With your new denture, your denturist has given you all the benefits of the marvelous advances of modern dentistry. It is a tremendous improvement over poor teeth or no teeth at all. Some patients even go so far as to say they would not trade their new denture for their own natural teeth as they were – but such a result is hardly to be expected in all cases.
When you start to wear your denture you will have to learn many new things about your mouth – and about eating. Some people take longer than the others to learn these facts, usually because lack of patience or lack of cooperation with the denturist in overcoming minor difficulties as they appear. Your denturist cannot supply this patience and cooperation; that is up to you alone.
When you are first begin to wear a new denture, if feels like a mighty big mouthful. This is foreign bulk produces an increase in saliva, the same as a mouthful of food. This is a natural condition experienced by every new denture wearer for the first few days. Simply swallow more often and nature will quickly adapt itself to the new conditions.
Bear in mind: Success in wearing a denture depends more upon yourself than upon any other thing. If you approach the matter with determination, you will be surprised at the short time it will take you to achieve mastery.
You might look at it this way: Your new denture will be about as serviceable to you as a new piano on which you have never taken a lesson. You must learn to play it before it affords you any pleasure.
Whe muscles of the cheeks and lips, as well as the tongue itself, help to keep your denture in place after you have learned a few simple tricks in managing it. When these muscles have become accustomed to the denture, you will find that you will speak, laugh, and eat again without even being aware that you wear that you wear one.
No harm will be done by trying to eat with your new denture from the start, provided you will not become discouraged by your first failures. The chances are that you will not eat with your usual satisfaction at the beginning. Very few do until they become more experienced.
To help you get off to the right start and speed the day when you will get pleasure and comfort from your denture, read “Ten Rules for Denture Wearers”. Read these and follow them – with care and patience. If you do, your success will be almost certain.
As a new denture wearer, you face two important problems. The first of these is comfort because every new denture, no matter how well fitting, will cause pain and discomfort. The second is confidence; until you have learned to speak, to laugh and to eat with ease.
Denture powder and adhesive creams are to give you the comfort and confidence you need. They provide instant suction and produce an adhesive and elastic cushion which protects the gums against painful pressure when biting or chewing. In addition, it will give you confidence until you have mastered the art of wearing your denture.
Learning to wear a denture takes time. Follow your deturist’s advice and don’t become discouraged. Don’t listen to friends, who tell you how easy it was for them. They either bragging or their memories are poor.
A full lower denture usually takes four times as long to master as a full upper. Be patient; don’t worry if your tongue feels strange or restricted. It will soon accustom itself to the new position.
The longer you take for a meal, the quicker you will master your denture.
Don’t take large bites at first. Cut all foods into small portions.
You will experience some pain and discomfort. When sore spots develop on the gums, visit your denturist for relief.
Eat only soft food for the first few days, then, as you progress to more solid foods, chew slowly and evenly so that you grow accustomed to managing your denture, and to the pressure on the gums when biting.
If you have a tendency to slur your words or your speech seems difficult, practice speaking before a mirror.
An unclean denture is never a comfortable one. Clean your denture every morning and night with safe denture cleanser.
Wear your denture continually, even overnight if your denturist so advises.
Remember your gum tissues change, you denture does not. It is important that you visit your denturist regularly for a complete denture check up. It may in time be as important to get a new denture as it was to have had the original one made.
Dentures cannot be worn indefinitely without adjustment, but like clothing or eye glasses they must be altered periodically to fit your changing make up. The changes in this instance are occurring in your mouth and gum tissues. After the natural teeth are extracted you must expect considerable absorption or shrinkage of the gums. This will continue to some extent for the rest of your life.
The result is that after some time the dentures that originally fitted so well have become loose. This is not your denturist’s fault, but he can often help you by relining or rebasing your dentures, thereby prolonging their usefulness. Where the change has been extreme, however, completely new dentures may be indicated in order to restore and preserve the normal facial appearance.
When a denture is first constructed it fits well. The gums are flush with the inside surface of the denture – pressure is evenly distributed – chewing action should be uniform and without discomfort.
After the gums have shrunk the same denture doesn’t fit the same. Because they are no longer flush with the inside of the denture, the denture is loose and its efficiency for biting a chewing is greatly impaired. Apart from the physical discomfort, a loose denture may cause irritation to tender tissues in the mouth and rather serious digestive disturbances.
Above all things, keep your denture clean. The brushes and preparations used for cleaning teeth are not satisfactory for dentures. Some are ineffective – others ruin them.
Never use scouring powders. They may contain caustic alkalis, acid or grit. These may dissolve the denture material or roughen the surface so that food particles and stains cling to it. This makes a denture unsanitary and unsightly, and causes it to have an unpleasant odor.
Your denture, if kept absolutely clean, will fit better and feel much more comfortable. Give your denture the same care and attention you would give your natural teeth.
Always hold a denture over water when cleaning it. If you drop it, the water will cushion the fall and prevent breakage.
There are two effective ways for cleaning your denture. One is using a brush and cream, specifically designed for dentures. If you prefer try a solution type cleanser. After soaking for a few minutes in a solution, your denture will come out fresh and clean.
Remember – that your denturist knows more about your denture than anyone else. Go to him if you having any trouble. Even if it feels fine, see him regularly for a complete check up.
Adjustment of a new denture to relieve sore spots is often necessary. Don’t try to solve the problem yourself by filing the denture in the area you may think is causing the soreness. The denturist is the person qualified to identify and correct the cause of the problem, and attempting it on your own may cause irreversible damage to the denture. It is helpful to leave the dentures in your mouth for several hours before your appointment to have the denture adjusted so that the dentist is better able to locate the cause of soreness.
Eating with ease and efficiency takes practice. Most chewing should take place on your dinner plate with your knife and fork. Avoid hard, tough or sticky foods. Food should be cut into small portions, placed on the back teeth, and chewed slowly on both sides of the mouth at once. Biting with the front teeth, even if possible, should be avoided. In addition to dislodging the denture, the pressure on the underlying bone will cause the bone to shrink, support for the denture will be lost, and the denture will become loose. The front teeth are there for appearance only – chewing must be done on the back teeth.
Your dentures will not last indefinitely. The denture teeth and base will wear and stain. The tissues of the mouth are undergoing continual change so that the dentures will have to be adjusted, rebased, or remade from time to time. This time will vary and will depend upon such factors as individual tolerances, habits and the length of time you were without teeth before the dentures were inserted. The average life of a denture is about 5 to 7 years.
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