Dentures…the dreaded removable teeth apparatus that no one really likes. They fall out at the most inopportune times. Every night you take them out and scrub them. Sometimes you must add denture paste to them just to get them to stick in your mouth. Eating with them is difficult, especially those hard healthy foods like apples and food we all enjoy like steak. When you eat sometimes the teeth can loosen or fall out which can be embarrassing too. Dentures don’t feel like a part of you since you must remove them. Dentures are just a mess!
Don’t worry though, we want to help by explaining some of the issues people face with dentures and how implant options can help improve your quality of life so you can eat and smile more confidently. Alright so let’s break this down.
As you enter the “Denture Life” we want you to be happy. As with your natural teeth, it is important to keep your mouth healthy and clean. So what does that mean? That means those dentures need to come out and you need to brush them! Not only the teeth but the gum part of the dentures too. You should also rinse with mouthwash while your dentures are out of your mouth to help keep your natural gums healthy. You need to clean the denture routinely of any foreign debris, including denture paste. Bacteria and fungus can build up on dentures that are not kept clean, which can lead to other health problems. In some cases, new ones need to be made and when it is time to replace it… replace it.
The best way to care for your dentures:
- Never sleep with your dentures in. This can be waived if you speak with Dr. Hedger and he gives you the green light, otherwise, DON’T DO IT!
- Handle your dentures with care. They are delicate and can break. Clean your dentures over a towel on the counter or a sink full of water.
- Clean your dentures daily. Soak the dentures overnight in denture cleaner. Scrub them before you put them in your mouth in the morning using a soft toothbrush or denture cleaning brush. You can use plain soap and warm water to scrub your teeth (no need to get fancy). Never use bleach or toothpaste both of which are too abrasive for your dentures.
If you get a set of dentures that are too big or too small, they may not fit properly and could be uncomfortable and interfere with speech. Having dentures that do not fit properly can also cause gum and mouth irritation. This could lead to cuts and ulcerations in your mouth that make eating and speaking uncomfortable. If your dentures do not fit properly, it is necessary for you to have them adjusted or replaced. Dr. Philip J. Hedger, our Prosthodontist at Coastal Jaw Surgery, can help you with that! A prosthodontist is the ONLY recognized dental specialist for dentures and implant restorations. This is the exact type of care he focuses on here at Coastal Jaw Surgery. It is his specialty!
As mentioned, eating or speaking is sometimes difficult with dentures, especially when you first receive them. We advise practicing reading aloud for the first couple of weeks to more quickly adapt your speech to your new dentures. Some words may be harder than others; no worries, have patience. Practice makes perfect (that’s what we tell kids and the same principles will apply to you; it is often said that wearing a denture for the first time is like learning to ride a bike). If your dentures come loose when talking – bite down and swallow to put them back in place and then call us to make an appointment with Dr. Hedger (I’m telling you he is a genius with these things!). Have Dr. Hedger take a look at your dentures to see if adjustments can be made to improve them; if new dentures are recommended; OR if dentures are not a good option for you. No two dentures are alike, and everyone has a different experience with them. You cannot compare your dentures to someone else’s dentures. Some people have more favorable shapes of the upper jaw, like a deep palate (roof of the mouth) that helps with retention and no paste is needed. However, other people have unfavorable jaw shapes (flat roof of the mouth), and dentures will be loose no matter what. Dr. Hedger can take a look at the shape of your jaw to determine if a denture is a good choice for you. Otherwise, he might recommend another option that would be best suited for you and your jaw anatomy.
While you wear dentures it will be best to eat softer foods– BOO! So foods like spaghetti, rice, oatmeal, pancakes, etc; however, steaks, chicken, nuts, and salads not so much. If you are having trouble eating, take small bites of the soft foods. DON’T EAT GUM OR ANYTHING STICKY!!. Chew slowly and chew on both sides at the same time; this helps keep the dentures seated. Upper dentures rely on suction and chewing on one side only can break the suction and cause it to loosen and fall out. Unfortunately, lower dentures do not have any suction AT ALL and are very loose in general. Eating should become easier as you become more comfortable with your dentures. Another helpful tip to eating is to add adhesive to your dentures. This will help keep them in place and make you feel more secure. This really is only best applied to dentures that fit you well. Ill-fitting dentures will still cause issues, even with adhesive. Sounds fun, huh? Well, with the support of implants ALL of these issues can go away!
Now when everything is said and done, if you are happy with your choice of dentures – WOO HOO! If you are not or you have doubts about the amount of work that goes into dentures OR if you are completely embarrassed by even the thought of your teeth coming out while talking or eating, then we need to talk about implant options.
Implant overdentures are the next step up from regular dentures. They are still removable and you still have to take them out to clean them. You can improve your diet somewhat as they are more stable and will typically not fall out with eating. However, the teeth are still plastic and thus are not meant to tear into tougher foods. Sore spots can still occur because they are dentures and still rest on the gum tissue. The main advantage of implant overdentures is to greatly minimize the movement that happens with regular dentures. The keyword here is to minimize, as with enough force they can still tip out of place, especially when biting with the front teeth.
Now, if you want teeth that stay in your mouth permanently that you can’t remove and you want to be able to eat whatever type of food you want (except ice and rock hard candies which break both real and artificial teeth) then you want Same Day Teeth. We call it the third dentition; first your baby teeth; second your adult permanent teeth; and now your replacement permanent teeth. It is the closest replication to giving you your natural teeth back. It is not bulky like dentures, it does not cover the roof of the mouth like dentures, and it DOES NOT MOVE AT ALL. This type of restoration allows you to maintain a normal lifestyle with no change to your eating habits (no soft foods – YEAH!), no spitting them out while talking or eating, no taking them out each night, just normal brushing your teeth and eating the foods you love and have missed like steak and tacos! We thoroughly enjoy seeing how Same Day Teeth gives our patients their lives back by allowing them to eat the foods they want and to smile with confidence. We love hearing how happy they are!
If you have any questions or want to learn more, schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist, Dr. Philip J. Hedger, to review each of these options in more detail. Please call the office at 727-877-0011. We greatly look forward to the opportunity to transform your life by changing your smile. It’s the best thing you can wear!
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