Getting Used to Dentures? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Adjust
If you’re a new denture wearer, you’re probably feeling relieved that a major dental issue – such as missing teeth, difficulty chewing, or mouth pain – has been addressed. You’re probably also excited about showing off your newly enhanced smile. But, as you may have already found out, dentures can take a bit of getting used to as your cheeks, gums, and tongue adapt to the change.
What to do if your new dentures feel strange
Initially, your new dentures might feel loose, odd, or simply too big for your mouth. This may affect your speech or cause you to gag or salivate. Try not to get discouraged; most people find that their dentures feel much more comfortable after approximately 30 days. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you adjust:
- Eating – Start out with soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, stewed meats and vegetables, broth, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and yogurt. Cut solid foods into small pieces and bite carefully with your canines (the slightly pointed teeth at the “corners” of your dental arches) instead of your front teeth. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you feel ready, you can introduce firmer foods, but continue to avoid anything that is very sticky, hard, or hot.
- Speaking – Practice speaking by slowly reading aloud or singing fluid phrases. These tactics, which are often recommended by speech therapists, can help you get accustomed to saying even difficult-to-pronounce words.
- Easing discomfort – If you have inflamed gums or sore spots in your mouth, rinse with lukewarm salt water a few times a day.
- Adjusting for slippage – Even well-fitting dentures may slip from time to time. Typically, this occurs after an abrupt movement, such as a cough, sneeze, or laugh. To discreetly address a slippage, try biting down gently and swallowing, which can help ease your dentures back into their proper position.
Be sure to closely follow your dentist’s instructions regarding wearing and cleaning your dentures, and keep all of your follow-up appointments. As your mouth heals, your gums will naturally shrink, and this can affect the fit of your dentures. Your dentist can make as many adjustments as you need to help you feel comfortable.
If you’re having trouble getting used to your dentures, the dental professionals at Florida Dental Centers can help. Contact us today. We have an on-site denture repair lab at our office in Clearwater, FL.