Did you know that 1 in 4 Canadians wear a denture? If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about joining the denture club you should know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of people around you who are living great lives with the use of dentures. First time denture wearers can feel overwhelmed at the thought of no longer having natural teeth and worry about day-to-day actions like eating and smiling. The reality is, just with anything new, there is a transition period needed to get used to the new feelings and function of a denture. But once you’ve adapted to your new appliance you’ll be amazed at just how natural it feels.
Getting Used To Your New Denture
When you first wear your denture it may feel uncomfortable and you may have a hard time pronouncing words in the first few days. This is perfectly normal, as the cheeks and tongue have to adapt to the change and form around the new appliance. You may also notice excess saliva in the first few days, this again is normal and will subside in a few days once oral tissues become familiar with there being something new in the mouth.
Cleaning Your Denture
Keeping your denture clean and free from dental plaque and food debris is essential to the health of your mouth and appliance. Dental plaque doesn’t just form on natural teeth, it also develops on dentures and contains the same inflammatory bacteria that irritate gums. After the initial few days of wearing your denture 24/7 your denturist will advise you to remove the denture at night so that the appliance can be cleaned and gums and jaw bone have a chance to relax and breathe. Keeping your denture in overnight is a big no-no as constant wear contributes to sore-spots and growth of bacteria on the underside of the denture.
You May Need an Adjustment or Two
Don’t be surprised if you need your denture adjusted a couple of times in the initial weeks of wear. Oral tissue can be inflamed initially; especially if tooth extraction was involved prior to the denture being inserted. Inflammation will subside over a few days, resulting in the denture to feel too large or loose. Seeing your denturist for a couple of adjustments in the early days is not only to be expected but a great opportunity to ensure that the denture fits perfectly.
Eating Soft Foods At First
As you adapt to eating with your denture, you will be able to introduce a greater range of textures, but in the early days it’s best to stick to soft foods that don’t require excessive chewing. Supporting gum tissue is getting used to having a denture sit on top of it, so it can be tender during the first weeks of wear. Babying it by eating soft food will prevent further tissue aggravation and give you an opportunity to adapt to eating with a denture.