Getting used to new dentures is always an important phase, especially if it's your first time. And because dentures replace your natural teeth, it's normal to experience some discomfort trying to know the ropes. However, the good news is that by learning what this period entails beforehand and working closely with your dentist, your adjustment period will be less disturbing. If you're looking to get new dentures and want to know what to expect, you're in the right place!
What Should You Expect with New Dentures?
Alongside all the feelings new dentures bring, it takes some patience and tolerance from you to make wearing them a habit. However, just like every other new experience, it becomes natural after a while. Because your tongue, gums, and facial muscles are all trying to adjust to their new family member, you may not find the experience so comfortable at first.
Alongside some slight difficulties and soreness for the first few weeks, here are some other experiences you can expect with your new dentures:
Your dentist should schedule an appointment to fix your dentures within a day or two. This quick follow-up is because he expects you to have some soreness or ache in your mouth at this time. Please take note of these sore spots so you can help us localize our efforts and know what exact side of your denture to adjust on your next visit.
We don't recommend you try to adjust your dentures yourself, as you can break your new prosthesis and harm yourself in the process. We love our patients to eat a meal or two with their new dentures before the next appointment. It serves as a test run to know how best we can adjust the denture to fit your mouth, personality, and eating.
New Eating Process
The old saying "practice makes perfect" becomes your eating motto with your new dentures. You start with soft foods — cheese, fruits, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes. Now you want to chew slowly and with the sides of your mouth to keep the dentures in place. Sometimes you may find it hard to hold your lower denture in place.
The easy solution is to hold the lower denture's inner surface with your tongue. You'd be tempted to compare your denture to your natural teeth. However, they aren't the same. Dentures only bring about 10% of the effortless function of natural teeth. So you have to go easy on chewing and hard foods.
Learning to Speak
You'd also have to learn your previously perfected language. This process might seem difficult, but it's for your best. To master speaking with your dentures, practice by reading words out loud. Initially, you'd have to speak slowly till you've perfected keeping your dentures in place if they still make a clicking sound when you speak. New denture users often experience this when their dentures aren't well placed.
You might find increased saliva flow unusual, but it's common and will gradually diminish as your mouth acclimatizes to the new denture.
How Long Will It Take To Get Used to Your Dentures?
It takes about a month to adapt completely to your new dentures and feel at home with them. However, more intensive dental procedures like teeth extraction need more time, or if you wear a full plate. The first two weeks come with some of the challenges mentioned above.
But by your third week, the aching and irritation should have subsided considerably, allowing for normal eating and talking. By the fourth week, you'd feel the dentures as a part of your mouth. To an extent, you can get back to eating your favourite dishes again at this point.
What Steps Can You Take To Get Comfortable Wearing Dentures?
Just like every other new habit, adjusting to wearing dentures (either full or partial) can be challenging at first. But what's the good news? You don't have to experience all the pain. You can take steps to minimize the discomfort with new dentures and smile painlessly again. Here are a few:
Be Realistic and Patient
It's perfectly normal to feel embarrassed or shocked when you find that you need to learn to eat or talk like a normal person again. However, it would help if you were encouraged to know that this experience won't continue forever. The American Dental Association (ADA) confirms minor soreness after denture installation as normal.
Also, it would be best to take them off sometimes (every few hours) to give your jaws some break as they acclimatize. It's also important to eat healthy to quicken the healing process. Go for natural and nutritious rather than processed food. The ADA also recommends starting with soft food like eggs and fruits before proceeding to tougher ones like meat.
Sing Your Way to Fluent Speaking
Speech therapy experts confirmed that music is an excellent way to train your speaking. What a nice way to recover! Just tune on your favourite songs and sing along with your dentures in place; you wouldn't know when you have fully healed! One trick is to sing short phrases slowly. Doing this can help you form words easily without being disturbed by your denture.
Exercise your Facial Muscles
Like other body parts, you wield more control over your mouth's muscles when you exercise them regularly. And you would surely need that control to chew and swallow food when you get dentures. So take some time daily to build these muscles before getting them (or the first few weeks after). If you continue to feel pain in your cheeks, it might be a sign of improperly fitted dentures. In such a case, it'd be best to see a dentist.
Nail Your Post-extraction Plan
After getting dentures, your dentist will most likely place you on a treatment or recovery plan. A good way to heal with a huge leap is to always be on top of this plan. Although everyone heals differently, strictly following your medication and appointments makes your transition into dental wholesomeness smoother.
Although the whole process of getting dentures, enduring soreness, and learning to speak and eat like a child may seem overwhelming, it's not going to last long, especially when you prepare beforehand to be patient and follow your treatment schedule religiously.
Fortunately, you don't have to go through this tasking journey on your own when you have access to friendly and professional dentists. If you need to get dentures or need some support and guidance from a certified dentist, our experts at Benitez Dental Clinic would love to be of help.
Published by Samantha Brown