Dentures, in one form or another, have been around for literally thousands of years. In fact, historians believe that some of the first crude dentures were put into use by our ancestors in the 7th century BC! There’s a reason for that: because living without some or all of your teeth has several life-limiting negative consequences. Whether it’s narrowing down the kinds of foods you can eat, making it impossible to chew that food adequately enough to digest it properly, not being able to speak clearly, or feeling embarrassed by the appearance of your face and smile – living without some or all of your teeth diminishes the overall quality of your life. That is exactly why dentures have been used by countless generations of people throughout the centuries. Now, here’s the good news: today’s modern dentures are more comfortable, durable and natural-looking than ever! If you live in or around the Austin, Texas area, and are a new denture wearer, we’ve compiled this list of helpful tips on how to avoid denture problems.
Common Issues for Denture Wearers
Dentures have, without a doubt, come a long way in the past few decades. In fact, today’s dentures and dental prosthetics are remarkably advanced, natural-looking, comfortable, and for the most part function in a way that’s very similar to natural teeth. Still, there are some common problems that many denture wearers encounter. What follows is a list of those issues, along with recommended solutions for each one.
- Eating food: It’s fair to say that there is somewhat of a learning curve when it comes to eating with dentures. The act of chewing with dentures is different than it is with your natural teeth. If you’re a new denture wearer, you’re very likely to experience some difficulty for the first few months. Fortunately, there are several solutions to make eating food less challenging.
- Eat slowly – This is something we should all be doing, whether we wear dentures or not. When you eat more slowly, you give yourself more time to thoroughly chew your food. This makes it easier for your digestive system to process that food.
- Take smaller bites – Once again, this is good advice for anyone, but it’s particularly helpful for denture wearers. When you begin to wear a new set of dentures, you will no doubt notice that you have less physical space inside your mouth. This also results in eating your meals more slowly, which aids in digestion. So taking smaller bites is a must.
- Chew with both sides of your mouth – If you use one side more than the other, your dentures are more likely to dislodge and move around inside your mouth. Try to use both sides of your mouth when chewing food.
- Avoid some foods – At least for the first several weeks, avoid foods that you have to bite into. This includes foods like apples, hamburgers, sandwiches, etc. When you have to bite into a food to eat it, your dentures are more likely to dislodge. Instead, choose foods that you can eat with a fork. And avoid foods that are hard or sticky – at least for the first several weeks.
- Dentures slipping: Even people who have worn dentures for many years can experience slipping. But for new denture wearers, it’s very common to feel the dentures move around inside your mouth. This is bad enough when you’re trying to eat, but if your dentures slip when you speak, it can be particularly embarrassing. Here are some ways to resolve this problem:
- Adhesives – If you’re a new denture wearer, you might have to experiment with different denture adhesives and/or use more adhesive to find out what works best for you.
- See your dentist – If your dentures slip on a regular basis, they might need to be adjusted. If adhesives don’t keep your dentures in place, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Speaking: It’s very common for new denture wearers to have problems speaking clearly at first. The solution is simple – practice. You may want to spend some time practicing in private before you spend a lot of time in long conversations with other people. Within several days to a week or two, you’ll feel comfortable with your dentures and speaking will become easier and easier.
- Infections: Some people may experience mouth infections with new dentures. Although this might alarm some people, it’s actually a common problem that can be resolved relatively easily. Generally speaking, there are two types of infections that denture wearers may experience: 1) Cheilitis – This infection is the result of yeast that occurs due to dentures that don’t fit properly, and symptoms include inflamed gums and cracks that appear at the corners of the mouth; 2) Stomatitis – Also caused by yeast, stomatitis (typically caused by poor oral hygiene, diabetes, and/or use of steroids or antibiotics) usually affects the roof of the mouth and can result in redness and/or red bumps under the upper dentures. If you experience any type of infection, you need to contact your dentist right away. Although these infections are usually easily treated, that treatment needs to come from your dentist. To avoid infections, be diligent about your oral hygiene. Never wear your dentures while you sleep. Instead, always soak your dentures overnight in a denture-cleaning solution, and brush them each morning before inserting them back in your mouth.
If you’re a new denture wearer, it may take some time to become accustomed to your new dental appliance. But any of the challenges you face in your first few weeks of wearing your new dentures will be over before you know it! And you’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages of dentures: the ability to enjoy your favorite foods, being able to speak clearly with friends and family, feeling confident that your dentures won’t slip or move inside your mouth, and understanding how to best care for your dentures so you can enjoy excellent oral health. For more information about how to avoid denture problems, schedule an appointment with your Austin, Texas dentist today!