Adjusting To Dentures
Getting used to dentures can be uncomfortable for many people. Like getting braces, new dentures feel like a foreign object in your mouth at first. Difficulty with eating and speech is natural. But keep in mind the shock and discomfort of getting used to braces won’t last forever. Patience and positivity is key.
With some time and certain techniques to help you, soon you’ll be back to enjoying a great smile and being comfortable with everything from speaking to eating. Below are some ways to help you adjust to new dentures.
Your First Few Weeks with New Dentures
Common issues during the first few weeks with new dentures can be particularly challenging as your mouth adjusts to the prosthetic. Here are some of the most typical problems:
- Discomfort and sore spots: Your gums may experience soreness or discomfort as they adapt to the new dentures. This can be caused by friction or pressure points and is often temporary as the mouth adjusts.
- Difficulty speaking: Speaking with dentures may initially feel awkward or produce a lisp. It takes time for your tongue and oral muscles to adapt to the presence of the dentures.
- Challenges eating: Eating with dentures can be challenging initially. You may need to start with softer foods and gradually reintroduce a normal diet as you become more comfortable chewing with the dentures in place.
- Increased saliva production: Some individuals experience an increase in saliva production when wearing new dentures. This is a natural response of the body to the foreign object in the mouth and usually diminishes over time as your mouth adjusts.
- Denture movement: In the first few weeks, you might notice some movement or slippage of the dentures, particularly while eating or speaking. This can be due to inadequate fit or insufficient adhesive usage.
- Gag reflex: Some people may experience an increased gag reflex when wearing dentures, especially if they extend farther back in the mouth. This usually improves with time and practice.
- Difficulty with denture retention: Keeping the dentures in place may be challenging initially, especially if the fit is not optimal or if you’re not accustomed to using denture adhesives.
- Emotional adjustment: Adjusting to the idea of wearing dentures can also be emotionally challenging for some individuals, particularly if they feel self-conscious or mourn the loss of natural teeth.
- Excessive salivation: On the other hand, some people might experience dry mouth or excessive salivation due to the presence of the dentures, leading to discomfort or inconvenience.
- Frequent adjustments: It’s not uncommon to require adjustments to your dentures during the first few weeks as your dentist fine-tunes the fit to minimize discomfort and ensure proper functionality.
Tips and Tricks to Help Adjust To Your New Dentures
Rinse with Salty Water
While your mouth is getting used to dentures, it’s common to experience increased salivation as well as sore spots in your mouth. Rinse you mouth with warm salty water to help with soreness and prevent infection. While you adjust to new dentures, take them out every four hours or so to give your gums and jaw more time to rest.
Eat Soft Foods
It can be difficult getting used to eating with dentures, especially when you are experiencing minor soreness after getting new ones. Start with soft foods like mashed potatoes, yoghurts and other foods that are gentle on your gums. Don’t forgo nutritional foods. It’s easy to find yourself eating ice cream and puddings more. However, you don’t want your dentures to have a negative impact on your health.
Incorporate fruit and veggies where possible such as blending them in juices or smoothies. Slowly work your way up to harder foods like red meat or apples over time, chewing them in smaller portions.
Exercise Your Cheeks
Your cheek muscles help direct the food in your mouth as you prepare to swallow. Exercising them can give you more control over eating as well as speech. A couple of exercises you can try include:
- Open your mouth into an “O” with your lips over your teeth and smiling. Then put your fingers on top of your cheeks and gently lift and lower them for 30 seconds.
- Open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue. Roar like a lion to open your throat. Hold for five seconds and repeat.
Singing Your Speech
Singing is a great way of retraining your speech. It’s a technique often used by professional speech therapists. Singing smooth, fluid phrases slowly can help you get used to forming certain words in your mouth. Singing along to your favourite music while wearing your dentures can help you get used to them and make them feel like less of a hinderance over time.
Try an Adhesive
Ask your dentist about dental creams or adhesives that may be able to help you. Dental adhesives can improve the fit and feel of your dentures. Applying small amounts can go a long way in reducing irritation. Most importantly, stay on top of your treatment plan as everyone heals differently.
Get Custom-Adjusted Dentures in Perth
At Emergency Denture Repairs, our experienced team provides a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry to clients in Perth. Whether you need full or partial dentures, we can provide the right solution for you and make getting used to dentures as easy as it can be.
We accept all major health funds and have six convenient clinics throughout Perth as well as a mobile service. Call (08) 9382 2222, book an appointment online or find your closest location.