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A Patient’s Guide to Wearing Dentures

Advancement in technology and medicine has brought a great many changes to dental health. The progress made has helped to develop modern and sophisticated dentures that are easy to wear and manage. Getting used to wearing dentures is much easier than before. But people have questions on dentures, how to wear them correctly, how to take care of them etc.

Understanding Dentures

Before we move on, let us understand – what are dentures? They are artificial teeth. They are dental appliances used to replace natural teeth. Natural teeth are generally lost due to aging, but diseases like periodontal or far-reaching dental cavities also lead to loss of teeth.  Besides this, dental trauma due to accidents or genetic disorders also can result in teeth loss.

Dentures are usually prescribed by dentists when it is not possible to save the natural teeth. They help in preserving oral health by going for this procedure. There are different types of dentures – some are partial and some are complete dentures. Immediate dentures are also available at dental clinics, these are placed on the same day the teeth are removed. Dentures are made of acrylic, nylon or metal. Many opt for teeth that mimic natural teeth in colour and appearance so they do not feel awkward using them.

Placing dentures will require more than one or two visits to the dentist. The health of the gums is important while placing dentures, this is initially assessed by dentists during the first dental consultation. Treatment plans are decided after this assessment.

Some teeth might need to be removed before dentures are placed as they are not able to support them. Oral surgery is performed before dentures are placed. Proper healing of the gums is required before dentures can be placed. Some dentists will provide temporary dentures at this time, so the patient does not feel awkward with no teeth.

Gums will shrink when teeth are lost. Dentists will take impressions of the gums and dentures are made in the dental clinics to make an exact fit for the gums. Some adjustments would be needed to make sure they stay in place. Regular appointments need to be kept with the dentist to ensure the dentures are properly fitted. Partial or removable dentures are held in place with the help of natural teeth. The replacement teeth are fixed to anchors made of plastic or metal and they are attached to the natural teeth.

Wearing dentures will take some time to get used to. One might feel they are slipping off and it feels ‘unnatural’ while chewing food. Adhesives are available at the dental clinics. You can check with the dentist in case you feel the dentures are coming off easily. Some might feel soreness and irritation in the mouth. But all this will go away in a couple of weeks as one gets used to wearing them.

It’s important to keep in mind that it is better to stick to soft food when one is initially wearing dentures. Some feel their dentures are coming out when chewing. It takes time to adjust to new teeth and one has to be careful while chewing food. Once they are comfortable using dentures then can move on to other types of food. Getting used to wearing dentures varies from person to person, it is preferable to check with the dentist if one is having problems with using them.

Caring for Dentures

Like natural teeth, dentures also need utmost care. They need to be cleaned like natural teeth especially after consuming food. Food debris can stick on dentures, if you remove dentures and clean them then it must be done with utmost care. Tooth pastes should not be used to clean them, special cleaners are available for dentures. Using pastes will harm the dentures. Special brushes are also available in the market for cleaning dentures.

To enjoy durability for your dentures, they must be kept immersed in water especially at night. This will also give time for the gums to rest. Some dentists suggest wearing dentures at night initially but later on, it is considered safe to remove them.

Cleaning them should also be done carefully without exerting much pressure on them. Cleaning them under running water will help to clean away most of the food debris. Cleaning them with mild soap will help to preserve dentures in good condition. Hot water will damage them and dentures must never be cleaned with hot water. Improper cleaning can cause staining of dentures like natural teeth.

Besides cleaning teeth, tongue and gums should also be cleaned thoroughly. Soft bristled tooth brushes can be used to clean them. This will help to remove any bacteria or plaque build-up in them. These conditions are rare, but one can see them as white patches on the tongue. SO it is important to make sure the overall oral health is maintained.

Another issue that can crop up if dentures are not cleaned properly is halitosis or bad breath. Like natural teeth, bacterial build up can happen between teeth and cause bad breath. If you have partial dentures only, then this plaque build-up in the artificial teeth can spread to other remaining teeth and affect the dental health of the person as a whole.

While it is clear that dentures help to replace natural teeth when they are lost, they also help provide support in other ways. Losing teeth can result in a loss of clarity in speech. Speech can become unclear, many people feel less confident while conversing. Facial muscles also sag when teeth are lost.

Taking care of dentures will also be explained in dental clinics. Doubts and concerns must be discussed with the dentist. If the dentures are damaged, then the best is to make an appointment with the dentist for effective help. If dentures cannot be used due to damage, then it must be stored carefully, making sure to keep them moist always.

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