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Is It Difficult to Get Used to Dentures?

Is It Difficult to Get Used to Dentures?

Recent data show about 41 million Americans have dentures replacing one, several, or all of their teeth. That might sound like a lot, but consider this: The American College of Prosthodontists says nearly 160 million Americans are missing at least some of their teeth, including 36 million with no natural teeth. 

That means only about a quarter of people with missing teeth use dentures to restore their smile, bite function, and confidence. A small percentage — about 3 million — have opted for implants instead of dentures, leaving about 115 million people still missing one or more teeth.

If you’ve never had a denture before, getting one for the first time can seem overwhelming, and you might worry about how easy it will be to get used to your new denture. The good news is that adjustment is easier than most people think — and some tips can make it even simpler.

Like any new experience, adjusting to dentures can take some time — but probably not nearly as much as you think. In this post, Marvin Taylor, DDS, offers seven steps to help patients at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center feel more confident about finally replacing missing teeth and enjoying a more beautiful smile.

1. Read out loud

One of the biggest concerns people have about dentures is how they sound when speaking. You can get past this worry faster by reading aloud. Read everything you can — magazines, newspapers, or tongue twisters. The more you read, the quicker you get used to your dentures and the more comfortable and confident you feel.

2. Talk to yourself

No reading material at hand? Talk out loud to yourself. Debate the news on TV, recite poetry while you fold laundry,  or yell at the referee while watching sports. It’s not so much what you say as how often you practice speaking aloud.

3. Make friends with your mirror

Another worry many people have is how their dentures appear to others. The good news is that today’s dentures contain lightweight materials that feel more comfortable and look natural. To feel more confident about your appearance, use a mirror and practice speaking and smiling to see firsthand the impression you’re making.

4. Keep them clean

Another way to feel more confident about how your dentures appear to others is to follow a regular care schedule. Brush your dentures twice daily to remove plaque, germs, and food particles and keep stains at bay. Add a little mouthwash or denture tablets for extra freshness when your dentures are in their container.

5. Try lots of food at home

There’s also a fair amount of anxiety about how dentures perform during meals: Will they slip or trap food? The best way to release this worry and feel more comfortable is to eat different food at home before heading out to a restaurant with friends. Try to incorporate various foods, like salads, soups, sandwiches, fried chicken — whatever you typically eat when dining out.

6. Use adhesive

Dentures hug the contours of your gums, but if you’re still feeling a little nervous about wearing your dentures during meals or at other times, there’s nothing wrong with using some denture adhesive. Use it sparingly to determine how much you need, and take care to remove all traces of adhesive when you brush your dentures before bed.

7. Have regular adjustments

There’s no denying that dentures can feel a little odd during the first week or so of wearing them — but they shouldn’t feel painful. Call the office immediately if your dentures feel loose or painful or if you have other problems during your “breaking-in” period. A simple adjustment is often all it takes to eliminate problems, improve the fit, and make your dentures more comfortable.

Dentures benefit people missing one or more teeth and they may even help prevent additional tooth loss. To learn more about dentures and how they can improve your quality of life, call 248-681-8100 today or request an appointment online at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center in Waterford, Michigan.

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