While you may have some anxiety and worry, there really are no major problems that you are likely to encounter. If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, dentures can replace your missing teeth and improve your quality of life. There will be some minor annoyances and adjustments, but your new dentures can provide you with a healthier mouth and probably a better appearance.
Your new teeth will be as life-like as modern dentistry knows how to make them. The teeth used have been selected to match the shape, color, and size of your natural teeth. Occasionally, some changes are made to help improve your appearance. Incidentally, you shouldn’t look forward to having very white teeth. The goal is a natural look, and few people have natural teeth that are sparkling white.
Types Of Dentures?
Getting Used To Dentures
When your new dentures are in place, your first impression will be that you have quite a mouthful. You may feel that your face looks “full” and the teeth may actually seem to be longer than they should. Your lips might seem out of place and your tongue will probably feel crowded. In addition, your salivary glands will seem to be working overtime, and you notice the increased saliva. New dentures may feel odd or uncomfortable for the first few weeks.This is normal. Keep wearing your dentures until you get used to them. The lower one may feel especially loose until the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold it in place.
You’ll find that your mouth muscles are good at adapting and they will adjust to the new surroundings. You’ll quickly learn the trick of controlling your dentures.
There are no lessons or books; you must simply wear your dentures constantly in order to master them. The more you want to learn, the faster and easier it will be. With daily practice, you will soon feel comfortable with your new dentures. Here are some things that can help:
Some patients find it difficult to speak clearly and distinctly. Often they have a tendency to lisp because of the dentures having altered the shape of the mouth. As soon as your tongue, lips, and cheeks become accustomed, speech returns to normal. Practice talking in front of a mirror or simply reading aloud to yourself for a few minutes each day until you feel comfortable. If your dentures slip out of place when you laugh, cough, or smile, bite down and swallow to reposition them.
Do Not Wear Dentures While Sleeping
Take out your dentures at bedtime, and put them back in when you wake up. Do not wear dentures around the clock, because tissues that are covered with denture material at the time can become irritated.
Your new dentures should fit securely, but the dentist may tell you to use a denture adhesive as you get used to wearing them. A denture that does not fit well may cause irritation, mouth sores, and infection. If your denture is loose, have your dentist check it. If you are using an adhesive, make sure you follow the instructions for use.
Caring For Your Denture
Like natural teeth, dentures require daily oral hygiene. Here are some tips to care for your dentures:
Caring For Your Mouth
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good are of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures.
This increases circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque. Eating a balanced diet is also important to keep your mouth healthy.
You will still need regular oral exams by the dentist even after you have lost your teeth. The dental office will tell you how often you should have dental visits. During a visit, the dentist will look for signs of disease such as cancer of the head and neck. Your dentist will also check to see if your dentures fit well or might need adjustments.
The normal lifetime of dentures is about 5 to 10 years, but this can vary widely depending on the patient. Over time, dentures may need relining, rebasing, or replacing. Relining is when the dentist adds new material to the underside of the denture base to fit your gums. Rebasing is when a new base is made using the existing denture as a model. The artificial teeth from the old denture are used on the new base.
The mouth changes naturally with age. Jaws may line up differently as bones and gum ridges recede and shrink. At some point your dentures will no longer fit well, and they will have to be remade. It is important to replace worn or ill-fitting dentures before they cause problems. Your dentist will let you know where it is time to replace your dentures.