Caring for and Adjusting to your New Denture or Partial Denture
(or other dental appliance)
If this is your first time in a denture or partial, you may become rather frustrated with becoming adjusted to the new prosthetic. Try to stay positive. Dentures have been worn for hundreds of years and by billions of people, you will become accustomed to them in due time. Dentures are not teeth, they are a prosthetic. If your leg was amputated and a prosthetic leg was made, you may expect to walk, but it would be unlikely for you to run or sprint. Be patient.
At first, you may feel that there is a lot of plastic in your mouth. This is normal; as dentures by their very nature are a lot of plastic. You may have increased salivation at first as your body will think there is food in your mouth. This will settle down after a week or so.
Certain sounds may be difficult to make and speech will have to adapt to having that extra bulk on the top of your mouth. We suggest reading out loud and focusing on the sounds that sound different to you. With practice you will have your speech back in no time! Also, try to remember that our voices sound very different inside our own heads than they do to outsiders. Most people cannot tell the difference in your speech.
Start off eating softer foods. Try to chew on both sides at the same time rather than on one side. This will help the denture stay in place while eating. Lower dentures are usually the most unstable. If you dislike the instability of either or your dentures, implants can be placed in your jaw to snap on to the denture holding it in place. Many people after having implants placed cannot believe they had not done the procedure earlier in their lives because of the immediate and dramatic increase in stability they experience. If you have more questions about this, please give us a call for a consultation and we can discuss options.
Now that you have received your denture, you will likely need to return to our office to have adjustments made. Usually a denture is adjusted 2-3 times before sore spots under the denture are relieved. This is normal as the denture is a work in progress, and we will need to get it to that “sweet spot” so that you are comfortable. Please wear your denture the day of your appointment so that the tender areas are apparent to us so that we can adjust accordingly.
If your denture was delivered the day of your extractions (also know as immediate, or transitional-as patients often will use them to transition to a more definitive restoration such as implant retained appliances, bridges, etc. ), please understand that this denture will not be as stable as it will after proper healing has taken place. This denture was fabricated making guesses on what the tissue will look like without the teeth, therefore it is impossible to obtain a perfect fit. After 3-6 months of healing, you should come back to our office for a reline, which is a refitting of the dentures base to your healed tissues.
A denture adhesive paste like fixodent can be added to the bases to increase the stabilization. Many people find these very helpful even with great fitting dentures.
Yearly check-up’s are a must to ensure your oral health. At your follow up visits, we will examine you for oral cancer, fungal infections, changes in tissue as a result of the denture, and check the fit and function or your denture to ensure you can adequately continue to eat and be healthy.
Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures.
Brush and rinse your dentures daily. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps prevent the development of permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as it can damage or wear down dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse your dentures after every meal.
Clean with a denture cleaner. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for your dentures and should not be used. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These cleaners are small bathtub-like devices that contain a cleaning solution. The denture is immersed in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the undesirable deposits. Use of an ultrasonic cleaner, however, does not replace a thorough daily brushing. Products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are recommended since they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
Denture care when not being worn
**You must leave dentures out for at least 8 hours a day-painful fungal infections can occur when worn too long!!**
**Many leave out for 8 hours when sleeping**
Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if your denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, as it can cause them to warp.
Can I Adjust or Repair my Dentures?
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed soon after you receive your dentures so that your oral health care provider can make any necessary adjustments. Never attempt to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Never bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments yourself; doing so can weaken the metal structure. "Do-it-yourself" repair kits can permanently damage your dentures and over-the-counter glues may contain harmful chemicals.
Dentures that don't fit properly can cause irritation and sores in your mouth and on your gums. Be sure to contact your oral health care provider if your denture breaks, cracks, chips or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Oftentimes, he or she can make the necessary adjustment or repair on the same day. For some complicated repairs, your denture may have to be sent to a special dental laboratory.