Dentures can make a dramatic difference in your life. You’ll be able to again show off a smile filled with teeth and eat more than just soft foods. But living with dentures typically requires many adjustments.
At 1st in Smiles we’ll do everything we can to ensure a successful transition to dentures, starting with making sure your replacement teeth fit well and providing you with a temporary denture to wear while your mouth heals.
If you’re interested in dentures, call us at 972-905-9266. If you’ve already spoken to another dentist, you can receive a free second opinion from Dr. Rick Barfield. In the meantime here are some tips from Dr. Barfield on eating and other aspects of living with dentures.
Keep Foods Smaller and Softer at First
Don’t expect to be able to dig into a juicy steak right away. The best way to adjust to eating with dentures is to start with softer foods. Then you can resume eating a greater variety of meals when you become more comfortable living with dentures. Eggs, fish, cooked vegetables, and chopped meats are all good choices.
In addition, try these strategies for meals:
- Be careful with hot foods and liquids. It may be difficult to sense temperature extremes at first, and you don’t want to burn your mouth or tongue.
- Cut food into smaller pieces. You don’t have to give up on foods like apples and pears. Try cutting them into bite-sized pieces instead of biting into an entire fruit.
- Use the sides of your mouth to chew. Using the sides of your mouth to chew works better than biting into foods with your front teeth.
Practice Speaking With Your Dentures
Speaking with dentures can be an adjustment. Wearing adhesive to help keep your replacement teeth in place can help. So can biting and swallowing before speaking, which puts dentures in a position that will help make it easier for others to understand you. We suggest reading aloud while wearing your dentures until you become more comfortable and confident.
Be Aware of Potentially Problematic Foods
Even after you’ve had practice eating and living with dentures, certain kinds of foods are likely to cause problems. Avoid these foods, or at least be especially careful when consuming them:
- Popcorn – Kernels can become painfully stuck under dentures and can even damage your replacement teeth.
- Foods With Seeds – Choose plain breads, bagels, and rolls instead of those with seeds. Like popcorn kernels, the seeds can get between your dentures and gums.
- Sticky or Hard Candy – Sticky and hard candies can dislodge your dentures. Be careful with caramels, taffies, and similar treats.
Give Your Mouth a Break From Dentures at Night
You should always remove your dentures at night. This not only gives your gums a break, it helps keep bacteria from collecting between dentures and gums. Since saliva production slows at night, it makes it easier for bacteria to accumulate.
Keep Your Dentures Clean & Bacteria Free
Keeping your replacement teeth clean is an important part of living with dentures. It not only helps prevent cavities and gum disease, it can also help avoid unpleasant “dentures breath.” Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a denture brush to brush your dentures daily. Don’t forget to also brush your gums, tongue, and palate. Finish up with a warm, salt water rinse before putting your dentures in.
More denture cleaning tips:
- Use either mild soap and water or denture toothpaste, which is non-abrasive. Even mild dish soap is fine.
- Brush over a sink full of water or a towel; that way you won’t damage your dentures if they slip out of your hands.
- You may want to consider an ultrasonic cleaner, which helps remove stubborn deposits from dentures.
Avoid Do-It-Yourself Repairs
If your dentures break, crack, or chip, or one of the teeth becomes loose, see us right away. Do not use a home repair kit or glue to try to fix it yourself. If you do, you may cause permanent harm to your replacement teeth. It’s often possible for us to fix your dentures in just one day, depending on the extent of the damage.
Maintain the Fit to Comfortably Live With Dentures
When you lose teeth, you also lose tooth roots. Without stimulation from your roots, your jaw shrinks over time. When it does, your dentures will loosen. Visit us twice a year for dental exams. We’ll check the fit of your replacement teeth along with other aspects of your oral health. We will likely recommend periodic relining of your dentures, a process that ensures a snug fit. Without a proper fit, you may struggle with eating and speaking.
Consider Dental Implant Dentures
Our final tip is to consider getting dentures that can be attached to dental implants. You may find living with dentures easier if they are anchored to your jaw with implants. They’ll stay securely in place without adhesive and give you better chewing power than conventional dentures.
Perhaps most important, they act like artificial tooth roots, keeping your jaw strong and healthy. With a strong jaw, your face will look younger and you won’t need adjustments to the fit of dentures.
For more information on dentures, including dental implant dentures, call 1st in Smiles at 972-905-9266.