Are you getting new dentures, or want to know what it’s like adjusting to them? Dentures are different than natural teeth, and sometimes there are problems with them. Do you know how much dentures cost, or have other questions?
When you found out you needed dentures, or a partial, did anyone prepare you for the problems associated with them? No one told me, in the beginning, that I would have to get used to them, nor that I would have to practice talking, and drinking before progressing to eating. Nope, no one told me that I wouldn’t be able to just put my shiny new teeth into my mouth and all would be right with my dental world. I sure didn’t go through all the pain to just have a pair of “show and tell teeth!” I wanted my new dentures to replace my natural teeth in all ways.
This article goes through some of the stages of adjusting to your new dentures and some of the problems you might encounter.
Painful New Dentures
New dentures can hurt! When I got mine there were a few sore spots on my gums, and boy did it hurt when first putting my new teeth in, as well as after several hours of wearing them. Some pain is normal, but if you have any questions talk to your Orthodontist and see if you might need to get them adjusted.
Problems With New Dentures –
Bone Spurs to Problems eating, new dentures can hurt
Often wearers of new dentures are not prepared for the problems that occur while adjusting to these new false teeth. I know I was not prepared at all for some things, like how they felt, the sores that can occur, problems talking, and problems eating. These are the major adjustment problems for people that get new dentures.
- Eating – This was what one person stated how they managed to learn to eat with their new dentures. “Right side works better than the left and mashing it against the roof with my tongue helped too.”
“You don’t grind your teeth anymore, it’s more of an up/down – up/down, pulverizing of the food.” You might have problems even with soft foods if your new teeth aren’t aligned right. Everyone is different, and each person will learn to eat at a different time line. Just keep practicing, and go slow. Soft foods first, then small bites to learn how to chew and swallow.
- Talking – You will often hear a lisp when talking and your speech is likely to be slurred. You might notice a whistling sound when you are pronouncing certain words. Keep practicing talking so your tongue and jaw gets used to the new dentures.
- Drinking – Don’t swish liquids in your mouth as it could loosen your new teeth. The first couple days you will be getting used to drinking and the feel it has on your dentures. Coffee and Tea will stain your dentures the same as they stained your natural teeth.
- Bone Spurs – these are areas of your gums where a piece of bone sticks out, or is close to the surface of the gums. When your dentures rub against these bone spurs it can be quite painful, sometimes to the point of not wanting to wear your dentures. If this happens, call your dentist and make an appointment to see how they can fix your dentures to compensate for the bone spurs. One thing to note is the bone spurs usually disappear on their own, but often times not fast enough to help alleviate the pain.
- Slipping or sliding dentures – As we age, and especially if we don’t have any of our natural teeth left, our gums change. They shrink a bit each year which can have a big effect on our dentures, making them slip and slide. This slipping and sliding can cause sores, and we might need to get our dentures adjusted.
- Feeling Depressed During Adjustment Period – Many people feel depressed when they realize that dentures are not the magic new teeth they thought they would be. Some people can’t wear dentures at all for various reasons, and the rest of us go through a learning process that can last much longer than we’d like, from months to years. Depression happens to a lot of people when they realize that you can’t just put these new false teeth into your mouth and expect them to be the same as your natural teeth. They’re not the same!
- Time – I don’t know about anyone else, but I found it takes me longer to take care of my oral health now that I have dentures than it did with my natural teeth! Not only do I have to clean the dentures (while being careful not to drop them), but then I have to still brush the gums and inside of my mouth. This doesn’t even count the time it takes to get the adhesive onto the teeth, which of course I am sure will lessen with time and experience.
First Day of Getting Used to Wearing New Dentures
Denture wearers know it takes time to get used to your dentures
This is the day I will start wearing my dentures, or as I call them my new teeth. The prodontist had said to put them in and leave them in as long as I could. He also said to practice talking even if it meant reading out loud as the tongue needed to get used to the new stuff in my mouth. Drinking was a big dilemma. They told me not to drink until I got used to the dentures and not to drink a certain way as it could lift the dentures up.
Oh my, now there were rules to my new teeth. I felt like a little kid all over again, but a stubborn one. I was good on day 1 and kept them in for 5 hours, practiced talking, and only once had something to drink. Yep, it was certainly a different feeling to drink with dentures the first time.
Second Day :Practicing Talking and Drinking with New Dentures
You have to retrain your tongue and jaw muscles to talk, drink, and eat with new dentures.
Today would be the beginning of my new regiment of putting my teeth in in the morning, in enough time to be ready for work. The first issue was getting the adhesive onto the top denture. I had decided to use Sea Bond as a friend highly recommended it, especially for the upper plate. But what I didn’t realize was you have to cut/trim the Sea Bond wafers to fit. I think I will pre-cut the others at some point to save time, but for now I got the first one done.
I had already had my morning coffee, and breakfast, so I didn’t have to worry about anything other than practicing my talking. However somehow when I put them in they hurt. I had been told that often dentures need adjusting, and I have now found 2 spots that hurt either when putting the dentures in, or after prolonged wearing. Looks like my dentures will need some adjustment.
First time eating, this was a bit different. I followed the recommendations of having small bites to begin with, and had cut up my food. It didn’t seem natural at all when I chewed it, and besides that I had to make sure I kept my jaw in the right position so the molars would line up. The jaw muscles have to relearn the right position for eating, just as the tongue does.
New Dentures Fixative To Keep Them In Your Mouth
I was using Sea Bond in the beginning but didn’t like taking the time to trim the wafers to fit both my upper and lower dentures, so switched to Fixodent. I tried Polident and really disliked the amount of adhesive that stuck to my gums when removing them, so went back to Fixodent. As you can see by the poll I did that most people like Fixodent the best, and now that you can get it without the harmful ingredient of Zinc, it’s much better for all of us.
The bottom line though is to experiment and choose the fixative that you like best.
Denture Cream Warning
Most denture creams used to contain Zinc, which has been found to case health problems if used too much.
1) Only use a few small drops on your dentures at a time.
2) Take your dentures out at night and let your gums breath.
3) Don’t use more than recommended, if you consistently need more denture cream to hold them in place ask your dentist to see if they need to be realigned.
Zinc can cause serious health problems when used in excess, so beware, or make sure you get the denture cream without zinc!
Immediate Dentures or Permanent Dentures or Partial – Poll of which dentures or partial you got
Some of us got our dentures after our teeth were extracted and the gums healed, our permanent dentures, while others got immediate dentures. Here is a poll I took to see which type most people were getting. You can tell us in the comment section which one you decided to get.
follow-up on my adjustment to my new dentures
It has been four months now since I first got my dentures, and a lot has changed. It took awhile, and one adjustment where they trimmed part of the plate to not rub on those sore spots I had in the beginning. After that, I made myself put them in each morning, and leave them in until at least bedtime. That took time, and I would be counting down the hours until I could take them out of my mouth. Yes, it took awhile before all this became routine and not bother me.
Now I never think about eating or drinking as I can eat everything, although I haven’t tried corn on the cob yet, just hasn’t been something I cooked. At first I had a hard time with some whistling, keeping my jaw in line, a bit of slurred speech, and too much adhesive overflowing onto my gums. Yes, I changed from the Sea Bond to Fixident as it takes less time to apply, and sometimes if I put too much on it would ooze out. But again, with practice that doesn’t happen too often.
All in all I would say that my adjustment to dentures was pretty good. I really did want the time to go faster in the beginning, but looking back now, I think I did well. We just have to be patient, keep them in our mouth when we think we can’t go a minute longer and don’t get in the habit of taking them out when they are uncomfortable.
The most important thing I learned is no one knows they are false teeth unless I tell them! That and to carry a small size of the adhesive with me, and check to make sure they aren’t loose one bit before going out to eat, or sitting down at home for a meal. This was a lesson I learned the hard way…nothing worse than a bit of food getting caught under the plate, or the plate moving while trying to eat.
Do you have any info on dentures? Everyone is different, and if you wear dentures let us know what problems you had getting used to them. We all win when we share information, as information is power!
Hang in There
Most people will do OK with their new dentures. One day at a time, and you will find they become second nature. NO, it’s not as good as your own teeth, but if we had our own teeth we wouldn’t need dentures.