Living with a missing tooth or teeth can be physically challenging and emotionally distressing. Dentures are removable; artificial replacements are worn to replace missing teeth and restore your smile and your confidence. There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. In patients who are missing only some teeth, partials are used to fill in the gaps. When it is necessary for a complete replacement of all teeth, then a full denture would be used.
Most patients adjust to their dentures within about two weeks or less, but some patients may take a little longer. Initially, patients will wear dentures for a certain period each day to allow their gums to become used to the sensations and pressures associated with denture wear. For the best adjustment experience, patients should adhere closely to the instructions during the breaking-in period to avoid developing sore spots that can interfere with eating, speaking and general comfort. Reading aloud as much as possible can also help patients get used to speaking with their dentures in place.
Whether a patient is fitted with a partial or full denture, the dentures require proper care to maintain their appearance as well as overall dental health. There are a number of steps to follow for quality care of dentures. First, dentures should be removed and rinsed after eating. The mouth should also be cleaned at this time. Dentures should be brushed at least once a day and removed and soaked overnight, then rinsed before being put back into the mouth. Special cleaning materials are available and abrasive cleansers like whitening toothpaste, and bleaching products should be avoided. Dental check-ups will still be necessary to monitor the health of the gums and soft tissue of the mouth. Dentures should always be handled carefully.
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