Adjusting to Life With Dentures

Years ago, dentures earned the reputation for being cumbersome, awkward, and unnatural looking. But today’s dentures break those stereotypes and give your existing teeth a run for their money.

That said, they do require a brief transition period as you get used to how they feel and function. Benjamin C. Wang, DMD, at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry here in Portland, Oregon, not only treats your missing teeth with state-of-the-art dentures or dental implants, he also helps you learn to live with them and get the most out of them.

Breaking in your mouth

Just like your feet have to get used to new shoes, it takes a little while for your mouth to adjust to a new appliance. 

We recommend starting off with mini sessions. Pop your dentures in and wear them while you’re at home. Start with an hour or two, then increase the duration until you feel comfortable facing the world.

Practice, practice, practice

Your dentures look completely natural, but they may feel a bit foreign for a while. For instance, they might feel thicker, bigger, or taller than the teeth you lost, so it helps to practice with them before taking them for a trial run in public.

Eating may feel a little different, so begin with soft foods like applesauce and pudding, then try easy-to-chew foods like pasta and soft bread. Learn how your tongue feels during the chewing process and how to manage a mouthful of food. You should be up to speed in no time.

Talking might trip you up as well. Make sure you use a good denture adhesive to keep your appliance from slipping, and practice keeping it in place with your lips and cheeks while speaking. Reading aloud is a good way to practice in private. 

Finally, you may need to relearn how to listen. Because sound travels through your jawbone and skull, wearing dentures may alter and amplify some sounds. No one else will notice, and you’ll get used to it quickly.

Keep them clean

Another reason people used to criticize dentures is because they require special cleaning. That part is still necessary, but our patients generally report that the process is easy, and it simply becomes part of their regular dental hygiene routine.

When you brush and floss your teeth in the morning and evening, that’s the time to care for your dentures as well. Just give them a gentle brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and slip them into your dental cleaning solution. They soak overnight and are sparkling clean and ready when you wake up. 

A lifetime with your dentures

After your initial adjustment phase, wearing dentures becomes second-nature. Most people don’t give them a thought throughout the day. While you should take care when eating tough, chewy, or sticky foods like meat, corn on the cob, nuts, or crusty bread, you shouldn’t have to avoid them altogether. 

Once your mouth has become accustomed to moving naturally with your dentures, you can live life normally. But do come in for periodic checkups so Dr. Wang can make sure there's no excessive wear or damage and that your dentures still fit well. 

If you’re thinking about getting dentures, Dr. Wang is here to provide expert advice, treatment, and follow-up care. To schedule an appointment, call our office or book a consultation online today.

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