A denture being polished

What is a Denture?

Last updated: March 12, 2024

How long does it take to get used to wearing dentures?

Getting used to wearing dentures can vary from person to person. For some individuals, adjusting to wearing dentures may take a few weeks, while for others, it could take a bit longer. Initially, wearing dentures may feel bulky, loose, or uncomfortable in the mouth. This is normal as your mouth and facial muscles need time to adapt to the new dental appliance.

During the initial adjustment period, it's common to experience increased salivation, sore spots, and difficulty speaking or eating. These challenges are temporary and often improve as you become more accustomed to wearing dentures.

To help speed up the adjustment process, here are a few tips:

  1. Wear your dentures consistently: To get used to wearing dentures, it's essential to wear them regularly, as advised by your dentist. Initially, start with short periods and gradually increase the wearing time.

  2. Practice speaking: Reading aloud and speaking slowly can help your tongue and facial muscles adjust to the presence of dentures. If you're having difficulty pronouncing certain words, practice saying them repeatedly.

  3. Stick to soft foods: In the beginning, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew. As you become more comfortable with your dentures, you can gradually introduce firmer foods into your diet.

  4. Use denture adhesive (if recommended): Your dentist may suggest using denture adhesive to improve the fit and retention of your dentures. This can help prevent slippage and enhance comfort during the adjustment period.

  5. Stay patient: Adjusting to dentures is a process that takes time. It's essential to stay patient and give yourself grace as you adapt to this significant change in your oral health.

If you continue to experience significant discomfort, sore spots, or difficulty wearing your dentures after several weeks, be sure to consult your dentist. They can make adjustments to your dentures to improve their fit and comfort. In some cases, a denture reline or adjustment may be necessary to ensure your dentures fit properly and feel more comfortable in your mouth.

Remember, proper care and maintenance of your dentures, along with regular dental check-ups, are crucial for ensuring your oral health and the longevity of your dentures. With time and patience, most individuals can successfully adapt to wearing dentures and enjoy improved confidence and function in their daily lives.

Are there different types of dentures available?

Yes, there are different types of dentures available to cater to individual needs and preferences. The most common types of dentures include full dentures, partial dentures, immediate dentures, and implant-supported dentures.

  1. Full Dentures: Full dentures are used when all teeth are missing on the upper or lower arch, or both. They consist of a flesh-colored acrylic base that fits over your gums and a full set of artificial teeth. These dentures rely on suction or an adhesive to stay in place.

  2. Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain in the upper or lower arch. These dentures have a metal or acrylic base that connects to the remaining natural teeth with metal clasps. Artificial teeth are attached to the base to fill the gaps created by missing teeth.

  3. Immediate Dentures: Immediate dentures are placed on the same day that any remaining natural teeth are extracted. These dentures are created in advance and adjusted during the extraction appointment, allowing patients to have teeth immediately after extraction. However, adjustments may be needed as the gums heal and shrink.

  4. Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures are a more stable and secure option. Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone to act as anchors for the denture. This type of denture provides better stability and prevents issues like slipping or discomfort.

When considering the type of denture that is best for you, factors such as the number of missing teeth, the condition of any remaining natural teeth, bone density in the jaw, budget, and personal preferences should be taken into account. Your dentist will assess your oral health, discuss your goals, and help you choose the type of denture that suits you best.

It's important to note that dentures require proper care and maintenance to ensure longevity and oral health. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the fit and condition of your dentures and to address any adjustments or repairs needed.

Ultimately, the type of denture you choose will depend on your unique dental situation, budget considerations, and desired outcomes. It's best to consult with your dentist to determine the most suitable option for your specific needs and preferences.

How do I care for my dentures?

Caring for your dentures is essential to ensuring their longevity and your oral health. Proper denture care involves regular cleaning, maintenance, and handling to prevent damage and maintain their effectiveness. Here are some tips on how to care for your dentures:

  1. Daily Cleaning: Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily to remove food particles and plaque. Use a soft-bristled brush or a denture brush to gently clean all surfaces of the dentures. Avoid using regular toothpaste as it can be abrasive and damage the dentures. Instead, use a mild hand soap or a denture cleaner recommended by your dentist.

  2. Rinsing: After eating, it's a good practice to remove and rinse your dentures to remove any loose food particles. This helps prevent staining and keeps your mouth feeling fresh.

  3. Soaking: Dentures should be soaked overnight in a denture cleaning solution or water to keep them moist and maintain their shape. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions or your dentist's recommendations when using soaking solutions.

  4. Handling with Care: When cleaning or handling your dentures, make sure to fill the sink with water or place a towel on the counter to prevent them from breaking if accidentally dropped. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the dentures.

