Wearing New Dentures

Perhaps the greatest challenge you will face with your new dentures is learning how to eat and speak. New talking and eating skills must be developed, and will require a great deal of effort and patience on your part.


Learning these skills with your new dentures is a difficult task and the responsibility rests entirely on you. If you wear the dentures daily, this process could take up to three months. The more you wear them, the more comfortable they will become and the easier it will be to function with them.


The following guidelines have been designed to assist you in the development of new eating skills:

  • After receiving your new dentures, it is advisable to plan a softer diet until you feel comfortable to tackle hard foods.
  • The front teeth are placed in the denture for looks only and should not be used for biting, tearing, or chewing. Foods like corn on the cob or apples will place stress on the underlying tissue and bone. These biting forces will not only cause your dentures to unseat but also soreness and unnecessary damage to your supporting tissue.
  • Cut your food with a knife and divide it evenly in the back of your mouth. Make sure that there is only a small to medium amount of food on both sides. Chew in a straight up and down motion. This will help limit the movement of the dentures and make it less likely for them to unseat.
  • As an alternative to biting/tearing foods with your front teeth, shift the food to your premolar area near the corners of the mouth.

Tactile sense and taste: Dentures do not cover the taste buds. Therefore, taste should not be affected. Dentures do however restrict the flow of saliva; this can sometimes dull the taste of certain foods. Serving food hot makes you more aware of the smell and may aid in taste. Using herbs or condiments to enhance flavor may help as well. Take care eating small poultry or fish so bones are not swallowed as you may not be able to feel them in your mouth. Also, beware of overly hot food and drink. Dentures tend to resist heat and cold, and overly hot food or drink could burn your throat.


Speaking with dentures: Each denture is shaped differently. This means the muscles used for speaking will need time to readjust around the shape of the new dentures. Certain words can be hard to say at first. If you notice a word that is hard to say, repeat it aloud 3-4 times. This helps train the speaking muscles for similar sounding words.


Patience is important: Remember that eating and speaking with new dentures is a skill you will need to relearn. Allow yourself the time and patience it will take to develop these skills. You will need to chew more slowly at first but with time, you will regain speed. The more you eat, speak and wear the new dentures, the more comfortable they will become.


Cleaning your dentures: In order to maintain good oral health, you must remove your dentures and brush them along with your mouth, gums, and tongue at least 2 times a day. Fill a sink with water and brush your dentures above it. Dentures can be slippery when wet, and a sink full of water is softer than the floor. Along with brushing, your dentures should be taken out and rinsed after every meal. This will help prevent food from building up underneath the dentures after meals. If you chose to soak your denture in a cleaner, do so once every 2-3 days. Soak your denture for no more than 20 minutes and then brush it well.


What should I expect in first 6-8 weeks?

New dentures will always feel less comfortable than your old ones. This is because the more you wear a set of dentures, the more comfortable they become. If you have not been wearing dentures for an extended period of time, your gum tissue becomes soft and swollen. This makes new dentures hard to get used to, and at first, will cause some minor discomfort. This is caused by the soft swollen gum tissue being pressed between your bone and the new denture. You must continue to wear the denture through this discomfort. As the gum tissue becomes pressed, soreness subsides.


However, some soreness is caused by a denture being too rough, too long, or too thick. If wearing a denture causes long-lasting soreness, (that only has relief once the denture is removed) you should call your denturist and schedule an adjustment appointment. Your denturist can locate the exact sore spot and remove it accurately. Do not attempt to adjust a denture on your own. Doing so can cause major damage to your denture and your mouth.