Instructions For Complete Denture Patients
- When you first begin to wear dentures, they may feel loose. Until you have learned to keep them in place with the muscles of your cheeks and tongue, they may tip when you chew, allowing food or liquids to pass under them.
- No matter how thin the dentures are, they will feel bulky. They may make your tongue feel crowded or may cause a slight gagging sensation. Until your gum ridges are used to supporting dentures, your mouth may feel sore or irritated. Your saliva flow may also increase temporarily.
- After a few weeks, as your oral tissues become adjusted to wearing dentures, these problems should decrease. If you continue to experience irritation or excessive soreness in any area, you should contact our office.
- When you first get dentures, your facial expression may seem different. A more normal expression will return when the muscles of your cheeks and lips adapt to the dentures.
- Dentures may improve your appearance by changing the shape of your face and reducing facial creases. Denture teeth also will look straight, white, and healthy.
- When you are first learning to use your dentures, it is best to eat soft foods. Cut your food into small pieces and chew slowly on both sides with your back teeth to keep your dentures from tipping.
- After a few days, when the dentures feel more comfortable, gradually try coarser and harder foods until you are able to eat a more normal diet.
- Avoid eating sticky or very hard foods until you have more experience with wearing dentures. Learning to chew properly takes practice.
- Be cautious when eating. Remember that dentures now cover many of the surfaces of your mouth, so it will be more difficult for you to feel a burn from hot foods or a sharp bone.
- Sometimes, wearing dentures can make a difference in the way you pronounce certain words. To help overcome any speech difficulties, practice reading aloud.
- If the dentures’ teeth click together when you talk, speak more slowly. Bring any problems to our attention at your check-up visits.
- At first, you may find that your dentures become loose when you laugh, cough, or even smile. To reposition them, close your teeth together gently and swallow.
When To Wear Your Dentures
- Your dentures are intended to be both a cosmetic and functional replacement for your missing natural teeth, and should therefore be worn daily during waking hours.
- If the dentures are left out of your mouth for long periods of time, any sore spots in your mouth may swell, making it difficult to reinsert the dentures.
- Take your dentures out before going to bed at night and put them in again in the morning. This gives your oral tissues a chance to rest and helps maintain oral health.
Caring For Your Mouth
- Even with dentures, you still need to take care of your mouth. Each day before inserting your dentures, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush, to remove plaque and stimulate circulation.
- Visit our office at least once per year for a complete oral examination (even if you no longer have any natural teeth!). Besides checking your dentures, we will check for signs of oral cancer, and examine the health of your gums, bone, tongue, cheeks, jaw joints, etc.
Caring For Your Dentures
- For a healthy mouth and fresh breath, clean plaque and food deposits from your dentures daily. This also helps keep the dentures from becoming permanently stained.
- Dentures should be handled carefully! Dropping them even a few inches into the sink can break the denture base or a tooth. When cleaning or inserting your dentures, hold them over a towel or a sink half-filled with water.
- Always keep your dentures out of reach of children and pets.
- Before brushing your dentures, rinse them well to remove any loose food particles. Next, apply your favourite denture cleaner to a moistened brush and clean all surfaces of the dentures. Brush thoroughly but carefully. Scrubbing too hard can damage the plastic parts of a denture.
- It is best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. These brushes clean more effectively, because their bristles are arranged to follow the shape of the dentures. A regular soft-bristled toothbrush is an alternative. Brushes with stiff bristles can damage the plastic denture material.
- If dentures become dry, they may change shape. When you take your dentures out at night, place them in a container of denture-cleaning solution or water. Never put dentures in hot water, as they can warp.
- Do not try to adjust or reline your dentures yourself.
- If your dentures break, crack or chip, or if a denture tooth becomes loose, call our office immediately for a repair.
- We make every effort to ensure our patient’s satisfaction with the stability and retention of their new complete dentures.
- Ideally, dentures require little or no adhesive, but in reality, the stability and retention of most dentures is enhanced with the use of a small quantity of adhesive.
- In our experience, most upper dentures DO NOT require adhesive, while most lower dentures DO require adhesive.
Guidelines For Use Of Denture Adhesives
- Use the minimum necessary to provide the maximum benefit.
- Apply less than you think you need, and then gradually increase the amount until you feel comfortable.
- Distribute the adhesive evenly on the tissue-bearing surface of the denture.
- Apply or reapply when necessary to provide the desired effect.
- Always apply the adhesive to a thoroughly clean denture. (It is very important to clean all traces of the previously applied adhesive from the denture before adding more.)
- Apply to a slightly wet denture.
- Avoid placing adhesive close to the denture borders. If the adhesive oozes, use less of the product. Fordentures on the upper jaw, apply three short strips of adhesives along the ridgearea and one down the centre.
For dentures on the lower jaw, apply three short strips of adhesive in the centre of the ridge area.
Long-term Denture Success
- Although your dentures will keep their shape, your mouth continues to change. The bone and gums that support your dentures can recede or shrink, causing your dentures to feel loose and less stable.
- Prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures can irritate the gums, tongue and cheeks and cause the ridges of the mouth to shrink. Constant irritation can also lead to open sores and serious infections.
- To prevent or correct these problems, you should visit our office regularly to determine what changes have taken place in your mouth and what should be done to correct the fit of your dentures.
- Your success in wearing dentures depends on you. With a positive attitude, persistenceand regular professional care, you can become one of the millions of people who wear dentures successfully.