Although dentures have always been a great way to solve the problem of missing teeth, they used to come with some pretty significant drawbacks, like popping out at embarrassing times, making clicking sounds, and looking less than authentic.
Fortunately, today’s dentures offer a better, brighter smile without all the inconvenience and hassle. Our team of experts here at OK Tooth in Midtown Manhattan, New York, aim to help patients love their teeth again by offering these pro tips for adjusting to life with new dentures.
Get to know our dentures
Today’s dentures are more streamlined and secure than ever, but your mouth still notices you’ve got something new inside when you first start to wear them. Although we custom-design your dentures to fit the unique contours and characteristics of your mouth, they may feel slightly thicker or higher than your natural teeth did.
The best way to get used to the feeling is to practice wearing them in private for the first few days. Consider it your denture homework. Start off eating soft foods and practicing your chewing skills. Don’t be surprised if you dribble a bit or drop a few bites, in no time, you’ll be chomping like a pro again.
Practice speaking out loud while wearing your new dentures. You may find that you need to relearn how to enunciate some words and sounds as your tongue becomes accustomed to working in tandem with the appliance.
Don’t rush it
Some people catch on quickly and have no trouble at all with their new dentures, but others need more time. Even if you master chewing and speaking right away, your mouth may need a little extra time to get used to the feel of dentures.
We suggest wearing your new dentures for short intervals at first. Take them out if they begin to feel uncomfortable to give your mouth a break. Then put them back in for another session. Each time you wear them, extend the length of time you keep them in. This is a tried-and-true way break in your dentures and your mouth.
Keep them clean
These days, dentures are sturdy and durable and come with fewer restrictions than their predecessors. But they aren’t indestructible.
Just like your natural teeth, dentures are susceptible to bacteria and plaque. So, just like your natural teeth, you need to keep them clean. But that’s where the similarities end. Instead of brushing your teeth inside your mouth, you clean your dentures by removing them and using a mild cleaner approved for dentures.
Brush them with a soft-bristled brush and a light hand. For deeper cleaning and stubborn stains, you can soak your dentures in a special solution, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly, as some chemicals can be harsh on your soft tissues and digestive system.
Protect your dentures
Dentures are designed to thrive in the moist environment of your mouth, so when you remove them for cleaning or for a break, keep them wet. You can submerge them in a cleaning solution or even in plain water.
Dentures are breakable, just as natural teeth are. Chewing on nonfood items like a pen, or using your teeth as a tool to open a bag of chips, can damage your dentures. And they’re even more vulnerable when they’re outside your mouth — dropping them on a hard tile floor can crack or chip them.
Don’t neglect your gums
When you have dentures and focus on taking care of them, it’s easy to forget about the rest of your mouth, especially if you have full dentures and no natural teeth left. We urge you to continue caring for your gums by regularly brushing them gently to keep bacteria at bay and your whole mouth healthy.
Keep an eye on your teeth
Your new dentures should brighten your smile and boost your confidence for years to come if you follow these basic tips. But even with the most diligent care, things can go awry.
Keep up with your regular dental checkups. In between visits, inspect your dentures often and check for cracks, chips, or discoloration. Also, pay attention to your gums, tongue, and inner cheeks. You can expect a little redness and soreness the first few days, but let us know if it lasts longer than that.
Come in and see us if you experience clicking sounds or slippage. You may just need an adjustment to get the perfect fit.
If you have questions or want to speak with one of our denture specialists, contact us by phone or online to set up an appointment.