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The following suggestions are intended to assist you in the use and proper care of your new dentures. If extractions were done in conjunction with the placement of new dentures refer to the Post Operative Instructions for extractions.
If teeth were removed immediately prior to placement of the denture, it may feel loose, due mainly to the gum shrinkage that occurs as the gums heal. Complete healing of the gums and the underlying bone takes three to six months. During this period a temporary liner may be placed inside the denture to keep it relatively snug. Denture adhesives will also help in this regard. Once healing is complete, a permanent liner will be placed, and simply closing your teeth together and swallowing will help to seat the dentures by removing air and saliva from the interface.
Soreness from uneven pressure on the gums may develop at any time, and is not unusual, especially if you have not worn a denture before. Sore spots are best corrected if the dentures are worn at least 3-6 hours before returning to the office for an adjustment appointment. This can allow a precise detection of the offending areas inside the denture, which are corrected by trimming.
Start with soft foods that are easy to chew. Takes small bites and chew slowly. Keep food distributed evenly on both sides and chew on the back teeth. To bite foods that normally require the front teeth, such as apples or corn on the cob, apply pressure backward against the front when closing. If the denture begins to dislodge, biting with the side teeth may be an easier alternative. More difficult foods such as steak and carrots will require a gradual learning curve. Initially, it is advised that you avoid chewing gum or attempt to eat sticky or chewy foods.
Learning to talk with your new dentures in place requires patience and perseverance. Reading aloud is a good way to learn to enunciate distinctly, especially those sounds or words that are not clear.
Mouth and Denture Hygiene
It is extremely important to clean your dentures with a soft brush and a cleaning paste, or soapy water, after each meal. Food particles that are trapped under the denture can cause inflammation of the gums and sore spots. Remove your dentures for at least six hours daily to give your gum tissues a rest. The evening sleep is a good time for this. During this time clean and place in a small tub of water to prevent drying out, which can cause the denture to distort and not fit well. At least once a week place dentures in a cleaning solution to remove insoluble stains and proteins. Brush the roof of your mouth and tongue daily to prevent food from sticking to the soft tissues in your mouth.
If you have immediate dentures which were placed over new extraction sites, you may wear the dentures at night for the first two days. This will help promote clotting, and prevent irritations to those sites. You may then remove the dentures when sleeping.
Be sure your dentures are checked at least once annually as changes in the mouth such as bone loss and wearing of the teeth will inevitably occur. Careful maintenance of the dentures and the supporting soft tissues will help to slow down these changes.