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Adjusting to Life With Your New Full or Partial Dentures

Author: The American College of Prosthodontists

You've just been told you need dentures and, like most people in your position, you're unsure and probably nervous about what to expect. Change is never easy, especially when it involves something as personal as your mouth. If you're like most people 40 and older, you place a lot of importance on your smile because you believe it is the first thing that people notice about you. Your fears are not uncommon and many of the patients we see who need dentures express the same concerns. To assist you through this process, we've developed a few tips to help you adjust to your new life with dentures.

First, know that you're not alone. Many people older than 40 are missing multiple teeth and have a full or partial denture, which means someone you know may be going through the same transition as you and may not even be aware of it. That's because dentures aren't as noticeable as you may think. Dentures can be made to closely resemble the look of your natural teeth so there is little change in appearance.

When you first start wearing dentures, you may find pronouncing certain words may require practice, but reading out loud and repeating troublesome words helps. If you notice your dentures "click" while you're talking, speak slower.

Your new dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you get used to them. The dentures may also feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. This feeling will fade as your mouth becomes accustomed to your new dentures. However, during this time, you may want to consider using a small amount of denture adhesive to help keep your dentures in place.

You also may find your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. To fix this problem just reposition your dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. This is another instance where a small amount of denture adhesive may come in handy. It will help keep your dentures in place and make it easier to speak clearly and avoid any embarrassing denture slips. However, if you continue to experience issues with your dentures, be sure to consult your dentist or prosthodontist.

To get more helpful information about dentures and how to gain confidence during the adjustment period, including additional tips from the American College of Prosthodontists' panel of experts, explore this site.

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