The owner’s manual to your new smile!
Dentures are an artificial replacement (prosthesis) of your natural teeth, as with any other prosthesis it will not function exactly as what it replaces and will require a lot of perseverance. We have compiled the following suggestions to help you adapt to your new smile as quickly as possible!
What can I expect from my new dentures?
• At first you may look, eat, and speak in a way that feels strange. Most people take about 2 – 3 weeks to learn how to manipulate their new dentures with their tongue, cheeks and lips. A few people may require more time especially with the lower denture. But don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit longer.
• You may find that your dentures do not chew food as efficiently as your natural teeth did. However, having dentures is much better than being without any teeth at all. When eating, start with soft foods and take small bites with food on both sides of the mouth. Avoid biting with the front teeth because it will cause the dentures to become unstable. It is best to cut your foods into smaller bites, but if you must “take a bite” use the area around the canine teeth.
• Your speech may sound strange initially. But with practice, perhaps reading aloud from a book, you should be able to speak clearly in a few days.
• You might experience an initial increase in your saliva production but this settles during the first couple of weeks.
How do I clean my new dentures?
• Try and clean your dentures twice a day, with dishwashing liquid and gentle brushing with a SOFT brush. Always clean your dentures over a towel or the sink that is partially filled with water. Dropping your denture on a hard surface will result in breakage (Caution: Slippery when wet!).
• You must rinse your dentures and mouth after each meal to remove food debris. Denture staining and odour is the result of food debris clinging to your dentures.
• Remember to also brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft brush and toothpaste.
• At night, soak your dentures in a glass of water or a denture cleanser. Your denture can warp if you let it dry out or if you immerse your denture in hot water for long periods of time.
When should I return to The Family Dentist?
• In most cases, it is necessary to make minor adjustments to provide you with a more comfortable fit.
• If soreness develops, it is considered a normal occurrence. Please contact us so we can arrange an appointment for you. The irritation will not disappear by itself.
• If you are unable to reach us during holidays or after hours, please remove the dentures to prevent further damage to the tissues.
• Annual examinations for any abnormalities and to assess the function and fit of the denture are important for your dental and general health.
• Kindly contact us if your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Do not be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair.
Any other tips?
• It is important to exercise care with the tissue beneath the dentures. It is recommended to rest the tissues for eight hours a day. Most patients find it more convenient to leave the dentures out at night. We thus recommend our patients not to sleep with their dentures.
• The tissues that support your dentures are constantly changing. This may result in denture looseness. With time, your dentures will need either relining or replacement.
I just had teeth removed and a denture placed immediately, what now?
Having immediate dentures placed is not always a pleasant experience… We have compiled the following suggestions to help make this process a bit more pleasant for you.
• Please do not smoke for the first three days, as this is a well-known source of infection.
• Please follow all the post-operative instructions as set out on the dental extraction pamphlet.
• Gentle biting pressure on your denture is good, and can help control the initial bleeding.
• Pain is expected during the first couple of days, please follow our instructions regarding pain management.
• It is very important to keep your denture in place for the first 24 hours after having your teeth removed. The denture act as a bandage, if you remove your denture at this stage, the tissues will swell and your denture might not fit anymore.
• After 24 hours you will return to us for a follow up appointment, we will remove your denture and make minor adjustments to provide you with a more comfortable fit.
How do I clean my Immediate denture?
• After your follow-up appointment you can remove your denture for cleaning.
• When removing your denture, always use both hands and make sure to do this over a half full sink, to prevent dropping your denture and possibly damaging it.
• Initially cleaning your denture should be done using only cold water and a soft brush. Please do not use toothpaste, soap or any other cleaners at this stage, as it can cause irritation of the extraction wounds.
• Once your denture is cleaned, you can now very gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water, and reinsert your denture immediately.
• If you have any remaining natural teeth you can clean them as you normally would.
• Repeat the above-mentioned process twice a day – for the first week. After the first week, you should start following the usual instructions as given in the “new denture owner’s manual” which includes sleeping without your denture.
When will I need to have the Immediate denture replaced?
• The fit of your immediate denture will change as your mouth heals from the dental extractions. As the wounds heal, your gums will change shape – and they generally shrink in size.
• The immediate denture will need to be adjusted multiple times to compensate for the changes that will take place in your mouth as the gums continue to heal over the next 6 – 8 months.
• The rate at which these changes take place in your mouth is different for each individual. Please contact us for an appointment as the need arises to make adjustments to your denture.
• An immediate denture is only a temporary solution and will require replacement or a permanent reline after final healing of the mouth has taken place.
The owner’s manual to your new smile!