Care for Full and Partial Dentures
A new denture is a costly investment and needs to be treated with care and common sense. There is nearly always a "break-in" period, during which the new denture will feel a little foreign in the mouth and possibly downright uncomfortable. Following these instructions will make the transition period easier and help to prolong the usefulness of the denture.
Immediate dentures should be left in the mouth without removal for the first 24 hours to act as a splint to control swelling or bleeding.
The denture or partial will be adjusted with pressure sensitive paste at the time of delivery to help prevent sore spots. This does not eliminate all possibility of future potential sore spots, especially with full lower dentures. Expect Some Sore Spots!!! Minor sore spots can be relieved with Benzodent or another type of anodyne ointment. If sore spots persist, leave the denture out for several hours. Gargle with hot salt water several times until the gum feels better. Then, try the denture in again. If this procedure does not relieve the irritation, please call the office for an adjustment. The denture needs to be worn for at least two hours before the appointment, so that Dr. Clark can see where adjustments need to be made by the irritated marks on the gum. Dr. Clark will provide six months worth of free adjustments on all new partials and dentures, so don't be shy. Above all, do not attempt "do-it-yourself” adjustments... no emery boards, no sandpaper, no pliers, no drills, etc ... These kinds of adjustments can be very costly.
Despite advertisements to the contrary, dentures and partials need to be scrubbed to be cleaned properly. A denture toothbrush or a regular toothbrush work fine. Denture toothpaste, regular toothpaste or salt and soda all work fine as cleaning agents. Do not use household cleaners. They will ruin dentures. Scrub dentures over a half-full sink of water or towel, so that if dropped the denture will not break. The denture should be brushed several times a day, preferably after meals.
The gums need about eight hours a day of rest from wearing dentures. This can take place at any time but is most convenient while sleeping. During the eight hours of rest, the denture should be soaked to eliminate odors and odd tastes. Commercial soaking solutions are O.K., but lemon juice and water or vinegar and water work well too. DO NOT use bleach on any denture or partial with a metal framework. A metal framework will turn black when exposed to bleach. A solution of one part regular bleach and ten parts water is great for full acrylic dentures once a month to kill bacteria and odors, but should not be used routinely.
The bone and gum under the denture change a little every day, and generally, bone tends to diminish as the years go by, so the denture fits less snug as time passes. Most new dentures need relining every few years to maintain a snug fit. Dentures that do not fit well reduce bone levels at an increased rate. Don't ignore looseness. Dentures and partials historically last about five to ten years before they need replacement ---- They are not a forever-after permanent replacement.
Eating is usually a little tricky with new dentures, especially if they are the initial dentures. It is especially hard to adjust to Lower dentures. Again, mini-implants in the bone make lower dentures much easier to tolerate. Patients should not expect proficiency in eating chewy foods for several weeks to several months with standard full dentures. Soft, easily swallowed foods should be eaten first, gradually experimenting with more chewy foods as ability advances.
Patience is often required to adjust to new dentures. Mechanical, physiological and psychological factors are all important in almost every denture, and a certain amount of tolerance is necessary to make the adjustment to these foreign objects.
We expect to make adjustments after delivery of the denture. Please call our office when sore spots occur. It is a short visit and we can usually arrange an appointment the same day.
Dr. Guy C. Clark