With new dentures, you may experience a variety of temporary effects ranging from interference with speech to an inability to chew, loss of appetite or slight pain. Be assured that an adjustment period to new dentures is quite normal and expected, and that all of these troubles have been experienced and overcome by many other denture patients.
During this adjustment period you are still under the treatment of your prosthetist. This period of adjustment is necessary for a successful outcome as the prosthetist examines the fit and function of your dentures and the degree of harmony with your natural jaw movements. The length of this period will vary according to your mouth conditions, general state of health, age and your ability to adapt to new conditions.
Please remember that the prosthetist would not send you home with new dentures unless satisfied that they fit you properly. In time and with consistent use, you will find that your dentures will fit comfortably and function well.
Quick tips for adjusting to your dentures
- Practice speaking or reading in front of the mirror to help you get used to your dentures.
- While you are getting used to your dentures it is a good idea to
- Eat softer food
- Take smaller mouthfuls
- Chew more slowly
- After you put food in your mouth, try to divide it in two. Then chew each half at the back of each side of your mouth. By placing even pressure on your dentures this will help them feel more stable and stop them tipping. It is important to have balance.
- Avoid very hot food and drinks for a little while; to make sure you don’t burn yourself. Your sensitivity to temperature of food and drinks may be temporarily affected, but will return.
- Try keeping your dentures in place for the first few nights, to allow them to settle in sooner. Wearing your dentures at night is a personal choice.
Common Issues During the Adjustment Period
Patients who suffer from this condition normally do so because they are nervous, rest assured that the feeling will soon pass. Keep your dentures in your mouth for as long as you can tolerate. If this feeling persists for two days or more, call your prosthetist for an appointment.
Feeling of Fullness in the Mouth
As you have introduced a foreign body into your mouth (the new denture), this temporary condition is perfectly natural. With time, this feeling of fullness will pass as you adjust to your new dentures.
Trouble speaking may be caused by the presence of foreign material in the mouth, and patience is necessary during the adjustment period as your mouth and tongue adjust to the new dentures. Your speech can be improved considerably if you take some time to read aloud, paying special attention to your pronunciation and repeating words that you have difficulty saying clearly.
Your expression may seem slightly altered at first, but your facial muscles and lips will soon relax to their natural position.
Feeling of Looseness
As you adjust to your dentures, your tongue and cheek muscles will attempt to repel them as they would any foreign body, and these efforts may result in a sensation of loose dentures. In time and as the dentures settle into place, these muscles will stop trying to expel your dentures and aid in holding them in place. At this time you will notice a definite improvement in the fit. During the adjustment period, close your mouth and lips and suck gently on your dentures to overcome this feeling of looseness.
Excessive Saliva Production
Your saliva glands naturally become overactive when any foreign body is placed in the mouth. In the beginning, your dentures will be recognized by the mouth as a foreign body, but in a few days will be accepted as a normal presence. Any excessive salivation will decrease to normal amounts within a few days.
The tissues of your mouth are among the most sensitive of your body and some time may pass before they become completely adjusted to the presence of your new dentures. During this time, it is normal to experience some mild discomfort. However, sore spots occasionally develop and these must be corrected by your prosthetist. Many patients require follow-up visits for denture adjustments during the first few weeks, so be assured this is a very common and expected experience. In the event that you develop a sore spot, call your prosthetist to make an appointment. Until that time, keep the dentures in your mouth as much as possible so that the sore spot will be present during your appointment. This will ensure that the prosthetist will correctly diagnose and treat the problem.
In the event that you experience soreness, chafing or other discomfort, you must NEVER attempt to alter or adjust your dentures yourself. Your prosthetist is specially trained to locate and fix such problems and is the only person who should ever adjust your dentures. Just as you would not attempt to pull your own tooth if it was bothering you, you should not try adjusting your own dentures.
Function or Chewing Ability
Before you begin to chew with your new dentures, it is wise to be fully adjusted to all other phases. If you do not wait until your dentures are comfortable before you use them to chew you will be disappointed with the results. Once you begin to use your new dentures to chew, try to be persistent and patient with the rate of your progress. Begin with very small bites of soft food and chew very softly. In biting into harder foods such as apples or carrots, try pressing smaller pieces against your front teeth and simultaneously breaking the food off by twisting your hand.
To keep your lower denture in place as much as possible while chewing, try:
· Using an up-and-down chewing motion, keeping side-to-side jaw movements to a minimum
· Placing small portions of food on both sides of your mouth at the same time
· Limiting your tongue movements until your chewing efforts become efficient. At first, smaller particles of food may get under your dentures, but in time this condition will correct itself.