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Approximately 40% of older individuals wear full or partial dentures. Many have adapted quite nicely. However, many denture wearers have encountered problems, both emotionally and physically. Some people have trouble eating and some may have repeated sores, which can be quite painful. Learning to wear a new denture can take time. Don’t become discouraged if you find some difficulty in the beginning.

You’re not alone!
Please do not listen to friends who tell you how easy it was for them to get used to their dentures and how they can eat everything and anything. They are either bragging, have greater bone and gum support or their memories may be poor. Your dentist will help you through any difficulties you may face or any situations that may arise during your adjustment period.

A lower denture
A lower denture usually takes more time to adjust to than an upper denture. The tongue may feel restricted and will tend to play, sometimes even subconsciously, with the new prosthesis. It will soon adapt to the restrictions and to the new feeling that a denture presents.

Try to eat only soft foods for the first couple of days. Then, as you progress to more solid foods try to eat slowly and deliberately, attempting to place even amounts of food on both sides at the same time during the chewing cycle. By placing food on both sides of the mouth at the same time, you balance the biting forces on the new denture and will help to make it more stable. The longer you take to eat your meal, the faster you will learn to master your new prosthesis.

It is perfectly normal to experience some discomfort associated with sore spots during the adjustment period. Nature did not intend for us to wear hard plastic against soft gum tissue. It takes a while for the gum tissues to firm up and to accommodate to the hard plastic denture.

If sore spots should develop (and in some cases they do not), please be sure to wear the denture for at least 24 hours prior to your adjustment visit! If your dentist can’t see the sore spot visually, it is sometimes impossible for him to make the necessary adjustments.

An unclean denture is neither healthy, attractive or comfortable. Clean your new denture every morning and night with either a denture toothbrush and denture toothpaste (if necessary, any toothpaste can be used) or with one of the commercially available denture cleaners. Please be sure to check with your dentist to make sure that the commercial cleaner will not interfere with the type of denture liner you may have in your prosthesis. Permanent soft liners and temporary soft liners react poorly to most commercial cleaners.

We prefer that you leave out one or both of your dentures at night. This allows your gum tissues to breathe and also relieves them of the constant pressures of mastication. When left out of the mouth, all dentures should be left in water to prevent warpage.

Gum tissues are in a constant state of change but dentures are not. Therefore, periodic relining of your dentures may be necessary. If you find your denture getting looser and mastication more difficult, this may be a sign that a reline may be needed. It is very important for your dentist to see you regularly to evaluate the state of your oral tissues and to determine if additional treatment is required. Dentures typically need to be relined or remade every three to five years.


A Denture Wearer's Checklist
Dentures are not permanent. Changes continue to occur in the bone and soft tissues of your mouth.

Your initial adjustment period Eating with your new dentures Learning to eat with dentures takes time. Eating with dentures will never be as easy or efficient as eating with natural teeth. Be patient.

Cleaning your mouth and your dentures Denture Do’s and Don’ts