Your New Dentures

New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks. They may feel loose, while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold them in place. Salivary flow temporarily increases. Minor irritation or soreness is not unusual, but these problems often diminish over time, as your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures. If discomfort persists, your dentist may need to make adjustments.

Eating with dentures takes a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chewing slowly and using both sides of your mouth at the same time will prevent the dentures from moving out of place. Other types of food can gradually be introduced until you resume your normal diet. A well-made set of dentures can make a world of difference in eating well as you age.

Speaking with your dentures will also require practice. Reading out loud and repeating difficult words in front of the mirror will help. Speaking slowly will help eliminate muffled speech. If your dentures sometimes slip out of place when you laugh, cough, or smile, see Dr. Van Maren for an adjustment, or denture liners.

After you get your new dentures, Dr. Van Maren may advise you to wear them to bed for the first night. After the first night, you may be instructed to remove them at bedtime. Generally, it is not advisable to wear dentures around the clock because tissues that are constantly covered with denture material can become irritated.

Denture Adhesives

Although dentures are made to fit securely, your dentist may recommend using a denture adhesive while you become accustomed to wearing your new denture.

A loose denture, which makes chewing difficult and can change the facial features, may require relining. While a denture adhesive can temporarily aid a loose-fitting denture, prolonged use of adhesives is not recommended. If your denture is loose, have Dr. Van Maren check to see if you need a reline or possibly a soft line.

Like natural teeth, dentures must be properly cared for if they are to last. They are very delicate and may break if dropped even just a few inches onto a hard surface. When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or a sink filled with water. When you’re not wearing your dentures, store them away from curious children and pets. (Dogs love to chew on dentures!)

Bay Area Denture and Surgery Center recommends daily brushing to remove food deposits and plaque to help prevent artificial teeth from becoming permanently stained. While it is best to use a brush made specifically for cleaning dentures, a toothbrush with soft bristles also can be used. Avoid hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures, but it does not replace a thorough daily brushing.

Some denture wearers use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid, both of which are acceptable for cleaning dentures. Avoid other household cleaners, however, as they may be too abrasive. Dr. Van Maren can recommend a denture cleanser.

To clean your denture, rinse off loose particles. Moisten the brush and apply the cleanser. Gently brush every surface to avoid damage.

Don’t let your custom-made, Bay Area Denture and Surgery Center dentures dry out or they might lose their shape. When you are not wearing them, place your dentures in a denture cleanser-soaking solution or in plain water. Dr. Van Maren can recommend the best method. Never soak dentures in hot water, which can cause them to warp. Look for denture cleansers that display the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, a symbol of safety and effectiveness.

See Dr. Van Maren Should your dentures break, crack, or chip, or if any of the teeth become loose; Dr. Van Maren has the proper training to enable him to reconstruct, adjust, or repair your dentures. Don’t be tempted to adjust or repair them yourself. This can increase damage to the denture and may cause oral health problems. Over-the-counter glues should not be used to repair damaged dentures. Not only do they often contain harmful chemicals-they also are ineffective for repairing your dentures.

Your dentures eventually may need either relining, rebasing, or replacing due to normal wear. Denture relining involves adding new material to the underside of the denture base to conform to your gums. In rebasing, a new base is made using the existing denture as a model and attaching the artificial teeth from the original denture. In some instances, worn artificial teeth are replaced with new ones. The mouth changes naturally with age, and this means that your dentures will need to be remade at varying intervals determined by your dentist. Your jaws may also align differently as bones and gum ridges recede and shrink. Shrinking ridges may result in dentures that do not fit securely. It is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.

Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition also is important for maintaining a healthy mouth.

Dental Appointments

Even after you have lost your teeth, you must continue to see Dr. Van Maren. Your mouth and oral tissues are subject to potentially serious diseases and should be examined on a routine basis. During your visit, Dr. Van Maren will look for signs of oral disease such as cancer, check the fit of your dentures, and check your mini-implants for any necessary o-ring maintenance.

You can wear your new dentures with a smile if you have a positive attitude, a balanced diet, are persistent in practicing how you speak and eat, and continue to see Dr. Van Maren regularly. The American Dental Association recommends regular maintenance of your denture with a reline every 12 to 18 months to extend the life of your new denture.