If you are about to go pick up your new dentures, you are probably filled with a mixture of emotions. You may be excited about finally having replacement teeth that enable you to eat normally again, but a little apprehensive about the adjustments you'll need to make in your lifestyle over the coming weeks. You'll have an easier time adjusting to your dentures if you know what to expect. Here are five challenges you may face as you adjust to dentures -- and some advice for dealing with them.
Challenge #1: Speaking with dentures.
Speaking with dentures can take a little time to get used to. You will feel the dentures when you place your tongue against your teeth or the roof of your mouth to make certain sounds, such as "th" and "s." Sometimes, people who just got dentures feel like they are speaking with a lisp or speech impediment. However, your speech will eventually improve to the point that you sound completely normal and natural.
Prepare for this challenge by not scheduling any important meetings or events for the first week or two after you pick up your dentures. Use this time to practice saying words you struggle with; you will soon improve.
Challenge #2: Chewing with dentures.
One of the primary reasons to get dentures is so that you can chew food normally, but chewing is a little difficult at first. You will have to get used to the different sensation of chewing with dentures and figure out where to best place the bite of food in your mouth. To combat this challenge, start by eating only soft foods, like soft-boiled pasta, fish, and cheese. Over a week or two, slowly add chewier foods like chicken, tender beef, bread, and vegetables.
Challenge #3: Remembering to take out and clean your dentures.
Are you worried that you'll accidentally go to bed and fall asleep with dentures in your mouth? You would not be the first one! You should really take your dentures out each night before you sleep, thoroughly cleaning them and placing them in storage solutions. To help you remember to do this, set an alarm in your phone for 20 or 30 minutes before bedtime. If you eat dinner late and go to bed soon after, you may even want to get into the habit of removing your dentures post-dinner.
Setting your denture case right on your bed stand can also help jog your memory. You'll see it as you climb into bed and be prompted to take out your dentures if you have not yet done so.
Challenge #4: Answering questions from friends or acquaintances.
In the first few weeks after you get your dentures, you will have friends and acquaintances say to you, "something about you looks different" or "did you do something to change your appearance?" This may catch you off guard. So, prepare an answer now so you are equipped to give people a good response. Some people prefer to be honest and just respond "Yes, I got dentures!" Others just change the subject and may say something like, "No, nothing major has changed."
Challenge #5: Dealing with fit issues.
If your dentures fit properly, they should not move around as you chew and speak. Be prepared, however, for them to wiggle a little when you first get them. This happens as your gums first swells and then shrink as they adapt to your dentures. It is an indication that you need to go back to the dentist and have the dentures adjusted slightly for a better fit. Some people do not suffer this problem at all, but many do -- so don't be alarmed.
For more information, contact companies like Michaels Dental.