5 Tips for Overcoming the Challenges of New Dentures
The good news is these problems go away over time and there are easy fixes for most of them.
Here are 5 challenges to expect when you first get dentures and what to do about them:
Your dentures may rub your gums, causing minor irritation, inflammation, and even sores. This may happen particularly when you are eating.
What to do: To calm the irritation, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. You may want to remove your dentures when they’re not necessary until your dentist can refit them. Wear your dentures on the day before your appointment so your dentist can see where the irritation is occurring.
2) Loose Fit
At first, you may have trouble keeping your dentures in place. This could be because they are loose and need to be adjusted for a better fit. On the other hand, you also need to practice the muscle control needed to keep them in without adhesives.
The muscles in your cheeks, lips, and tongue need some practice holding the dentures in place before it becomes automatic.
What to do: Until you can keep your dentures in place without thinking, you can use adhesive. Once you are used to your dentures, you shouldn’t need adhesive if the dentures are fitted properly. However, continuing to use adhesive may increase your confidence and help improve bite strength.
3) Difficulty Eating
Eating crunchy or chewy foods can dislodge your dentures. Bits of nuts and seeds can get caught under your dentures, irritating your gums. Even your sense of taste can be weakened because you are focusing on your dentures.
What to do: Initially, you may want to eat soft foods and work your way up to chewy foods. Try not to bite off food with your front teeth. Instead, cut your food into small pieces and chew them on both sides of the back of your mouth. Adding herbs and spices will give your food more flavor until you adjust to wearing dentures.
4) Trouble Speaking
For the first few days after you get your dentures, you may slur your words. Certain letters like S’s or F’s may be difficult to pronounce. Your dentures may also be prone to slipping or making clicking noises while you are talking.
What to do: To speak clearly, practice talking to a friend. You can also read a book out loud. Biting and swallowing before speaking helps you speak more clearly. If you have problems with clicking, try to talk more slowly.
5) Salivating and Gagging
While your cheeks, tongue, and natural teeth get used to sharing your mouth with your dentures, you may generate more saliva than normal. Dentures may also trigger your gag reflex, especially if they extend too far into the back of your mouth.
What to do: Sucking on lozenges or sugar-free hard candy will help with the extra salivation. Eventually, your mouth will associate the salivation with the candy instead of your dentures.
Using a throat spray to numb the back of your mouth will help control gagging until you get used to your dentures. Brushing the area of your tongue that triggers the gag reflex helps to desensitize you from choking. If the problem persists, your dentist may need to trim your dentures.
Practice Makes Perfect
Give yourself time to practice wearing your dentures. For the first couple of days, you can wear them at
night so your muscles get used to keeping them in for a long period of time. As annoying as some of the initial adjustments may be, you’ll be glad to say goodbye to your bad teeth and hello to a new smile.
To avoid this adjustment period, you could opt for implant-supported dentures. With only 4 implants, you can benefit from a whole row of natural-looking, permanent dentures that never slip or need relining. Implant-supported dentures are anchored to your jaw, so they don’t need to be removed for cleaning. Unlike removable dentures, they stimulate bone growth so you stay looking youthful.
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