New Full Dentures
Well-fitted and aesthetically pleasing dentures will provide years of satisfaction and use. The Following information will be helpful to you.
THE FIRST FEW WEEKS:
New dentures always feel strange when first placed in your mouth – particularly if you have never worn dentures before. The surrounding muscles actually play a major role in holding the denture in place – this is why some people have old, very poor fitting dentures that actually stay reasonably still. Therefore it can be several days or even weeks before you feel accustomed to them.
It is not uncommon to have a few sore spots after wearing the dentures for 24 hours. Don’t worry about these areas as they can be relieved with very little effort at your next visit. We would usually expect you to attend to make small adjustments to ease any residual sore spots after 7 days.
EATING AND SPEAKING:
The new bite may not feel completely comfortable initially. The bite is generally best finalized about a week after insertion – after the dentures have settled into place. Eating may take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into smaller pieces and chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time. Initially food may not taste the same, but as your taste buds are mainly on your tongue, this effect will be short lived. Also, avoid very hot food and drinks earl on as your ability to sense hot food and drink may also be affected.
Speaking may require some practice – the lip and tongue muscles need to learn to touch slightly different surfaces than before. Reading out loud may speed up this process. If you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you smile or cough, reposition them by gently biting and swallowing.
UPPER VS. LOWER DENTURES:
A well fitting upper denture has the whole palate to support it so it is likely to have moderate to strong suction. The lower denture on the other hand is supported by a U-shaped ridge and has the tongue pushing it around. A good fitting lower denture should have good stability, but the lack of suction may see it move around a little in the early stages. In time, the surrounding muscles of the tongue, lips and cheeks will help keep it in position. In the short term, you may use a denture adhesive powder to reduce this mobility until the muscles gain control.
REGULAR USE AND DENTURE ADHESIVES:
During the first few days wear the dentures full time, including while you are asleep. This will allow you to adjust to your new dentures and let them settle in. Thereafter, you should remove them before going to bed. Leave them in water to prevent any cracking or warping. Leaving them out allows your gums to rest and helps ensure oral health.
Even if you have excellent fitting dentures, there are times when an adhesive will help. A denture adhesive powder should be used rather than a paste if the denture fits well. It expands to fill any gaps and blocks access to bits of food. They can give you more confidence in public and social situations. You will feel better about eating, talking and even playing sports, especially swimming, which puts the suction of complete dentures at risk when water gets into the mouth. Denture fixatives work by reacting with saliva in the mouth to develop adhesive properties so a good tip is to rinse your mouth before inserting your dentures. Press the dentures firmly into place for a few seconds and wait several minutes before eating and drinking.
CLEANING THE DENTURE:
Your dentures should be cleaned at least twice a day after eating by using a soft bristle toothbrush and liquid soap. A denture brush may make the process more efficient. It should be done over a basin filled with warm water, so that if you drop them the water will cushion the fall. The main purpose of cleaning is to remove the dental plaque and food debris that builds up on dentures – particularly on the fitting surface. Proper cleaning will prevent inflamed gums, or bacterial and fungal infections.
Avoid using regular toothpastes as they can be too abrasive and damage the highly polished, easily cleaned new surface of the dentures. Avoid using bleaching products as they can lead to weakening of the denture as well as making it look unsightly. Also, the use of very hot water to soak the denture can weaken the denture causing it to break.
Denture cleaning solutions can help to remove staining and bacteria. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any food debris. Soak the dentures in the cleaner for a short time and then brush the dentures again.
Tartar can build up on dentures just as it can on natural teeth. If plaque is not removed properly, it can react with your saliva and harden into tartar. Once present you will not be able to remove it completely by yourself and eventually it can make the denture uncomfortable and unsightly. We can organise to remove this tartar using an enzyme solution in an ultrasonic cleaning machine and thereafter a lab re-polish.
Dentures can also pick up staining – especially if you smoke, or drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine. In most cases you should be able to remove this staining with regular cleaning. However, more stubborn stains may take a little more cleaning, which we are able to help you with.