  5. Regular Dental Check-ups: It's important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups to ensure your dentures fit properly and to address any issues early on. Your dentist can also professionally clean your dentures during these visits.

  6. Avoiding Damage: Dentures are durable but can still break if dropped or mishandled. Avoid chewing hard foods, using toothpicks, or biting on anything that can damage the dentures. If your dentures do break, refrain from trying to fix them yourself and seek professional help.

  7. Oral Hygiene: Even if you wear dentures, it's essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before inserting your dentures to stimulate circulation and remove plaque.

  8. Storing Properly: When not wearing your dentures, store them in a denture cleaning solution or water to prevent them from drying out. Avoid using hot water as it can cause warping.

By following these simple steps and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can ensure that your dentures stay clean, comfortable, and functional for years to come. If you have any concerns about caring for your dentures, don't hesitate to consult your dentist for guidance.

Can I sleep with my dentures in?

It is generally recommended not to sleep with your dentures in your mouth. While it may be tempting to keep them in overnight for convenience, it is important to give your gums and jawbone a chance to rest and recover from the pressure of wearing dentures throughout the day.

Sleeping with dentures in can increase the risk of developing oral health issues. For instance, keeping dentures in while sleeping can lead to bacterial growth and oral infections. Additionally, wearing dentures continuously can contribute to inflammation, soreness, and even bone resorption in the long run.

Allowing your mouth to be free of dentures overnight can help prevent these issues and promote better oral health. It gives your gums a chance to breathe, reduces the risk of fungal infections like oral thrush, and helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your mouth.

If you find it difficult to sleep without your dentures due to concerns about appearance or speech, consider discussing alternative solutions with your dentist. They may suggest using a denture adhesive to keep your dentures secure during the day and easier to remove at night.

Proper denture care and maintenance are essential for keeping your oral health in good condition. Make sure to remove and clean your dentures thoroughly every day, soak them in a denture cleaning solution as recommended, and brush your gums, tongue, and palate to prevent plaque buildup and maintain fresh breath.

In case you accidentally fall asleep with your dentures in, remove them as soon as you wake up and make sure to clean them properly before reinserting. If you experience any discomfort or soreness in your mouth after sleeping with dentures, consult your dentist for advice on how to alleviate the issue and prevent it from reoccurring in the future.

Remember, giving your mouth a break from wearing dentures while you sleep can contribute to better oral health and overall comfort. Prioritizing proper denture care and following recommended guidelines can help you maintain a healthy and happy smile for years to come.

Will dentures affect how I speak?

When it comes to wearing dentures, many people wonder whether they will affect their speech. The impact of dentures on speech can vary from person to person, but there are some common factors to consider.

Initially, wearing dentures may cause some changes in speech. This is because the presence of the dentures in the mouth can alter the way the tongue and mouth muscles move to produce sounds. It may take some time for your mouth to adjust to the dentures, leading to temporary changes in your speech patterns. This adjustment period can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the individual.

One of the main challenges with dentures and speech is learning to pronounce certain sounds correctly. Some sounds may be more difficult to articulate with dentures, especially in the case of full dentures that cover the roof of the mouth. Sounds like "s," "th," and "f" may be particularly challenging at first. Practicing speaking, reading aloud, and repeating difficult words can help improve speech clarity over time.

Properly fitted dentures should not significantly impair your ability to speak clearly once you have adjusted to wearing them. If you continue to experience persistent speech difficulties after the initial adjustment period, it's important to consult your dentist or prosthodontist. They can make necessary adjustments to your dentures to improve comfort and speech clarity.

In some cases, denture adhesives can be used to enhance stability and help with speech. Adhesives can provide additional security for your dentures, especially if you have concerns about them slipping while speaking.

Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping your dentures clean and well-fitted are essential for overall oral health and speech. Regular check-ups with your dental provider can ensure that your dentures are in good condition and functioning properly. They can also address any concerns you may have regarding speech or comfort with your dentures.

In conclusion, while dentures may have some initial impact on speech, most individuals can adapt and speak comfortably with proper adjustment and practice. If speech difficulties persist, consulting your dental professional is recommended to address any issues and ensure that your dentures fit correctly for optimal function and comfort.

How often should I have my dentures checked?

Regular check-ups for your dentures are essential to ensure they fit properly and are in good condition. Ideally, you should have your dentures checked by your dentist at least once a year. However, if you experience any issues or discomfort, it's crucial to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

During a denture check-up, your dentist will assess the fit of your dentures to make sure they are not causing any irritation or sores in your mouth. They will also inspect the condition of your dentures to ensure there are no cracks, chips, or other damage that could affect their functionality.

