Do You Know These Facts About Your Dentures?

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 50% of people in the United States are missing at least one tooth due to gum disease, tooth decay or injury. Dentures are made of acrylic (plastic) or metal. Here are the facts about dentures.

Why Should I Replace a Missing Tooth?

When you have a missing tooth for too long, your facial muscles can begin to droop. Your mouth especially will sag inwards. You’ll feel self-conscious and may find that you cover your mouth when speaking to hide the missing teeth. Without all of your teeth, you won’t be able to eat properly and this can lead to health problems. You may have trouble speaking. A missing tooth can also cause chronic headaches because your remaining teeth do not have opposing teeth to bite down on to. If you have gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth.

Two Types of Dentures

A ‘complete’ denture replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. These fit snugly over your gums.

A ‘partial’ denture fills in the spaces where teeth are missing. It is attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps.

Time Facts About Dentures

  • How soon can I have a denture after my teeth are taken out? Your dental team will take measurements and impressions of your mouth before your teeth are removed. In this way, as soon as your teeth are taken out, you can insert your new dentures. If you find that your bone and gums shrink over time, your dentures may need to be realigned. Sometimes your dental team may advise you to wait until your gums are healed before having your dentures, as this can sometimes mean a better fit. Healing may take several months.
  • For how many hours can I wear my dentures? During the first few days, your dental team may advise you to wear them for most of the time, including while you are asleep. After your mouth gets used to your dentures, you can take them out before going to bed. This way your gums rest. When you remove your dentures at night, store them in a glass of water.
  • How long will my dentures last? Dentures usually last several years. Sometimes, when bone and gum shrink, you may notice a change in the shape of your mouth. If this happens, you’ll have to have the dentures realigned or even remade.

Eating with Dentures

Eating will take a little practice. Start off with soft foods that you have cut into small pieces. Chew slowly and use both sides of your mouth. This should stop the dentures from moving. Remember…practice makes perfect.

Cleaning Facts About Dentures

Don’t drop your dentures as they may break! Brush them daily with a non-abrasive denture cleaner, not toothpaste. Brush every surface of the dentures, including the surface that fits against your gums. Don’t brush too hard as this could cause grooves in the surface. You can also soak your dentures every day in a denture-cleaning solution. This removes plaque and stains.

If you are having trouble with your dentures and are finding it hard to eat solid food, try to increase your vitamin intake by juicing.