Getting new dentures is exciting and is bound to make your life better in multiple ways. But despite all of the benefits, the initial few days can be pretty difficult to navigate and not to mention awkward, as your mouth struggles to get used to them.
Some things that could happen? You will probably start producing more saliva and may develop painful spots in your mouth.
That's why we've written this beginner's guide to help you to understand what dentures are, what to expect after getting artificial teeth, and some tips to make the adjustment process easier.
Table of contents
- 1 What are dentures?
- 2 Why wear dentures?
- 3 New Dentures: What to Expect
- 4 Follow your post-extraction plan
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
What are dentures?
Dentures refer to the artificial replacements for missing natural teeth. They can either be partial or full, depending on whether they replace all the teeth on the upper or the lower gum line or just a few of them. You will also have the option of removable dentures vs implant-supported dentures. We have an entire article about these differences, but for a summary check out the table below:
Irrespective of the type of denture you decide to use, experts in restorative dentistry will design your dentures just for your mouth, both in fit and appearance.
Why wear dentures?
Losing your natural teeth has some harmful side effects. Not only can it cause aesthetic problems, but it also decreases the support needed to keep the structure of the mouth intact. Wearing dentures in such circumstances can help you in the following ways:
- Improve your speech
- Keep your cheeks from sagging inwards
- Improve your ability to chew and bite food
- Protect the remaining natural teeth from damage
New Dentures: What to Expect
As you start wearing your new false teeth, you may experience certain difficulties. However, remember that these difficulties are common and will pass.
Let's go over some of the things you may experience with new dentures.
Often times, your dentist will schedule a visit with you around 48 hours after your initial dentures fitting. At this time, you may have already developed some sore spots in your mouth from contact with the dentures. This soreness occurs as the dentures begin settling onto the soft tissues of the mouth.
In very few cases, there are other reasons for these sore spots which your dentist will be able to diagnose.
It is absolutely normal to experience minor discomfort as you get used to your new set of dentures. The exact duration of time for this problem may vary in different people. If your natural teeth were removed to make space for the new dental plate, the site of extraction may also feel extra sensitive for a few days.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), many people develop temporary soreness after getting dentures. Visiting your dentist for readjustment can help relieve this discomfort to some extent. You may also consider taking out the dentures every four hours while your jaw and gums are still getting used to them.
During the initial few weeks of getting a denture, your mouth will automatically start producing more saliva. However, this is only temporary and will go away as soon as you get used to them.
Talking with new dentures
Don't be surprised if you are not able to speak properly after getting a denture. You might find that it's difficult to pronounce certain words, especially ones with “f” and “s” sounds. However, remember that like every other problem, this is also temporary and can be overcome with some practice.
Note that if your denture makes a clicking sound as you speak, it may be because the frame is not perfectly in place, in which case it could require further adjustment by your dentist.
Until you go back to get this fixed, consider speaking slowly. It may feel like your new teeth are slipping away as you talk, cough, or laugh. This is extremely common and is not something to be worried about. All you need to do is bite down gently followed by swallowing to restore the denture to its right position.
Eating with new dentures
“Can you eat with dentures?” is probably on the mind of every single person who has just gotten new teeth. The answer is yes, you can definitely eat with dentures in your mouth, (unless you have a kind that specifies otherwise) however, there are certain things to be aware of.
Adjusting to dentures includes making certain modifications in your eating habits. This is because dentures may make it difficult to bite and chew food. The first rule of thumb after getting new dentures is to be careful. Begin by eating soft foods that do not require too much chewing. Eating foods like red meat, nuts, or anything crunchy is going to put stress on your denture as well as the gums beneath it, increasing the risk of inflammation and irritation.
I can't chew with my dentures
If you are finding eating difficult, here are some tips to chew with new dentures:
- Eating with dentures for the first time is definitely hard. So, start with a soft diet with denture friendly foods like applesauce, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs. These soft foods will help provide your body with the nutrients it needs without disturbing your oral health.
- Avoid hot foods that may burn your mouth. This is because having newly-fitted teeth can temporarily affect your ability to judge temperatures due to their insulating effect.
- Avoid holding any liquids in your mouth as this can loosen the dentures.
- Avoid eating spicy foods as they can irritate the sores in your mouth that are caused by your dentures.
Once you get used to wearing dentures on a daily basis, you will be able to return to your normal diet for the most part. For some people, there are certain foods that still remain difficult to consume, mostly because of their hard, sticky texture. Some examples of food that you should consume with extreme care include:
- Crunchy fruits
- Raw vegetables
- Crusty bread
- Stringy meats
- Chewing gum
- Whole nuts
According to the American Dental Association, losing teeth doesn't mean that your general health should be sacrificed. So as you are struggling to get used to your new denture, do not just stop eating nutritious foods just because you find it a bit harder to eat. All you need to do is take it slow. Start with a soft diet and slowly move up to the harder foods.
The doctor in the video below describes some of the difficulties you may encounter when trying to eat with your new dentures.
Follow your post-extraction plan
One of the most important steps you can take when getting used to your new tooth denture is to make sure you are following your treatment plan. Everyone heals differently, but most people will experience soreness in the mouth following an extraction.
The exact amount of time needed for you to be comfortable with your dentures also depends on the type of dentures you are using. It is also important to know that your gumline tends to shift with time, so dentures may need to adjust themselves over time. Therefore, it is important to keep taking any medications prescribed by your dentist. This will help reduce your discomfort while all these necessary changes take place.
Lastly, do not skip any dental visits during the initial few months of getting dentures. Even when you have grown comfortable with dentures, don't forget to take care of your oral health and keep up with your regular checkups.
Dentures can be a little hard to get used to in the beginning. But have patience and you'll feel comfortable with them very soon.
Just remember to take good care of them and keep them in good shape. With just a little practice, you will talk, laugh, eat, and smile with all the confidence in the world.
How long does it take until you can eat solid food after getting dentures?
It takes almost three to four weeks before you can eat solid foods again. When you do, make sure to cut them into bite-size pieces to make the whole process a lot more comfortable.
How long does it take to get used to new dentures?
On average, it takes about 30 days to get used to dentures. Be patient during this time as it can be difficult for you to speak and eat.
Why are my new dentures loose?
After losing teeth, your gums no longer need to hold your teeth in place; hence, they begin to shrink. This process is called bone resorption and causes your dentures to become a little looser.