Oral tissues were not designed by nature to receive the stress placed on them by full dentures. Nevertheless, many patients are able to wear them successfully. An important aspect is to maintain your remaining oral structure in as healthy state as possible. To do this will require your active participation in treatment and follow-up care.
- Leave your dentures out at night while sleeping. If this presents problems, they should be left out at some other time during the day. A denture should be left out at least 6 out of every 24 hours to allow for tissue recovery and to reduce resorption of the bone.
- Clean your dentures with a stiff denture brush at least once a day. Keep them covered in water when not in your mouth to avoid warpage of the acrylic. After meals remove your dentures and rinse them off. Brush your gums with a soft toothbrush at least once a day to stimulate circulation and to keep gums tough and firm. Good oral hygiene will maintain your dentures and mouth longer.
- For patients who wear a full upper denture it is important to chew on the back teeth on both sides at the same time. Don’t bite with the front teeth as they are mainly for looks and not function. Very hard food should be avoided such as; corn-on-the-cob, apples, hard nuts, etc. Chewing gum with dentures can also increase ridge resorption. Start off with soft foods so you can train your muscles to place and chew food.
- On insertion of the dentures your mouth will feel full, especially if you have not worn dentures previously. You will become accustomed to this in a short time. You may also notice some speech distortion initially; this will disappear in 1-2 weeks. Saliva flow is also markedly increased on insertion of new dentures but this will usually level off in about a weeks time.
- You should expect an adjustment period with sore spots as you become accustomed to your dentures even if you have worn the previously. Some people will take longer to adapt than others so time and patience are important.
- Follow-ups are very important to maintain good looks and function. Full dentures need periodic checking, relines and possible remakes. Only your dentist can properly evaluate this.
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