First time denture wearers are likely to include some form of discomfort, this is a normal occurrence but careful corrections to the denture should be made allowing the mould to settle over the period of a week.
Below are some tips to avoid the regular pitfalls for those who are thinking of getting dentures or recently acquired a partial / full denture set.
Speaking with dentures
Regardless of whether you wear partial or full dentures, you will probably go through a period of adjustment before getting used to them. This is because your tongue – the source of articulation - has to learn where your new teeth are. While some people adjust easily to dentures, the majority will find that their speech is mildly impaired, with slurred speech being a common symptom in the early stages.
To improve your speech after you get your new dentures, practice speaking aloud on a frequent basis, but start off slowly and quietly, building up to a normal level gradually. Pretty soon, it will be difficult for others listening to you to tell that you wear dentures.
Eating with dentures
While dentures that fit properly should ultimately make it easier for you to chew most foods, it is likely that you will need some practice early on. Experts advise beginning with a liquid diet of pureed fruit and vegetables to give you all of the nutrients you need until you’re ready to move on to solid foods.
At this stage, it is advisable to exercise caution and cut your foods into small pieces to minimise the impact of chewing. Also, you should avoid harder foods such as red meat, raw fruit and vegetables.
Avoiding increased salivation
Dentures need saliva to work efficiently, and thus an increase in saliva production is common, which also might be accompanied by a gagging sensation. This feeling will subside completely after you’ve worn dentures for a few weeks, as your mouth gets used to the saliva. Some dentists recommend using sugar-free peppermints to reduce the sensation.
Caring for your dentures
Many of the problems discussed in this article can be palliated by caring for your dentures; a process distinct from cleaning natural teeth as regular toothpastes can be too abrasive. You should also avoid using a hard-bristled brush and ideally a brush specially made for denture cleaning. Denture adhesives are great for preventing the dentures from slipping and help to keep them in place to facilitate eating and speech.
For more information about denture care, tips and facts, download this free denture PDF courtesy of ModeHealth.