Discomfort is a familiar term among new denture wearers. It takes a certain amount of effort and patience to get used to wearing dentures, but once you adapt to it, you won’t even realize you are wearing them.
Around 50% of the Americans especially above the age of 55 wear full or partial dentures.
Dentures help to rebuild the lost smile. They boost up patient’s confidence, improve the quality of life for those who had severe dental issues earlier.
Getting used to dentures is a challenge, especially for a new denture wearer. Some people may experience difficulty in chewing, and some may shy away from speaking.
Good news is that with these quick tips, you can avoid these issues and start to conquer your insecurities of wearing a denture in public.
Let’s get to the article and learn about some of the tips you can use to help you smile and speak confidently.
What are the problems that occur while wearing a denture?
Increased salivary flow is a natural process that our body generates when a foreign body is put in the mouth. Usually, this process lasts for a few days.
When the mouth starts getting used to dentures, the salivary flow returns to normal. In some instances, mouth movements while coughing, sneezing or yawning may dislodge the dentures.
It gets a little annoying and embarrassing, but with time you tackle such situations efficiently. A new skill that patients learn with time is the proper method of keeping the dentures clean.
How can you get used to dentures?
1. Know what are you going to experience
Dentures, like any other dental appliance, always feel like a foreign object in the mouth at first.
Automatically, you will feel a little insecure and embarrassed to speak or eat while wearing them.
You should know that it is very reasonable to have such feelings. A little embarrassment and discomfort are understandable but this doesn’t last forever.
As you accustom yourself to speaking and eating, your confidence builds up gradually. Also, your oral muscles get used to the dentures around the gums.
Patience is the key. Experiencing minor soreness in gums after getting new dentures is common. At this time the dentist will help to readjust your dentures and relieve the discomfort. (1)
2. Change in chewing habit
Remove the dentures for every four hours to give a little rest to your gums and jaw. This will help you to adjust and get used to them.
If you are a complete denture wearer, you can follow the instructions given below –
- Chew up and down and not side to side
- You can start your diet by chewing small portions which will make it easy for you to bite down
- Chew from both sides of the mouth at the same time
- Don’t bite from the front teeth
- Avoid hard, crunchy and sticky foods
- Have a glass of water while chewing, it will aid in to reduce the sticking of food to the dentures
3. Use a denture adhesive
Denture adhesives come handy when there is not enough structural support present to retain the dentures in the mouth.
Studies have shown that denture adhesives help to enhance the stability and masticatory performance of dentures. (2)
Your dentist or a prosthodontist is the best person to tell you about the best dental creams or adhesives that are currently available. A small number of adhesives can reduce early irritation.
But be aware that adhesives are not a substitute for ill-fitting dentures; always check with your dentist if you want a better fit.
4. Cheek exercise
The muscles of the cheek are known as the buccinators. These muscles direct the food into the mouth and prepare the oral cavity to swallow the food.
By doing the cheek exercises recommended by your dentist, you’ll be able to build the buccinators making them active in the first few weeks or even before getting a pair of dentures.
Such exercises will give you control over your speech as well as your eating ability. They also help in retaining your denture in the mouth. (3)
If you experience cheek pain, it can indicate ill-fitting of dentures. Consult your dentist to get the problem checked and to relieve the discomfort.
5. Sing and practice your speech
Initially, the dentures will affect your speech, and it will take a little amount of effort to overcome your fear of speaking in the public with dentures on.
In such cases, practice reading one page of a newspaper or a book every day. It is always better to have a friend or a family member around while you read to get feedback on your improvement.
Singing is the most excellent form of speech training. When you wear the dentures, try to sing your favorite song. (4)
Other techniques may include singing smooth phrases at a slow pace. This will help you in easily forming certain words and improving your dentures to adapt well.
6. Follow your post-extraction instructions carefully
One of the most crucial steps for a happy smile is to listen carefully and follow the proper instructions after receiving dentures.
The time required for adjustment always depends on the type of coverage i.e. a full or a partial denture. Be regular to the follow-up appointments with the dentist.
Take good care of your oral hygiene at home. Get used to the habit of soaking dentures when not in use to prevent the dentures from drying or fracturing.
Use a denture brush to clean the dentures or soak them in a cleaning solution to remove any stains.
Clean your tongue, gums, and mouth before wearing dentures.
How long will it take for you to get used to dentures?
Usually, you should get used to wearing dentures in 30 days. Initially, for the first 15 days, you will eat a soft diet such as mashed potatoes, etc.
Also, you will experience an increase in salivation and spots of soreness. Post 15 days, you will find it better in speaking and also, salivation will lessen down.
If you face issues even after 30 days, then you should visit your dentist. Generally, dentures last for five years to ten years. You may have to go for replacement during this period.
Over to you
Every denture wearer handles their situation differently. But always remember that practice and patience will take you a long way and bring in more comfort.
Look for habits that work well for you and make a routine to follow them regularly. You will notice the change eventually.
Learn your tricks and habits to be able to enjoy eating without any discomfort. Always try to practice your speech exercises along with a friend or a family member. They will give you daily feedback.
Follow all the post-treatment instructions to avoid any complications. If you experience any discomfort, talk to your dentist to relieve it as soon as possible.