Getting Used to Wearing Dentures
What to expect when you start wearing dentures
It can take time to get accustomed to your new dentures and may be 4-8 weeks before you are completely used to them. They may seem very bulky at first and feel as if they are pushing your lips out, but this is perfectly normal and the feeling will subside in due course.
You will probably salivate a lot more when you first start wearing dentures, especially if you are wearing dentures for the first time. This is a natural bodily response to something being placed in your mouth and soon subsides. Sipping and swallowing water will reduce the buildup of saliva in your mouth. Removing your dentures at night is the ideal time to give your gums a rest, but personal circumstance may mean this isn't appropriate.
Some rest from the dentures every day is advisable, so try and do this when you get a private moment.
Comfort and fit
Your new dentures may need to be adjusted slightly after they are fitted. They may rub against the inside of your mouth and cause sores or even small ulcers. If the fit doesn't feel quite right and is causing you discomfort, you should go back to the Clinical Dental Technician so they can make you more comfortable.
Adjustments and sore areas
The size and shape of your new dentures will be different from your old set. It is perfectly normal for you to develop small pressure points and sore spots under and around your new denture base during the first few days of wear. A warm salt water rinse gives relief to any sore areas.
Should discomfort continue, small adjustments can be made to the fitting surface of the dentures. If the irritation becomes too painful, stop wearing the dentures and consult your Clinical Dental Technician.
In most cases, a new partial denture will be supported by your natural teeth and gums. If you are wearing a partial denture for the first time, especially one that replaces your back teeth and has minimal tooth support, you may experience some slight soreness on your gums while you adjust.
You should not bite your partial dentures into place as this may cause damage to your mouth, make your dentures loose or eventually break them. Instead, follow the insertion and removal advice provided by your Clinical Dental Technician.
Always make time for adjustments as this will help you adapt to the dentures much quicker.
Getting used to eating with your dentures will take time and some practice. Your cheeks, lips and tongue need to adapt to the shape of the denture base and the new position of the denture teeth.
Eating is always problematic when you start wearing dentures and it takes a while before you can start eating normally. For the first few days you should definitely avoid hard, crunchy and sticky foods, such as raw vegetables, crisps and meat. You should stick to soft foods that are easy to chew, eat slowly and cut food up into small pieces. Although we have a natural tendency to favour one side of the mouth when we chew, try to use both sides, as this helps to stop the dentures being pulled out of position. Also, try to avoid tearing or cutting into food with your front teeth.
If you are a complete denture wearer try following some advice from our denture experts to make your adjustment period much easier:
- Chew up and down, rather than from side to side
- Cut your food into small pieces and eat slowly
- Chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time
- Avoid bringing the lower front denture teeth forward against the upper front denture teeth
- When eating out for the first time avoid crunchy and sticky foods
- Have a glass of water with your meal. This will reduce the amount of food sticking to your dentures
Wearing dentures will initially affect your speech, but it may not be as noticeable to other people as you think. Your tongue, lips and cheeks need to adjust to having dentures in your mouth. Practice pronouncing words and reading aloud for the first few days, until you have got more used to the dentures.
Keeping you old dentures safe
Even if your old dentures were visually poor and badly fitting, you should keep them as a spare. You new dentures may require adjustments that require you being without them for a day, so to have a replacement set can save any worries.
Taking care of your dentures
It is important to clean your dentures every day to prevent the buildup of stains and to maintain good oral hygiene. Most of the problems that denture wearers encounter are due to not taking care of them properly. They should be cleaned with a soft bristled brush and denture cream after removing them at night and again before you put them back in the next day.
Avoid cleaning them with toothpaste because it is too abrasive and may damage the surface of the dentures. They should be soaked in cold water overnight and you can add cleaning solution if you wish to help remove stains. Ideally, dentures shouldn't be left to dry out for too long and never put them in boiling hot water, as they may become warped. You must also remember to clean your tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth every day to keep your mouth healthy.