New To Dentures

First time denture wearers have some very real worries and concerns.  Dentures are not real teeth and therefore will not feel and perform the same way.  (Implant dentures function the closest to natural teeth).  Being informed of common experiences and having a positive attitude towards these changes play a major role in the success of the transition.  The transition process can vary from a week to 6 months or longer and depends on the condition of the patient’s mouth, their state of health, and the ability to adapt to new conditions. No two people will have the same experience. The first set of dentures (or new ones after extremely old ones) are always harder to get used to.  Be reassured that the body will adapt to the dentures and function as a new normal.

"Will my dentures look like real teeth?" or "Will my appearance change?"

We take the time to ensure you are happy with the color, size and style of teeth. Your dentures are hand crafted and custom made to look natural for you.  We encourage you to bring in photos of yourself or of a smile that you would like recreated.  At the "try in" stage, a wax replica allows you to see what the dentures look like in your mouth.  Esthetic changes can be done at this point (teeth size, shape and shade, amount of teeth showing).  A family member or friend is welcome to accompany you for this appointment.

Facial Appearance

Facial muscles and lips may seem stiff and unnatural but will soon return to normal as they relax and adjust to your new dentures.

"My teeth feel too big"

This feeling is natural as you have placed an unfamiliar object (the denture) into your mouth.  As you get accustomed to your new denture, this feeling will pass.

Excess Saliva

It's normal for your saliva glands to become overactive when an unfamiliar object is in your mouth.  Saliva production should return to normal within a few days as the denture is accepted as normal.

"My dentures feel loose"

Your tongue and cheek muscles try to push the unfamiliar denture out of your mouth – making you feel your denture is loose.  There will be an improvement in the fit as the muscles adjust and start to work to hold the dentures in place instead. A helpful exercise is to close your mouth and lips and suck gently on your dentures. This will help eliminate the feeling of looseness.

Speech Difficulties

Lisping, whistling, spitting and the sensation of a floating lower denture are common as your tongue is adjusting to where it contacts to form words. Sometimes small adjustments can also help with these speech issues.  With patience and by practicing and repeating difficult words or reading aloud, your speech will greatly improve.

Soreness and Sore Spots

The tissues in the mouth are very sensitive and may need time before they completely adjust to the new dentures. A commonly held belief is that "the dentures need to be broken in" or the "gums need to toughen up." These are not true.  There needs to be a balance between allowing your tissues to adjust and knowing when an adjustment is required.  A general guideline is if an obvious sore spot lasts more than 3-4 days, it must be corrected by the denturist or it only gets worse.  Follow-up adjustments during the first few weeks are very common and expected and are in no way an inconvenience to us.  Using a salt water rinse (1/2 - 1 tsp salt to 1 cup warm water) three times a day can help heal the irritated area or a product like Oxyfresh Dental Gel.

Chewing Changes

This transition may be the most challenging and can take as long as 6 months or more.  The mouth must retrain the tongue, cheek and lip muscles to keep the dentures in place during chewing and speaking.  The successful chewing with your dentures depends on your determination, practice and patience with your progress. It is best to begin with very small bites of soft food, placed evenly on both sides of your mouth, chewing slowly and gently in an up and down motion.  It's not recommended to bite off anything with your front teeth due to the pressure which may dislodge the denture and snap off teeth. Use the teeth to the side of the front ones for hard food such as carrots and apples.