If you're considering dentures, you may be wondering what you can expect while you get used to them. Our Vancouver dentists list some common obstacles and tips for adjusting to your new teeth.
What to Expect
If you're hoping to feel more confident in your grin while restoring your smile, dentures may help. They can also support facial muscles and structure and reduce bone loss.
While dentures can be a great long-term solution for some people who are missing teeth, adjusting to them can take some time and effort.
It usually takes people anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to fully adjust to wearing dentures.
Be patient with your mouth as it gets used to these significant changes and you adapt to having dentures where your natural teeth once were. Understanding what you can expect can help make the transition smoother.
Some patients notice these challenges during the early stages of wearing dentures:
- Gums may loosen or shrink
- Sore spots and bone chips may develop
- Smile seems unnatural
- Problems eating or speaking while wearing dentures
- Higher production of saliva
- Impact on chewing
Remember that these issues are a natural part of the dental process, and most will be temporary.
Tips for Adjusting to Dentures
You may notice your dentures feel somewhat awkward and unnatural in the first few days or weeks. During this period, some of your most significant challenges may be associated with changes in eating and speaking. Here are some tips that might help.
You'll need to eat a diet of soft or liquid foods at first after getting new dentures. In the first few days of your recovery process, you'll have limitations on your diet. You may want to plan ahead and prepare foods that will be ready when you're hungry. Try to choose foods that won't require much chewing, as these will be best for minimizing pain or discomfort.
You might also consider using a food processor, blender or juicer to eat some of your favourite foods during this time.
Use this list to give you some ideas during the first few days or weeks:
- Cooked or steamed vegetables that have softened
- Milkshakes or icecream
- Soft or melted cheeses
Similar to eating, you may find it awkward to speak for the first few weeks. That said, you can practice to start regaining confidence and comfort when you talk in public.
It might help to speak slower than usual, which can reduce clicking noises and assist with controlling movement that may occur if your dentures shift as you talk. You may find that applying denture adhesive helps to keep your dentures in place. Ask your dentist if this solution is right for you.
You might find it helpful to read out loud to yourself while you practice, especially during the first few days when you may feel self-conscious speaking around other people. This allows you to adapt and relearn to repeat difficult sounds — minus the prospect of an audience. The more opportunities you take to practice, the easier and more natural speaking will become, quickly helping you to feel confident with your new dentures.