1. What is a denture?

A denture is a removable appliance used to replace missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals.

Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position.

2. How do dentures feel like?

New dentures may feel awkward for the first few weeks until you become accustomed to wearing them. Dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.

It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. One or more follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.

3. Will I look different with dentures? And will I have difficulty eating with dentures?

Dentures are usually made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.

Eating with new dentures will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.

Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. Avoid eating chewy candies or gum as these may dislodge your dentures.

4. How do I take care of my dentures?

Dentures are very delicate and may break so be very careful not to drop them. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It is best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures.

Using hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid are both acceptable for cleaning dentures. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles thoroughly. Moisten the brush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage. Your dentist can also recommend a denture cleanser in the form of tablets. Place one tablet in a denture container or denture bath and soak the denture overnight.

Dentures may lose their shape if they are allowed to dry out. When they are not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp.

See your dentist immediately if your dentures break, crack, chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose so that he can make the necessary adjustments or repairs. Never attempt to use glue or any material sold over-the-counter to repair your dentures. You may cause more damage to them by doing this.

5. What else do I need to do after my denture has been done?

It is important that you visit your dentist every 6 months. Regular dental check-ups are important because the dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly. The dentist will also detect other dental problems you may have.

With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile.