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Adjusting to Dentures: Timeline and Helpful Tips

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If you’re wondering, “how long does it take to get used to dentures?” or seeking tips on “getting used to dentures,” you’re in the right place. Transitioning to dentures is a significant change, and it’s perfectly normal to have questions and concerns along the way.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the timeline of adjusting to dentures and provide invaluable tips to help you navigate this journey with ease and confidence. Whether you’re a new denture wearer or supporting a loved one through this process, we’re here to offer practical advice and reassurance every step of the way. So, let’s dive in and explore how to make the transition to dentures as smooth as possible.

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to Dentures?

Adjusting to dentures varies from person to person, influenced by factors like individual tolerance, oral health, and the type of dentures used. Generally, it takes time for the mouth to adapt to the presence of dentures, with the initial adjustment period spanning several weeks to months.

When starting to use dentures, your mouth (tongue, cheeks and lips) need to adapt to this external element that has a new shape, position and it can move if is not properly secured in place by dental adhesive or suction. This adjustment period may involve sensations of discomfort, increased salivation, and difficulty speaking or eating until your oral muscles and tissues acclimate to the presence of the dentures. With time and practice, these challenges typically diminish as you become more accustomed to wearing them.

A 30-Day Plan for Acclimating to Your New Dentures

Understanding the acclimation process can help ease the transition to wearing dentures. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during the first 30 days, the most important period for adjusting to this new dental appliance and ensuring a comfortable fit and functionality.:

The First Day
The First Day

On the initial day of wearing dentures, sensations of discomfort and unfamiliarity are common. Focus on wearing them for short intervals, gradually increasing wear time as you become more accustomed.

Regarding foods and beverages, choose soft foods like soups, smashed potatoes, puddings and even ice cream that can help you reduce inflammation. It’s crucial to choose foods that are gentle on your gums.

Days 2 to 14
Days 2 to 14

During this period, your mouth will begin to adapt to the presence of dentures. Continue consuming softer foods and avoid overly sticky or hard foods that may dislodge the dentures. Practice speaking and chewing slowly to build confidence and comfort.

Sore spots might start to appear but, don’t worry, it’s completely normal. To help you avoid discomfort and help your gums cure faster, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If you still experience discomfort and sores spots persist longer than two weeks, consult your dentist.

Days 15 to 29
Days 15 to 29

As you approach the halfway mark, you'll likely notice improvements in comfort and functionality. Continue to wear your dentures for longer periods, ensuring proper hygiene and maintenance. Incorporate more diverse foods into your diet, gradually testing your dentures' capabilities. Still, don’t eat hard or sticky foods. During this period, if your mouth has finished the healing process, you can try to use denture adhesive.

The Thirtieth Day
The Thirtieth Day

By the end of the first month, you should feel significantly more comfortable with your dentures. Celebrate this milestone and reflect on your progress. If any persistent issues persist, consult your dentist for denture adjustments or guidance.

Don't feel discouraged if your mouth isn't fully healed or if you're still adjusting to dentures. Every patient's experience is unique, and it's important to remember that your progress isn't a reflection of your abilities.

Advice on Getting Used to Dentures

Navigating the denture adjustment period requires patience and perseverance. Here are some tips to aid in the process:

Take it Slow and Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is denture comfort. Allow yourself time to adapt, avoiding frustration and setting realistic expectations. As we have mentioned before, each patient has a different process and progress; don’t let that worry you.

Take things slowly, not only regarding time, but also when eating and speaking. To get used to dentures when eating, try to take small bites by cutting your food into small pieces and always choose soft foods, at least at the very beginning of your journey. The main problem of eating and speaking is the motion of dentures, but you’ll get accustomed to it.

Practice Pronouncing Words or Sing to Adjust

Speech may initially feel altered with dentures. Practice pronouncing challenging words or sing along to your favorite tunes to improve speech clarity and confidence. The most recommended exercises to recover your speech capabilities are:

All these exercises must be performed out loud as it will help you notice your improvement. Besides, doing the exercises in front of the mirror can also give you a bunch of information about how you talk with dentures.

In the following video, the user Something Fishie, a denture user, explaining 4 exercises that help her a lot to get used to dentures. She mentions that she had great difficulty saying the letter ‘S’ and dealing with the increased salivation, but she found a way to talk naturally.

Engage Your Facial Muscles

Dentures rely on facial muscles for support and stability. Incorporate exercises to strengthen these muscles, enhancing denture retention and comfort. Some of the most recommended exercises (both by dental professionals and denture users) are the following:

  1. Tongue exercises: At the beginning, dentures move A LOT and how we use our tongue is crucial to get used to the movement but also retaining the dentures in one place.
  2. Daily speech practice: This exercise involves lip closure and pronunciation and, as well as help you speak more effectively with dentures, it also improves your facial muscles retention.
  3. Mouth stretching: this will give your muscles strength to avoid your denture from falling and maintaining it in your mouth.
  4. Jaw and mouth relaxation: learning how to relax is key to help you avoid discomfort and talk more confidently.
  5. Tongue exercises: these will help you make your speech and articulation easier and clearer.

Exercises for facial muscle engagement include:

If you want some simple exercises that can be done daily, these three can help you a lot when getting used to dentures:

Explore the Use of a Denture Adhesive

If experiencing persistent slippage or discomfort, consider using a denture adhesive for added security. Consult your dentist for recommendations and proper application techniques.

And if you are already using a denture adhesive, but it’s not working as expected, check our list of the best denture adhesive for you.

Conclusion

Adapting to dentures for back teeth requires patience, perseverance, and a proactive approach. By understanding the denture adjustment timeline and implementing practical strategies, you can navigate the transition with confidence.

Regarding ‘how long does it take to get used to dentures’, it normally takes a month or so to get used to dentures, but it depends on your own situation as every patient is different. You can always speed up the process by following the tips listed in this article, but if after a month you are still adapting, don’t worry.

Remember to consult your dentist for personalized guidance and support throughout your denture journey.

Sources

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