Complete Denture(s)

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Introduction

Now that you have received your new denture(s), what can you expect from them?  Your mouth is an ever-changing soft environment and your dentures are relatively hard and unyielding.  Consequently, a short period adapting to them is usual.  To function comfortably and to keep your mouth healthy, here are some suggestions.

Eating

It will take some time before you can eat food as you did with your natural teeth.  Remember, these dentures, like anything artificial in the body, require adapting.  DO NOT eat with them until they are comfortable when you are just swallowing and talking.  When you do start to eat, begin with small amounts of soft food; eating with food on both sides of your mouth may also be helpful.  As you gain confidence, you can advance into a more extensive diet.  Remember that your food will require more preparation now with your knife and fork before chewing.

Cleaning

As you will notice, the dentures cover up areas of your mouth not normally covered.  This can alter the tissues lining your mouth unless you take steps to stimulate these tissues.  Keep your mouth and the dentures meticulously clean.  Leave your dentures out overnight; remember you don’t sleep with your shoes on!  After eating, wash the dentures with soap and water; scrub all surfaces with a soft hand brush or a specially designed denture toothbrush.  Avoid very hot water and abrasives, which will remove the polish of the dentures and allow stains to collect more readily.  Commercial toothpaste is also good to clean with.  Soaking them in a denture cleaning solution may also be helpful.  An effective cleansing solution is 1 part bleach in 3 parts of water.  Do not, however, leave them in this solution for more than 10 minutes.  When not in your mouth, your dentures should be kept in water to avoid distortion or drying.  To clean and stimulate your mouth, use a toothbrush at least once a day on all tissues covered by your dentures.  As with natural teeth, a plaque-like substance forms on your dentures and can cause damage to your mouth if it is not removed at least once a day by brushing.

Maintaining The Fit

As we mentioned, your mouth is an ever-changing environment and unfortunately, dentures cannot be made that will follow these changes.  Consequently, with the changing shape of your mouth and gums, your dentures will need alterations from time to time to maintain the fit.  You should have the fit and bite checked at least every six months, because frequently the changes occur so slowly that you are not aware of the developing problems.  A well fitting denture can be an asset to your health! Minor bite alterations and relining will be necessary to prolong their useful life.  Never attempt to adjust them yourself.

Problems

Saliva:  If you have never had any artificial prosthesis in your mouth before, then when you wear your new dentures for the first time, there will be an increase in the amount of saliva.  This is a natural response and should return to normal in about 6-8 weeks.  In any case, it is always better to have an abundance of saliva than the opposite.

Sore Spots: These minor irritations are very common with new dentures or dentures which have recently been relined.  Be patient – adjustments to the fit and bite are to be expected.  When a sore spot occurs, leave the dentures out of your mouth and put them back into your mouth 3 hours before you come back for an adjustment.  By wearing the denture before your appointment, you can show us more accurately what the cause of the problem is.  Please do not attempt to adjust the denture yourself.

Gagging:  This is rarely a problem and, if it occurs, frequently it passes quite quickly.  If the problem persists please contact the office.

Talking: You will probably notice awkwardness at first, especially with certain words.  With practice you will quickly adapt. Reading aloud to yourself can speed up this adaptation.

Finally

Have your mouth checked twice a year.  We will place your name on our recare schedule so you should hear from us in about 6 months.  If you do not hear from us, please phone, it is very important for your health that you do not allow changes to occur unnoticed.  Remember, health is easy to maintain but difficult to restore.

Thank you and if there are any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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