About 36 million adults in the U.S. have no teeth, mostly due to decay and gum disease. Another 120 million are missing at least one tooth. While one or two missing teeth can be replaced with a bridge or implant, a lot of people missing all or most of their teeth use dentures, arguably the most popular option for tooth replacement. That means if you’re about to become one of those millions of denture wearers, you’ve got a lot of company. Of course, just because dentures are popular, that doesn’t necessarily relieve your anxiety about wearing them. In fact, most people who get dentures for the first time (or who move from a partial denture to a full set) have some reservations and concerns about the adjustment process. But there’s good news: Today’s dentures are so lightweight and comfortable, it’s a lot easier to adjust to them — especially if you follow these helpful tips.
Today’s dentures are nothing like the clunky versions your grandparents wore. Advances in materials and design technology have resulted in dentures that are extremely light and secure while also being a lot more comfortable to wear. Improvements in design also mean dentures fit a lot better than they used to, which means you won’t have to worry about your dentures coming loose or “popping out” when you chew or bite.
At first, your dentures are going to feel, well, weird. There’s no doubt about that. Many people feel like their teeth are “too big,” even when they look completely normal. The key to getting past that initial stage is to wear them as often as the dentist advises. Initially, it might be tempting to slip them out while you’re at home. But the less you wear your dentures, the longer it’s going to take to feel comfortable with them. Of course, if your dentures are causing you a lot of discomfort or if you notice sore spots, you shouldn’t wear them; instead, call our office immediately so we can adjust them for you. Otherwise, follow the instructions we’ll provide when you get your dentures, and wear them as long as recommended each and every day.
When you first receive your dentures, speaking out loud is going to feel a little different, too. To help your dentures feel more like your natural teeth while you’re talking, spend some time reading out loud at home. If you’re not sure how your teeth look when you’re speaking, use a mirror and do a little recitation. Not only will you start to feel more comfortable about how you sound while wearing dentures, but you’ll also be assured your teeth and your mouth look completely normal while you’re conversing.
One of the biggest worries people have when they first get dentures is whether or not the dentures will stay in while they eat. Again, while this worry is natural, considering millions of people wear dentures every day with no complaints (and without anyone knowing), you’ll soon get over those concerns with a little practice. If you feel self-conscious about your dentures when eating, try out some different foods at home first. Of course, even once you’re comfortable eating common foods, you might still be concerned about foods like corn on the cob or chewy bagels. And that’s OK. Until you’re really used to your dentures, you can always cut the corn off the cob or tear your bagel into bite-sized pieces.
While it’s normal to have a period of adjustment with your dentures, if they feel loose or remain uncomfortable and unwieldy, call the office and schedule an appointment. Often, these minor problems can be resolved with a simple adjustment or, sometimes, by using a little more denture adhesive.
Dr. David B. Epstein is a leading provider of top-quality dentures, helping women and men feel more attractive and more confident while restoring natural function. If dentures are in your future, the team at The Woodland Dental Group is here to help. To learn more about the dentures we offer, contact the practice today.