Your teeth are designed to provide a lifetime of service, but disease and decay may have other plans. In fact, 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and an incredible 40 million are missing all of their teeth.
The problem only gets worse with age, as 30% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have no natural teeth to speak of.
Thankfully, modern dentures are more than up to the task of filling in for your natural teeth, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile with ease. But they do take some getting used to.
At Avalon Dental, Dr. Cliff Broschinsky has spent the last three decades helping patients in San Ramon, California, find long-lasting solutions for dental problems like missing teeth. Dr. Broschinsky, along with our expert team, has helped hundreds of patients make the transition to dentures, and we’re here to help you.
To that end, here’s a look at everything you need to know about getting used to dentures.
If you’ve lost a considerable number of your teeth due to trauma, gum disease, or tooth decay, you have plenty of denture options for filling in the gap. But before we can set you up with your custom-designed dentures, we may need to do some work to clear your mouth of any tooth remnants in your jawbone.
Once complete, we set you up with immediate dentures that perform two important tasks:
- Immediate dentures allow your gums to heal so they can support your conventional dentures
- Immediate dentures enable you to continue to eat and speak while your gums heal
This transition can be tricky as you get used to these foreign objects in your mouth, and you may experience some discomfort as your gums are particularly sensitive. But if you use this period wisely, and practice patience, you’ll be quickly smiling, chewing, and speaking with confidence again. And when we outfit with your conventional dentures, you’ll be ready.
Sing it out
Speech therapists have long understood the benefits of singing when tackling speech issues like stuttering. It turns out that the same holds true for getting used to dentures.
If you find speaking to be awkward initially, try singing instead. By singing in your car, in your shower, or with your family and friends, you’ll find that speech comes more easily.
When you first start eating with your dentures, don’t dive right into a steak with corn-on-the-cob on the side. As you get used to chewing with these oral appliances, you can save yourself considerable frustration by starting out with liquid and soft foods. Once you’re accustomed to chewing and swallowing with dentures, you can slowly add more solid foods to your diet.
When you do add solid foods, take smaller bites and chew on both sides of your mouth so you distribute the pressure evenly. In no time at all, you’ll be happily eating your favorite foods again.
Mind the temperature
Since your dentures aren’t armed with nerves as your natural teeth were, you’ll be less able to determine whether your food or drink is too hot or too cold. In other words, be sure to check the temperature of your coffee before you take a slug, as hot liquid can damage your dentures.
Keep it clean
Whether you have full or partial dentures, it’s important that you’re vigilant about their care. With complete dentures, remove them every night and be sure to use special cleansers to remove any bacteria and debris. You should also use this time to gently brush your gums. Just as a pebble in your shoe causes discomfort, so, too, does debris in your dentures.
With partial dentures that are anchored by your natural teeth, care for them as you do your existing teeth. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing daily to preserve the health of your anchor teeth and keep your prosthetic and natural teeth sparkling.
If you have more questions about adjusting to life with dentures, we’re just a phone call away at 925-267-8547. You can also send us a message here on our website, or use our easy online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.