Dentures – What You Need to Know Part 2
Previous Page – Part 1 Continuation of “Dentures – What You Need to Know”
An adjustment is almost always needed after having your new dentures fitted. At first minor adjustments may be necessary to correct any issues with your bite (occlusion) or any areas rubbing. As you settle into eating and chewing as normal your dentures may again start to rub and pinch your gum tissues in different places.
It can take several appointments to adjust your denture until it is comfortable as once one spot is adjusted a new spot may then occur. Even after wearing your dentures for months or years they too may need to be adjusted, clasps/clips may need tightening and dentures may need relining in the future as your body continues to develop and change.
Cleaning your dentures
Just like cleaning your teeth twice a day your dentures are no exception, they need the same amount of time and care given to maintain a clean and strong denture. There are many products out there that you can use to clean your dentures, but if you’re looking for a simple home cleaner that doesn’t break the budget you can’t go past warm soapy water or a non-abrasive toothpaste.
Always remove and rinse your mouth and denture, then using a soft toothbrush gently clean your denture brushing the inside and outside surfaces removing any food debris, plaque or adhesives. Never use hot or boiling water, detergents, bleach, methylated spirits, abrasive products or any other strong chemicals. Cleaning your denture should be done twice a day or after each meal.
Living with dentures
Insert and removal
Your dentist will show you how to insert and remove your dentures properly. Using a mirror at the start can help if you are finding it difficult. Just remember they will only fit in one way so do not force your dentures at any point. If you are experiencing any problems make sure you contact your dentist.
Our body is programmed to start salivating when food is placed in our mouth to help breakdown and digest food. When your new denture is inserted there is no exception, our body registers the new denture as food and stimulates the food-related response of salivating. This is very common and will resolve in a few days and even up to a few weeks as our body gets used to having the denture in your mouth.
Your mouth will need time to adapt to your new dentures even if you have worn dentures before. They may feel different and uncomfortable in the beginning, but just like a new pair of shoes they need time to “wear themselves in”.
Speech may be temporarily affected by your denture as a denture covers surfaces not normally covered and your tongue can find it difficult to move and therefore interfere with your speech. Certain words may be more difficult to pronounce than others, usually words starting with “s” “f” and “c” can be found difficult.
Other issues can occur when you speak such as your denture clicking, slipping or falling out, as your lips, tongue and cheek muscles adapt they will learn to keep the dentures in place.
If your denture is slipping or falling out try biting down to reposition your denture back into place and then swallowing. If clicking is the issue then try to speak slower allowing your mouths full movement.
Soreness is expected with any new denture as there may be areas that are rubbing or pinching and especially with an immediate denture where teeth have been removed. If you are experiencing pain under your denture contact your dentist. Your dentist may need to adjust your denture so it is important to wear your denture for a few hours before your appointment as this will help the dentist determine the areas needed to be adjusted.
Oral hygiene is extremely important, just like natural teeth plaque, staining and calculus can build up on your denture, as well as other concerns such as bacterial or fungal infections on the surrounding tissues. Brushing and rinsing your denture, gums and tongue will help prevent build up and infection.
With any new denture you will also be given a denture box to put your denture in when it is not in your mouth. Dentures are delicate and can break so it is important to take good care of them. When cleaning your denture always use a soft brush and hold it over a towel or basin of water to cushion the fall in case you drop it. If you break or damage your denture call your dentist straight away, do not tamper with or glue pieces back together as it may result in permanent damage to your denture.
Adhesives can be a great option and an added confidence to make sure your denture stays in place. The denture adhesive is applied to the fitting (inside) surface of the denture, it is then placed in the mouth and with the presence of water from your saliva, the material swells and creates a grip between your denture and your gum, it improves the retention and stability of wearing your denture. This can also be a great option in the process of waiting for a denture reline.
Ideally dentures should be removed before bed as this allows the tissues to breath at night, but for some people they prefer to keep them in. Taking your dentures out at night time can prevent grinding and wearing the teeth down, if you do remove your teeth at night it is important to place them in water as the materials your denture is made of can be damaged if they a left to dry out. Make sure you discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping without your dentures and what the best option is for you.
It is still extremely important to have regular check up’s with your dentist even if you have full upper and lower dentures. Dentures can break and chip overtime and may need to be remade due to the body’s natural wear and tear.
At your regular check-up appointment your dentist will examine your jaw muscles, hard and soft tissues, and the fit of your dentures. Bacterial or fungal infections can develop as a result of poor oral health and neglect in cleaning your denture.
Plaque, staining and calculus build up on your dentures artificial teeth can still occur as well, it is important to have your dentures professionally cleaned and any bacterial infections treated.
Dentures can be a cost effective method to replace missing teeth however they do have their limitations. The denture process can be a very different experience from person to person as everybody is different and adapt in different ways.