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5 Tips for Adjusting to Life With Dentures

You worry about all the changes that come with new dentures. You wonder whether you’ll be able to eat and speak like you did with your natural teeth. You worry that your dentures will cause you pain and discomfort.

Fortunately, modern dentures are more comfortable than dentures were in the past. They also look and act more like natural teeth. Nevertheless, getting used to your new dentures may take a few weeks or months. Here’s how you can make that transition easier.

  1. Eating

Fortunately, you don’t have to take your dentures off to eat. Your dentures can help you chew just like your natural teeth did.5-tips-for-adjusting-to-life-with-dentures

Learning to eat with dentures can be tricky at first. Start out by eating soft foods and chewing slowly. Applesauce, mashed potatoes, eggs, and yogurt are all good choices. Eventually, you’ll be able to eat harder foods, but you may need to cut them into small pieces.

Make sure to chew on both sides of your mouth, giving each side equal pressure. When you chew on just one side, your dentures could slip forward in your mouth. You should also avoid chewing with your front teeth, as that action can make your dentures unstable.

There are a few foods you might want to avoid. Don’t eat sticky foods like taffy, caramel, and gum, which could stick to your dentures and damage them. Hot foods like hot soup and coffee could also damage your dentures. Nuts and seeds could become trapped under your dentures, irritating your gums.

  1. Speaking

You might notice that it’s difficult to say certain sounds with your new dentures. Speak slowly and deliberately and practice, practice, practice. With time, your mouth will learn how to say any word with your dentures.

If your dentures shift position while you laugh or talk, just bite down on them and swallow. Use a tiny amount of dental adhesive to hold your dentures in place.

  1. Caring for Your Dentures

Brushing your dentures removes food and helps your dentures retain their clean, white appearance. It also helps you prevent harboring illness- and infection-inducing plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Brush your dentures with a toothbrush or denture-cleaning brush each day. Use soap and water or a denture cleaner approved by your dentist. Avoid toothpaste and other cleaners that can damage your dentures. Floss or toothpicks can also harm your dentures.

Make sure you also keep your mouth healthy. Before you put in your dentures, wipe your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth with a clean, wet cloth. Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.

Taking your dentures out at night helps them stay clean and prevents your mouth from getting sore. During the night, store your dentures in denture cleaner or warm water. Avoid hot water, which can change your dentures’ shape.

  1. Avoiding Pain

Caring for your mouth and dentures reduces your risk for infection or other problems.

Watch for symptoms of mouth infections that you can develop if your dentures don’t fit right. If you notice red bumps on the roof of your mouth, cracking at the corners of your mouth, or a swollen mouth or gums, see your dentist. He or she may need to treat the infection along with adjusting the fit of your dentures.

You may experience some soreness as you get used to your dentures. If your mouth feels sore or you develop sores in your mouth, rinsing with salt water may relieve the pain. If these symptoms continue, see your dentist.

  1. Adjusting and Replacing Your Dentures

Your gums and bones change over time, preventing your dentures from fitting as well as they used to. You’ll want to replace your dentures about every five to seven years.

You’ll need your dentures repaired or adjusted sooner if:

  • Your mouth feels painful or sore.
  • You notice cracks or staining on your dentures.
  • Your dentures don’t fit like they used to.

Your dentist might reline your dentures to resurface the sides of this dental device. Or, your dentist might rebase your dentures to rebuild the base He or she can also make adjustments to ensure you don’t feel pain while you wear your dentures every day.

Wearing dentures for the first time can seem strange and unfamiliar. But after some time, you’ll become so accustomed to wearing dentures that they’ll feel like a natural part of your mouth.

If you are ready for your first pair of dentures, contact Northwest Dental Services and Implant Center. We offer classic dentures and Interlocking Polymer Network (IPN) dentures. These dentures can last up to 25 years and have a five-year warranty against cracking, staining, and other damage.

Don’t wait to smile confidently again. Call us today to discuss your denture options. Feel free to ask us any questions you have before your appointment.

A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants

When you think about your dental health, you may remember upcoming appointments or recent procedures. Unless you have already experienced loss of an adult tooth, you likely do not think about retaining your teeth. Most individuals assume that they’ll have their natural teeth for their entire lives.

However, adult tooth loss can occur due to impact injuries, advanced tooth decay, overall health problems, and other causes that you may or may not be able to plan for. In fact, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth.

So what are your options when you lose a permanent tooth? In this blog, we discuss one of the preferred kinds of tooth replacement: dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Individual dental implants consist of three primary parts, the implant itself, the abutment, and the crown.

Implant

The actual implant portion of each dental implant provides a strong anchor for the false tooth. The implant looks similar to a screw and is made of surgical-quality metal, usually titanium. This screw is placed in the jawbone and then allowed to heal.

Abutment

Once the implant has been integrated into the patient’s jaw, the dentist adds an abutment to the top of the screw. The abutment consists of a small metal component that connects the implant to the false tooth.

Crown

With the abutment in place, the dentist completes the dental implant with a natural-looking crown that matches the color and shape of the teeth around it. These crowns are typically made of strong dental porcelain.

Implant placement can take between three and nine months, depending on the patient’s overall and oral health.

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

While dental implants offer a smart, long-term solution for many patients’ tooth loss, this procedure is not for everyone. Good candidates for dental implants must have:

  • Adequate bone density—Because the implant goes directly into the jawbone, patients must have the bone density required to hold the implant in place. In some cases, if the patient does not have adequate bone density in the area, the dentist may recommend a bone graft.
  • Adequate healing capabilities—Patients with compromised immune systems may experience discomfort and incomplete healing of dental implants. Dentists evaluate each patient’s history to determine whether or not he or she is healthy enough for the procedure. Patients who smoke, who have autoimmune disorders, or who were recently treated for an oral cancer may not be good candidates for implants.
  • Healthy gums—Dental implants must successfully integrate into the gum tissue. Patients with gum disease may need to improve their gum health before receiving implants.
  • Good oral health and hygiene—As with any surgery, the dental implant procedure comes with a risk of infection. Patients who are in good oral health and who take care of their mouths are less likely to experience complications during the process.

Because the implant process can potentially take the better part of a year, it’s also important that patients are able to keep seeing the same dentist during this time. 

How Do You Take Care of Dental Implants?

For the most part, patients must take care of dental implants the same way they take care of their natural teeth. While implants cannot develop cavities, it’s important to keep the crown’s surface clean and to care for the gum tissue around the implant to prevent stability problems.

A combination of daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental visits is adequate for most patients with implants.

Additionally, your dentist may recommend avoiding habits that could crack or chip the crown. You may need to wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth, reduce or eliminate caffeine and dark-colored alcoholic beverages from your diet, and avoid chewing hard items like ice in the implant area.

What Advantages Do Implants Offer Over Other Methods?

Dental implants work more effectively than bridges or dentures for some patients. Implants offer the following advantages over other tooth replacement methods:

  • Looks and feels more natural.
  • Better restoration of normal speech and eating capability.
  • Less risk of gum irritation and no risk of slippage.
  • Results that can last potentially last for the rest of the patient’s life, as opposed to 5 to 10 years for bridges and dentures.

The right tooth replacement method for you may depend on your health, your budget, and the extent of your tooth loss. Your dentist will discuss these factors with you to help you decide if dental implants are your best option.

Adult tooth loss can be painful and may even be embarrassing, but it needn’t keep you from smiling, laughing, enjoying good food, and communicating normally.

If you’ve experienced adult tooth loss, talk to an expert at Northwest Dental Services and Implant Center to determine if dental implants are right for you.

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