Additionally, your dentist will examine the health of your gums and oral tissues to detect any signs of inflammation or infection that may be related to wearing dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can contribute to gum irritation and infections, so addressing any fit issues promptly is important for maintaining your oral health.

If any adjustments or repairs are needed, your dentist will discuss the necessary treatment options with you. This may involve adjusting the fit of your dentures, relining them to improve their stability, or in some cases, replacing them entirely if they are significantly worn or damaged.

Regular denture check-ups also provide an opportunity for your dentist to evaluate your overall oral health. They can check for signs of oral cancer, gum disease, or other dental issues that may not be directly related to your dentures but are important for your overall well-being.

Remember, proactive dental care is key to preventing complications and ensuring the longevity of your dentures. By attending regular check-ups and addressing any concerns promptly, you can maintain a healthy smile and enjoy the benefits of wearing dentures with confidence.

Are there any foods I should avoid with dentures?

  1. Are there any foods I should avoid with dentures?

When you have dentures, it's important to be mindful of the types of foods you consume to ensure your dentures stay in good condition and to prevent any discomfort while eating. Here are some foods to avoid or consume with caution when you have dentures:

Sticky Foods: Sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, or overly chewy candies can adhere to your dentures and may be difficult to remove. This can cause your dentures to become loose or dislodged, leading to potential discomfort or embarrassment while eating.

Hard Foods: Hard foods such as nuts, seeds, hard candies, and ice can put excessive pressure on your dentures, leading to potential breakage or damage. It's best to avoid biting down directly on hard foods with your dentures to prevent any unnecessary strain.

Tough Meats: Tough cuts of meat, such as steak or jerky, can be challenging to chew with dentures, potentially causing discomfort or difficulty in properly breaking down the food. Consider cutting these types of meats into smaller, more manageable pieces to make eating more comfortable.

Acidic Foods and Beverages: Acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar-based dressings, and carbonated drinks can wear down the materials of your dentures over time. It's advisable to consume acidic items in moderation and to rinse your mouth and dentures with water after consuming them.

Popcorn and Nuts: Popcorn kernels and small, hard nuts can easily get lodged underneath your dentures while eating, leading to irritation or discomfort. To avoid this, consider avoiding these types of foods or enjoying them in moderation, taking care to thoroughly clean your mouth and dentures afterward.

It's essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your gums, tongue, and remaining teeth (if applicable) regularly, along with cleaning your dentures as advised by your dentist. If you encounter any issues with your dentures, such as discomfort, looseness, or damage, be sure to contact your dental care provider for assistance and guidance.

By being mindful of the foods you consume and following proper care instructions, you can help ensure the longevity and comfort of your dentures, allowing you to enjoy a varied and nutritious diet while maintaining good oral health.

What should I do if my dentures are uncomfortable?

If your dentures are uncomfortable, it is important to address the issue promptly to prevent further discomfort or complications. Discomfort with dentures is a common issue that many wearers face, especially when they are new to wearing them or if the dentures are ill-fitting.

One of the most common reasons for denture discomfort is improper fit. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation, sore spots, and even sores in the mouth. If you experience discomfort when wearing your dentures, it may be a sign that they need to be adjusted or replaced. Visiting your dentist or prosthodontist for adjustments can help alleviate the discomfort and ensure a better fit.

Another common cause of denture discomfort is poor oral hygiene. When food particles and bacteria accumulate between the dentures and the gums, it can lead to inflammation and discomfort. Proper cleaning and care of your dentures, as well as maintaining good oral hygiene, can help prevent discomfort and maintain the health of your mouth.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your dentures, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Visit your dentist: If you are experiencing persistent discomfort with your dentures, schedule an appointment with your dentist or prosthodontist. They can assess the fit of your dentures and make any necessary adjustments.

  2. Practice good oral hygiene: Properly clean your dentures daily to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Also, make sure to clean your gums, palate, and any remaining teeth to maintain good oral health.

  3. Take breaks: If you are new to wearing dentures or experiencing discomfort, try taking short breaks from wearing them throughout the day. This can help reduce irritation and soreness in your mouth.

  4. Avoid hard or sticky foods: Certain foods can be challenging to eat with dentures and may cause discomfort. Avoid hard or sticky foods that can dislodge or damage your dentures.

  5. Use a denture adhesive: If your dentures feel loose or uncomfortable, using a denture adhesive can help improve the fit and comfort of your dentures.

Remember, discomfort with dentures is not something you have to endure. Seeking help from your dental professional can address the issue and ensure that you can wear your dentures comfortably and confidently.

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