Sometimes you need to have teeth removed, due to an injury, tooth decay, or gum disease. Dentures are a great way to restore your smile, allow you to speak and chew normally, and protect any remaining teeth from shifting around in your mouth. Dentures can take a little time to get used to, but following a few tips can make the process much easier.
What are dentures?
Dentures are prosthetic teeth that fill in for missing teeth. The teeth are attached to an acrylic base and are custom made to fit your mouth perfectly. Depending on how many teeth you’re missing, you may either have full or partial dentures. Dentures are a common dental appliance; over 45 million Americans wear dentures.
Full dentures are recommended when you’ve lost an entire row of teeth, either your top or bottom teeth. Partial dentures fill in when you only have a few missing teeth. At Hometown Family Dental Centers in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina, we provide you with top-notch dental care, including all your denture needs.
Adjusting to life with dentures
If you’ve lost a few or a number of teeth, dentures can help restore your smile as well as make it easier for you to talk and chew food. It can take some time to adjust to new dentures, typically about 30 days. Here are some tips for adjusting to life with dentures:
When to wear your dentures
At first, your dentures may be uncomfortable, and you may be tempted to take them out frequently. Leave your dentures in for 24 hours after your procedure, as this helps with any bleeding or swelling from the teeth you had removed. It also helps the rest of your teeth adjust to the removal of the adjacent teeth.
Your mouth may be sore from the oral surgery or dentures, and you may have an increase in saliva production. In addition to any pain medication your doctor prescribes, you can also reduce swelling and speed healing by rinsing your mouth with salt water. For the first 24 hours, you can also treat the swollen or painful areas by applying an ice pack for intervals of 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.
When you first get your dentures, start with a liquid diet to allow your mouth to adjust to the new dental appliance. Be especially careful with hot liquids and foods, as the dentures provide some insulation. It can make it hard for you to judge temperature, and you risk burning yourself.
Once you’re ready for solid foods, spend some time eating soft foods, such as cooked cereals, soft and pureed fruits, and cooked vegetables. Avoid hard cheeses, crusty breads, nuts, tough meats, and any other foods that require intense chewing. Make sure you’re chewing on both sides of your mouth, and chew slowly and thoroughly before swallowing.
Keeping it clean
It’s important to take care of your remaining teeth by brushing and flossing them often. Even if you have full dentures, you still need to brush your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth to stimulate your tissues and remove plaque. It’s also important to brush your dentures daily to remove any stains, plaque, and food particles.
It’s important that you schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist after you receive your dentures to check the fit and how you’re adjusting to them. If necessary, your dentist makes adjustments to the fit to make your dentures more comfortable. If you experience lingering pain or soreness, set up an appointment with your dentist for a checkup.
When you must have teeth removed, dentures can replace your missing teeth, allowing you to smile, talk, and eat normally. They also protect your remaining teeth by preventing them from shifting positions. Dentures can take some getting used to, but with a few tips and a little time, you’ll adjust to them.
At Hometown Family Dental Centers, we provide you with excellent denture care and support. Call or click to set up an appointment at one of our offices today!