Adjusting To Dentures

Maybe you’ve found out you need dentures, and you worry about the social impact of that. Or maybe you also worry about how you’ll function and adjust to them. About 1 in 10 Americans are missing all their teeth on the top, bottom, or both, so you’re in good company there. But what about learning to live with them? Here are five things to remember when getting used to dentures.

The maxillary, or upper, denture.

Image credit: Kathy McGraw

Start off on the right foot

Make sure your dentures fit snugly to start with. They may slip or rub uncomfortably later, but at least when you leave the dentist’s office they should stick in place and feel okay. Moreover, eat soft things at first, like pudding, mashed potatoes, ice cream, grits, and such.


After you feel comfortable with easy soft foods, you can introduce gradually tougher foods; boiled vegetables and soft meats would be a good next step. Don’t hesitate to slow down and back off if you find anything too hard to chew. Try to chew with both sides of your mouth also, to break your dentures in evenly and not have them tilt too much to one side.

Talking with dentures can be tricky at first so practice at your own pace. One recommended way is reading a book out loud, and if you feel self-conscious you can do it alone.

All this practicing is not just to feel more comfortable, but also more confident. Frequent practice is a great way to make sure dentures don’t get your spirits down.

The timeline is about a month

For the first two weeks with your new dentures, you will notice more salivation than was usual for you. You will also have some soreness in your gums. All this is perfectly normal, and as long as the soreness does not lead to bleeding, and you can still get enough sleep, there is nothing to worry about. You can help the soreness by washing your mouth with warm salt water. This may soothe some of the soreness and make infections less likely.

During the third and fourth week, both the soreness and increased salivation should have decreased. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to start practicing chewing and speaking. If you’ve noticed your dentures starting to feel more “in place,” this is also a good time to start using a denture adhesive.

Follow your dentist’s recommendations

Wear new dentures only for as long a stretch as your dentist recommends. Don’t try to “get it over with” by wearing them for longer periods. Going over the time your dentist advises can lead to worse soreness and infections, which will make the process unnecessarily long and dangerous.

Talk to your dentist if things still aren’t working out

Be patient for the first month or so, but if you’ve followed your dentist’s directions that long and your dentures still don’t feel right, don’t be afraid to go back and get an adjustment.

And even if things feel fine and there are no complications, you should still go to the dentist regularly for any adjustments and evaluation of gum tissue.

If you have more specific questions about dentures or would like to talk about a dental appointment, call Apple Valley Dental Group today at 540-635-2493 or visit our website.

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