Wearing dentures can offer a fresh start for individuals who’ve lost their natural teeth. Whether due to age, trauma, or dental issues, dentures can restore a smile and functionality. However, many denture wearers frequently encounter the challenge of loose dentures or the fear of dentures falling. It’s a valid concern, but it’s entirely manageable with the right guidance from a dental prosthetist and proper care routines.
What are Dentures and Their Function?
Conventional dentures are custom-made prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth to provide both functional and aesthetic benefits. Crafted meticulously to match the natural appearance of teeth, they are commonly made from acrylic or metal materials.
Dentures restore the appearance of a full set of teeth and play a crucial role in daily activities like eating and speaking. They aid in properly distributing forces during chewing, ensuring no undue pressure is exerted on the gums or remaining natural teeth.
Moreover, they help maintain facial structure by supporting the cheeks and lips, preventing them from sagging due to tooth loss. It’s important to understand that dentures, while durable, aren’t permanent fixtures and might need adjustments or replacements over time for optimal function.
Understanding the Causes of Loose Dentures
Dentures are designed to be a snug fit initially, but over time, various factors might cause them to become loose:
The absence of natural teeth can lead to bone resorption. In this process, the jawbone diminishes in volume and recedes, impacting the fit of dentures. This occurrence is a natural consequence of tooth loss, and its effects can be more pronounced in those without natural teeth to stimulate the jawbone.
Changes in Bony Architecture:
As we age, the bony structure of our faces can change. Elements like cheekbone volume, the jawbone’s shape, and the mouth’s contours might shift, creating challenges for previously well-fitting dentures.
Narrow or Flat Jaws:
Some individuals have naturally narrow or flat jaw structures. This characteristic can make it inherently difficult to achieve a persistent snug fit for dentures, leading to potential movement or slipping.
Saliva plays a pivotal role in ensuring dentures stay in place. A decrease in saliva production, often due to certain medications, ageing, or specific health conditions, can diminish the natural suction that helps hold dentures.
Ways to Keep Your Dentures Secure
To combat the challenges of loose-fitting dentures, consider these strategies:
These are products specially designed to enhance the grip between the dentures and the gums. They come in several forms – from powders to wafers to pastes. Creating a bond between the denture and gum offers a firmer and more secure fit.
As the shape and structure of your mouth evolve, so must your dentures. Relining is a process where the dental prosthetist adds a fresh resin layer to the denture’s inner surface, ensuring it conforms to the new shape of your gums and mouth.
Maintaining the hygiene of your dentures is paramount. Clean them with dedicated denture cleaners and hot water. Steer clear of household cleaners or boiling water, which can damage or deform dentures. Post-cleaning, it’s a best practice to let them soak overnight in water to maintain their shape.
Adjusting to life with dentures requires some dietary changes, especially initially. Begin with softer foods and consume them in smaller morsels. Speak slowly as well. As you grow more confident and accustomed to your dentures, you can move from soft foods to tougher foods.
Your dental prosthetist is critical in ensuring your dentures serve you well. Regular appointments will allow them to inspect the dentures for signs of wear, potential fit issues, and general health. Depending on their assessment, they might suggest adjustments, relining, or even a replacement to ensure continued comfort and functionality.
What to Avoid When Using Dentures
Venturing into self-adjustments might seem like a quick solution to an ill-fitting denture, but it’s fraught with pitfalls. The materials and design of dentures are special and specific. When you attempt a home fix, there’s a substantial risk of causing irreparable damage to the denture.
This not only compromises the structure but can lead to an even poorer fit, which might cause discomfort or sores in your mouth. Always seek adjustments from a professional dental prosthetist to ensure the longevity and efficacy of your dentures.
While toothpaste is perfect for natural teeth, it’s not the best choice for cleaning dentures. Many toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients designed to scrub away plaque and stains from natural teeth. However, when used on dentures, these abrasive particles can create micro-scratches on the surface, making them more susceptible to stain and bacteria build-up over time. Instead, using cleaners specifically formulated for dentures is recommended, ensuring they remain clean without causing any damage.
Eating Sticky or Hard Foods:
New denture wearers often need time to become familiar with their new appliance. Sticky foods like caramels or gum can adhere to the dentures, causing them to shift or even come out, leading to potential embarrassment.
Hard foods, on the other hand, exert pressure on the dentures and can cause them to crack or break if bitten incorrectly. While dentures tend to be durable, they aren’t invulnerable. It’s essential, especially in the early stages, to be mindful of what you eat and how you eat it.
Adhesive Application Tips for Secure Dentures
Denture adhesives can play a crucial role in enhancing the stability of your dentures, giving you confidence in social situations or when eating. To maximise their effectiveness, consider the following steps:
Clean and Dry Your Dentures Thoroughly:
Before applying any adhesive, ensuring your dentures are clean and dry is paramount. A clean surface ensures optimal adherence, while a dry surface prevents dilution of the adhesive, ensuring it retains its tackiness and hold.
Applying the Adhesive:
Less is often more when it comes to denture adhesives. Applying too much can cause oozing and make your dentures feel unstable. It’s best to apply a thin layer or place small dots of adhesive evenly across the denture for an even and secure hold.
Secure the Denture:
After applying the adhesive, press your false teeth firmly against your gums and hold for a few moments. This ensures they’re adequately positioned and allows the adhesive to bond properly.
Once your dentures fit securely, refrain from eating or drinking for a short period. This pause ensures the adhesive sets well and is not washed away or diluted.
The Role of Dental Prosthetists
A dental prosthetist is pivotal in ensuring that your dentures fit well. They are trained in designing and fitting dentures to the unique contours of each patient’s mouth. Remember, no two mouths are the same, so what works for one person might not work for another. From taking precise impressions to advising on the best adhesive options, they ensure that your new dentures provide a solid foundation and fit snugly.
Furthermore, as you experience changes in your mouth’s bony architecture or face challenges like nerve damage, your dental prosthetist will be your go-to professional to guide you through the solutions and remedies. Regular visits ensure minor adjustments can be made before they become significant issues.
Life with dentures doesn’t have to be a series of discomforts or embarrassing moments. You can smile, eat, and speak confidently with the right care, knowledge, and partnership with a skilled dental prosthetist. Remember that dentures, like real teeth, require attention and care. With time and patience, you’ll master the art of keeping them secure and comfortable.
Contact Custom Denture Clinic Today
If you’ve been facing challenges with your dentures or simply want a professional’s guidance to ensure they always fit perfectly, don’t hesitate. At Custom Denture Clinic, our expert dental prosthetists are here to help. Rediscover the joy of a confident smile; contact us today to schedule an appointment.