A full denture is the best way to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. Whether wearing it temporarily or permanently, a denture demands patience to get used to. As with wearing braces, they will feel like a bulky, alien object in your mouth, but with good oral hygiene, practice, and skill you will adapt to them in little time. Getting a denture is a big step that need not feel ashamed of, as it is meant to improve your quality of life and boost your confidence. If you are new to dentures you are in a period of adjustment. Have patience with yourself and follow the tips we at our clinic give patients in a similar situation.
- It is normal to salivate more. This is a reaction of the body as it detects a foreign object in the mouth. This is because the brain thinks there is food that needs to be dissolved and digested. Salivation will gradually decrease as it gets used to the dentures.
- Be open to adjustments on your denture. It is common to have them create sore spots or small ulcers in some areas of your gums. This is because your gums are unused to support a material that has direct contact with them. Over time, your gums will become more resilient to the contact with the acrylic. You can also rinse with warm salt water for relief. However, if these sore spots or pressure points are recurrent, get your dentist to adjust the denture.
- Getting used to eating with dentures requires patience and practice. Start with soft foods and gradually introduce stickier or crunchier foods. Chew slowly. Remember to cut things with a knife first; avoid biting off things because this will easily destabilize your denture. Also, try to use both sides of your mouth to chew food, since this will give the denture stability during the eating process. Finally, accompanying your food with water will avoid food sticking on your denture.
- A new full denture can affect your speech. Patients usually overcome this with practice. Try reading out loud, speaking slowly, or singing in front of a mirror. This will give you an idea of how to enunciate properly as your cheeks, tongue, and lips adjust to a new space. If problems like whistling or spitting continue, visit your dentist for an adjustment.
- Keep your dentures clean. They must be removed every night and be left in a cleaning solution. This will also give your gums a rest. Just like sleeping with contact lenses on, a denture will irritate the gum if not removed for some hours. Brush your denture with a soft toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleaner every day. Do the same with your gums and tongue. Finally, never put your dentures in hot water as they will become warped.
- Do not overdo adhesives. These can be a great way to create retention, especially on your lower denture. However, if you notice that you must use large amounts of adhesives to keep it in place, this may mean you need an adjustment.
Wearing a full denture can be an adventure. At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we use full removable dentures mostly as a temporary measure while implants integrate. Most patients then go for an implant-retained or hybrid denture. Whatever the case, we are here to help and to walk you through the process. Contact us for more information on how to pair dentures with implants.