Today everyone thinks that dentures are only for an older generation. But they are wrong! Tooth loss can occur at any age, but it doesn’t mean that you have to live without an attractive smile. Nowadays, young denture wearers are not uncommon. If you are a young person that needs dentures or already has them, you are not alone. Young people need dentures due to a variety of causes.
Never think that you’re too young for replacement of teeth. Change in your oral care routine and diet can make you feel confident about wearing dentures. Let’s get an idea about how dentures can be a viable option for the young. We will cover the benefits and oral care regimes to maintain that attractive smile.
What are dentures?
Dentures are removable, custom-made replacements for missing teeth. Dentures take some time to get used to the oral cavity, and it never feels the same as natural teeth do.
But nowadays, dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
Dentures for younger patients
When we hear the term denture, we automatically think about the older population. But it’s surprising to see that dentures are equally famous among the younger generation.
From as small as a 4-year-old to a 12-year-old, dentures have proven to help the young to overcome the early loss of teeth, hereditary oral conditions or even a minor traumatic experience.
Loss of teeth during young age can be an effect of gum disease, tooth decay, or as a result of a dental abnormality in cases such as ectodermal dysplasia.
Whatever is the cause of the problem, dentures offer a long-term solution which is free from pain and worry.
A study showed excellent functional results of dentures used on a group of children from 5-12 years of age with genetic defects. (1)
Over time, the patient can continue a diet that is nearly the same as before with a more attractive and healthier smile.
Why do young patients use denture?
There are many reasons for tooth loss especially among the young, including –
- Tooth loss from gum disease or tooth decay
- A genetic predisposition to tooth loss
- Acid reflux
- Ectodermal dysplasia, a condition that affects teeth, hair, and nails
- Sports injuries or auto accidents
Having dentures fitted
Younger patients are very sensitive about their appearance especially when having removable appliances like dentures fitted.
But in today’s world, dentists offer a lot of treatment options that can help avoid embarrassment.
After removing the remaining permanent teeth, a dentist will wait for a couple of months to allow the gums to heal before they can receive permanent dentures.
During this time, the patient can choose to have no teeth or wear immediate dentures which are fitted directly after tooth extraction.
Immediate dentures prevent the awkward toothless period. When the gums have adjusted, the patient can return to the dental office to have the dentures relined them to fit the mouth’s new shape.
Implant-supported dentures are another option that can help reduce the anxiety of young patients.
Unlike removable dentures, implant-supported dentures offer a high level of security. In this case, a dentist surgically inserts implants into the jawbone to hold the denture tightly to the gum.
Keep in mind that this process takes several months, and there must be sufficient jawbone to hold the implants in place.
A study done on children with few teeth present in the oral cavity proved that implant retained overdenture in children with no erupted mandibular teeth was a safe treatment modality when appropriate treatment and aftercare was provided. (2)
Life with dentures
It takes a few weeks, or sometimes a few months for the patients to feel comfortable wearing dentures.
Initially, speaking and eating takes a little bit of practice. At this time, the dentures may feel loose or bulky in the mouth, and there is usually some extra saliva flow. However, with time, these effects fade.
While adjusting to living with dentures, it is recommended to practice speaking alone or with a close friend to boost up your confidence to speak in public. Over time, the muscles of the mouth adjust, and the speech improves.
Starting a diet with soft foods that are cut into small pieces will help the dentures to adjust to the chewing movement.
Gradually return to a regular diet as you learn to chew and bite with your new teeth. Make sure you avoid sticky, hard or chewy foods that your dentures may not be able to handle.
Denture care is not difficult or complicated. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean you’re the denture surface and teeth, and leave them to soak in cleaning solution overnight.
Dentures provide a reason to smile again. With practice, you can eat, drink and speak normally and enjoy the benefits of an attractive smile.
Benefits of dentures for kids
- Improved jaw and tissue development around the mouth.
- Improved appearance
- Improved social well-being
- Improved psychological well-being
- Improved nutrition
- Improved speech
- Psychological uplift to the entire family
Oral care tips for dentures
Don’t let dentures dry out
Always put the dentures in a denture cleanser soaking solution or plain water when you’re not wearing them. Never use hot water as it can cause dentures to warp.
Brush your dentures
Clean your dentures daily with a brush. It will remove any food particle or dental plaque and prevent the dentures from becoming stained.
Maintain good oral hygiene
Clean your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush before inserting dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
Consult your dentist
See your dentist if dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don’t adjust them yourself as this can damage the dentures beyond repair.
Take away message
By improving your child’s appearance, you will be able to provide a more normal physical development and enhance better social and emotional adjustment of your child.
Your child and your entire family will rejoice in wearing dentures successfully! But there is always a dilemma in mind while making a decision.
Before you decide to get dentures, you may want to make sure that it is the right decision for you.
Discuss with a dental professional, your family, friends or counselors to help you in the decision-making process.
If you think you are not comfortable with the idea of wearing dentures from a young age, you can always look for some permanent fix for your problem. In most cases, it is dental implants.
In the end, you decide what is best for you.