Adjusting to Dentures: What should I expect during the first few weeks?

Adjusting to Dentures: What should I expect during the first few weeks?

Adding a dental apparatus is an adjustment at any age, whether orthodontic braces, a retainer, or a prosthetic such as. The adjustment period should be anticipated, but actively trying to avoid thinking about the new dentures, and trusting that the adjustments will come naturally over time, will improve comfort and confidence throughout the process.

Expect some soreness. The dentures are custom-made for each patient, but the dentist will have to adjust them for a more perfect fit. Dentists use the discomfort and soreness to guide denture adjustments, helping the dentures fit naturally within the mouth. Their initial presence often creates a feeling of fullness or pressure, especially on facial muscles. Within a few weeks, the muscles adjust and actually help keep the dentures in place.

Learning to chew with new dentures might seem like a challenge at first. Start with soft foods and increase as tolerated. Understand, however, that even at their best, dentures are never as strong as natural teeth and some compensating is usually necessary. Whole mixed nuts or tough, well-cooked steak will likely pose challenges for the dentures, but chopping and cutting foods into small, bite-sized pieces can reduce any sense of deprivation.

Talking with new dentures will also require an adjustment. At first, they may feel a little awkward, but with continued practice, the tongue learns where it needs to be for proper speech and speaking becomes more natural again. The best way to practice is to actually speak, and it can be helpful to do so in private in front of a mirror until comfort increases. Practicing often will help reduce anxiety and self-consciousness over chatting socially.

Lifestyle changes also accompany dentures and the adjusting process. Dentures need to stay moist and they require special cleaning to keep them in top shape. Caring for the soft tissue in the mouth is also essential, and dentists instruct patients to avoid wearing the dentures at night, thus allowing the tissue to recover from all-day contact. In a very short time, these lifestyle changes will become second nature.

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