Losing your natural teeth and getting dentures can be both frightening and exciting. It’s a very emotional time, and being prepared for what you may experience during the process and how to care for your new smile will ease the transition. There is definitely a period of adjustment, and communication with your dentist during this time is paramount.
Let’s discuss what you can expect the first 30 days of wearing dentures.
Day 1: The first day can be very difficult. More than likely, you’ve had some extractions (teeth pulled), and the dentures have been placed over the extraction sites acting as a band-aid. Pain relievers and antibiotics are most likely prescribed, and you must take them as directed. You will not remove the dentures on this day. You will return to the dentist on day 2, and he/she will remove the denture. Your diet on day one should consist of very soft foods such as soups, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and macaroni and cheese.
Days 2-14: This is a time of healing, and you may experience increased discomfort from sore spots and also an increase in saliva. You will visit your dentist regularly for adjustments, and this may take many appointments. Don’t be afraid you’re bothering the dentist. It may take a lot of adjustments to get your dentures feeling just right. Your diet will still consist of mainly soft foods as tolerated. If you’re experiencing a lot of discomfort that is keeping you from eating, you may want to include a vitamin and protein rich drink such as Ensure to supplement your diet.
Day 15 +: Your saliva secretion should return to normal, and the sore spots should be healing. You may still be experiencing trouble speaking and eating, but as time passes, this should get easier. Don’t get discouraged. Your dental team will be happy to support you in this time of transition.
Although they are “false teeth,” dentures must be cleaned at least twice per day as you would your natural teeth. There are special denture brushes and pastes for denture cleaning. There are also soaking tablets you will use once per week to keep your dentures healthy and looking good.
You may or may not find the use of a denture adhesive useful. A denture adhesive is a thin glue-like film placed inside of the denture to form a seal keeping the dentures in place and keeping out food particles.
Deciding to get dentures is never an easy process. However, honest and open communication between you and your dentist can ensure you end up with a smile that is both functional and attractive.