Living with Dentures. Part 2


Getting used to the look and feel of dentures

New dentures can feel uncomfortable or loose in the mouth, and it takes time for the muscles of the mouth, cheeks, and tongue to adapt to the presence of new dentures. Some people also experience increased salivation or pain when getting used to new dentures, but these sensations and the learning curve of inserting, removing, and cleaning dentures are eventually overcome.

Dentures are designed to replicate the natural teeth, so they should make little change to your appearance if they are replacing natural teeth. If the dentures are filling in for missing teeth, they will likely improve your appearance.

Adapting to suitable foods

A new denture wearer will need to start with soft food in small pieces, making sure to alternate sides of the mouth when chewing to become fully familiar with the dentures. Gradually, more challenging foods can be undertaken, but it’s always wise to avoid hard things such as bones and shells, as well as avoiding sticky foods and chewing gum. And don’t use your dentures as nutcrackers!


Speaking with dentures

As with other aspects of having dentures, learning to speak naturally and to articulate clearly will require some adaptation, but time will overcome these obstacles. If however, loose-fitting dentures impair speech, or make clicking noises, they will need adjustment.

Denture adhesives

When to use or not use denture adhesives

Denture adhesives are particularly useful with wearers whose mouths are inordinately dry, a condition that can result from numerous types of medications, among other conditions. Adhesives are also a good idea for those with demanding denture needs, such as singers or athletes.

Adhesives should not be used as a solution to poorly-fitting dentures, or for those who are unable to maintain their own oral hygiene unless they are receiving personal care assistance.

Choosing and using denture adhesives

If your dentures are not seated on implants, you might wish to use one of a selection of denture adhesive options: paste, powder, or strips.


In all cases, less is more when using denture adhesives. If a small amount of adhesive does not help, or makes things worse, that is an indication that the fit of the denture itself is poor, and that the denture itself needs adjustment or re-lining. Adhesives should be applied to thoroughly clean dentures, and into a clean mouth. Reapplication at points in the day may be necessary, but should not need to be frequent.

Adhesive manufacturers supply detailed instructions with their products on proper use; those instructions should be followed.

Care and cleaning


Whatever the type of denture, diligent cleaning is essential to preserve a fresh mouth, to enable dental adhesives to be fully effective, and to prevent tooth decay in any remaining natural teeth. Cleaning involves removing the denture or dentures from the mouth, rinsing away food, removing any old adhesives from the denture (dedicated denture cleaners can help here), and completely cleaning the denture on all surfaces. Use only proper dental cleaners: others can be damaging to dentures, being too abrasive, or unsuited to the denture’s materials. If you are cleaning a partial denture, it remains essential to also properly clean any natural teeth in your mouth, just as if no partial existed. Denture cleaning can be done periodically through the day, and when the dentures are removed for sleeping at night.

At night, dentures—complete or partial—must soak in clean water to prevent them drying out or warping. Appropriate dental cleaning agent can be added to the soaking water, but if the dentures have been thoroughly cleaned, this may by unnecessary.

denture in glass

Removing dentures at night also allows rest for the gums and jaws, and protects the dentures against damage from tooth grinding while sleeping.

Take care not to drop or bend dentures when they are out of your mouth. Although they are designed to withstand the force of chewing, they are not necessarily strong against unintended stresses.

Elderly or disabled people may need assistance with proper cleaning of dentures, but the success of the dentures depends on the best cleaning possible.

Monitoring the state of your dentures and your mouth

Part of having dentures requires monitoring their fit and function over time. They require more attention than natural teeth, as their effectiveness declines over time unless they are refitted to changes in the mouth. Regular dental assessments are a part of wearing dentures. [Sherway Gardens Dental Centre][] can advise you on selection, use, maintenance, and adjustment of your dentures.

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