Daily Denture Care
Each day before you put your dentures in, use a brush with soft bristles to brush your remaining natural teeth, as well as your gums and your tongue. This will remove plaque that builds up overnight. Pay special attention to any teeth that fit underneath your denture's metal clasp because bacteria trapped between the metal and your tooth can cause tooth decay. Your dentures also need to be cleaned on a daily basis, after meals, and when you remove them for the night. Cleaning them will remove food particles and plaque, prevent them from staining, and keep them tasting and smelling fresh when you put them in your mouth.
- Clean your dentures every day in 1 of 3 ways:
- With a regular toothbrush and mild dish soap such as Ivory, or
- With Efferdent or Polident "fizzing" tables - just follow the directions on the box, or
- Soak the dentures in a cup of warm (not hot) water, with a teaspoon of baking so
- Rinse your dentures after each meal.
- Be careful not to drop your dentures, as they can break or distort. We recommend that you place a towel under the area you will be cleaning in or that you fill the sink with some water for a soft landing if needed.
- DO NOT sleep with your dentures in your mouth. You must let your gums and oral tissue rest.
- Whenever your dentures are not in your mouth, they should be kept in water. If they dry out, their shape can change, and they will not fit well.
- Do not use bleaches, steel wool, or emery boards on your dentures.
- If you have a pet at home, do not let the pet get hold of your dentures - they will be ruined.
The Challenge of Wearing Dentures
Some patients find the experience of wearing a denture for the first time to be challenging. A denture is a foreign object that often will not duplicate the exact function of your natural teeth. It will be a new sensation and it will take you some time to adjust. We want to assure you that every effort will be made to help you meet the challenge and satisfy your expectations. Our practice has fabricated thousands of dentures for patients over the years, so we well experienced in recognizing and addressing challenges that may occur.
Time, Patience, and Will Power
Discomfort for the first-time denture-wearer and discomfort of a new denture on a long-time wearer are common occurrences. New dentures can be somewhat of a trying experience for some patients. Initially, dentures often will feel strange and bulky and will cause a feeling of fullness in the lips and cheeks. In time these feelings will subside, and you will feel more comfortable. Time, patience, and willpower will be your biggest allies.
The First Few Days
For the first few days you may want to consider wearing your dentures all the time, even at night, to adapt to them more quickly. After you have become accustomed to them, it is necessary to take them out at night and follow a good cleaning routine. Some symptoms you may experience with new dentures are slurred speech, gagging, excessive salivation, and funny or diminished taste. These symptoms are normal and usually disappear over time. However, if they continue please contact our office to let us know about your particular difficulty. We are here to help.
Learning to Chew with your New Denture
Learning to chew with your new dentures takes time. Start with soft foods and gradually introduce more difficult foods. Chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time to stabilize your teeth. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth as it may dislodge your dentures. Use the corner of your dentures to bite, then use a twisting motion. A straight pulling motion will dislodge the denture or break the suction. Unless you are experiencing pain, do wear your dentures at mealtime. Do not become discouraged. Remember, millions have learned these skills, and you can too!
Lower Denture Challenges
It is especially difficult to adjust to a lower denture. Try resting your tongue against the back of the front of the lower denture to help hold it in place. Until you learn good tongue and lip control, it may be wise to use adhesives to help hold your lower denture in place. Adhesives may also be useful for upper dentures. (If you are an existing denture wearer and have become accustomed to adhesives, you most likely will have to continue using adhesives for your dentures.) It is important to remember that a lower denture often "floats" on your lower gums and will not have the suction that your upper denture has. It will move around in your mouth, even out of your mouth, until you have mastered it.
It is common to feel sore spots or denture irritations on your gums as you adjust to your new dentures. These are caused by the movement of the denture. We have time set aside each week for adjustments to help resolve this issue. Please call us to make an appointment. If an area is particularly sore, leave the denture out as much as possible until your appointment and rinse your mouth frequently with warm salt water. Adjustments are free and are an expected part of any new denture.
The denture and denture teeth are not guaranteed against breakage. If dentures break, DO NOT try to repair them yourself. Breaks have to be put back together precisely, and this cannot be done with drugstore repair kits or glue. In fact, superglue will distort the acrylic that your appliance is created from. If home repair has been attempted, then actual repair may not be possible, or will be more difficult, resulting in a more expensive solution. Please call us for a repair appointment, and store all pieces of the denture in water. Pets can and do destroy dentures. Please be aware that it may not be possible to repair an older denture that has experienced considerable wear.
Our practice performs relines, which is when a denture has been refit to the gums by way of a new impression. If gums are swollen due to extractions, the new denture will allow the gums to heal and shrink, thus making the new denture loose. Also, the longer you wear the denture, the more your gums change beneath it, resulting in a looser fit. Loss of weight can also affect the fit of a denture. There are three types of denture relines: Hard, Soft, and Temporary. The Denturist will discuss with you the type of reline that will be most appropriate for your clinical needs. In order to restore the retentive qualities of your denture, and to prevent the production of flabby gum tissue under it, you should have the denture professionally relined at least every two years.