A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. Almost one out of every five people in the United States wears either partial or full dentures. Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full (complete) or partial dentures. Full or complete dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures. Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth are missing or need to be removed. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth. When looked at positively and used properly, your dentures will very quickly feel natural and comfortable. At Southard Dental, we will design a set of dentures just for you that will match your facial contours, complexion, and, when necessary, they will blend with your remaining natural teeth. Your dentures represent a considerable investment of time and money, and it is up to you to protect your investment. Follow these careful directions concerning their proper use and care.
When you decide to become a denture wearer and no longer possess your natural teeth, a sense of loss is to be expected. Your new dentures will feel unnatural at first, but his will pass as you gain confidence in their use and appearance. Dentures initially will seem very large in your mouth, and you will probably assume that they appear that way to others. Fortunately, that is not the case. With a little patience you will adjust to the feeling of fullness and with time you won’t even notice them in your mouth at all. When you first try the dentures you may notice an increase in the flow of saliva in your mouth. This is a normal response to an unfamiliar object. In a few days, or even hours, your mouth will become accustomed to the dentures and your saliva flow will return to normal.
New denture wearers usually suffer some initial discomfort or soreness within a few hours after the dentures are first worn. Make an appointment with your dentist if this soreness does occur. More than one adjustment of your dentures may be required within the first two weeks of use. This is part of the normal adjustment process. Even if your mouth is sore from the dentures, try to wear them the entire day before your appointment so Dr. Southard can accurately locate the sore spot and make the appropriate adjustment.
Speaking may seem strange at first because when we hear ourselves speak much of the sound reaches our ears by means of vibrations in the bones of the jaw and skull. Any small changes, such as those caused by dentures, alter and considerably increase the effect of the sound. However, such changes are much more noticeable to the speaker than anyone else, and soon the sound will seem normal to you.
The supporting bone and tissue in your mouth need regular rest from denture wearing. It is a good idea to remove the dentures at night so that the tissue can rest. The best place to store them is in a water-filled container. This prevents the dentures from drying out; a process which can, in time adversely affect their fit. To protect the health of your dentures bearing tissues, it is a good idea to brush the supporting ridges with a super-soft toothbrush to generate blood flow into the area and remove food particles. Keeping your dentures clean is the most important patient responsibility for good oral health. Dentures, like natural teeth, attract plaque, become stained, and collect food particles that can cause bad breath. The two best cleaning methods for dentures are soaking and brushing.
An excellent way to cleanse your dentures safely and effectively is with a tablet soak. Soaking your dentures every night with an effervescent tablet in warm water will effectively cleanse away food particles from crevices and spaces between the teeth, remove plaque and odor-causing film, and eliminate virtually all micro-organisms. For an even better result, consider an ultrasonic cleaner. Whenever the dentures are out of your mouth they should be soaked in water or your soaking solution, otherwise they may dry out, change, shape, and alter the way they fit.
Another effective cleansing method is brushing with a special denture brush and specialized denture toothpaste. Since denture materials are more delicate than natural teeth, it is important to use special cleansing materials. Ordinary toothbrushes and commercial toothpastes are too abrasive and can damage the acrylic surfaces of your dentures. The best cleansing method is to combine soaking and brushing to achieve the highest level of denture cleanliness.
A denture adhesive is not a substitute for dentures that have lost their perfect fit through natural changes in the mouth or destructive habits such as chewing gum, nail biting and teeth grinding. It is important that you see Dr. Southard twice a year for a denture check-up. At those times, a professional refitting or relining may be indicated. Regular denture check-ups are much less expensive that having a whole new set of dentures made as a result of simple neglect. Using do-it-yourself products to repair or reline your dentures can damage your dentures or cause serious harm to your mouth. Whenever your dentures need adjustments or repairs, be sure to contact Dr. Southard’s office
You should rinse your dentures after eating, brushing, and soaking. This is proper oral hygiene and will also prolong the life of your dentures, and help maintain their appearance. Always handle your dentures carefully when you are cleaning them. Simply dropping them into the sink can break them. It’s a good idea to hold them over a towel or sink that is half full of water to protect them if they slip from your hand.