How to Navigate Your New Life With Dentures


Embarking on a new chapter with removable dentures can be tough at first, but like with anything, will become easier over time. Whether you’re considering dentures for the first time or have recently embraced them, know that our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists are here for you with advice and practical tips so you can smile boldly.

Here’s what you need to know about wearing dentures.

What’s the Typical Adjustment Time for Dentures?

The majority of patients who have received new dentures find that it takes about 30 days to feel the most comfortable. Now, if you only have a partial denture that has replaced a few teeth instead of a full arch, your timeline may be quicker. Inserting and removing the appliance will still take some practice regardless of the type of dentures you have.

It’s natural to experience soreness, excessive salivation, and tight facial muscles during the first few weeks that you start wearing dentures. By day 14, these side effects should have lessened and regular activities like eating may start to become easier. Don’t feel discouraged, however, if eating or speaking still feels awkward at this point.

If your discomfort remains constant throughout this time, please let our dentists know. We’ll ask that you come into our Ann Arbor, MI, dental office so we can take a look and make adjustments as necessary to improve your comfort level.

As You Wear Your Dentures, Remember That:

1) Being Patient With Yourself Is Key

Getting used to dentures can feel slow and frustrating at times. That’s perfectly normal as they’re not something you can become accustomed to overnight. Because of this, the main thing our dentists want you to keep in mind is patience.

You’ll need to set realistic expectations and not be so hard on yourself. Dentures are a new dental appliance that requires practice when it comes to speaking and eating. In the beginning, our dentists recommend taking smaller bites of soft foods that are much easier to chew. Do not immediately try to go for an apple or something “difficult”.

You can also give your gums and jaw a rest by periodically taking your dentures out every few hours. If you do this, just be sure to put them back in place for the rest of the day. They can remain out while you’re sleeping but will need to be submerged in water or a denture cleanser to stay hydrated.

2) It’s Helpful to Practice With Phrases or Songs

Speaking with new dentures may feel a little clunky. A good way to get over the “full” or unnatural feeling is to practice. Repeat words or phrases of varying difficulty out loud in front of a mirror to get your mouth used to having the dentures in place. Doing this a few times each day will make it easier in the long run.

Aside from talking, singing along to a song also helps you learn to form certain words better. Turn on your favorite music and have a little fun as part of your practice. If you sing smooth, fluid phrases slowly, that also helps with word formation.

3) Some Time Can Be Spent Training Facial Muscles 

Who said the muscles in your cheeks were exempt from exercise? If you want control while eating, it’s best to build up these muscles to relieve cheek pain in the first few weeks you have your dentures.

Our dentists recommend trying the following facial exercises:

  • Smiling really wide for at least 10 seconds several times a day.
  • Open your mouth slightly but keep your upper lip relaxed. Wrinkle your nose and flare your nostrils in an exaggerated motion. Finally, pull your top lip up and hold this for 10 seconds. Release and repeat a few more times.
  • Practice other expressions in the mirror (silly, angry, etc.) to normalize your new appearance and give the muscles in your face extra to work on.

4) There’s No Shame In Using an Adhesive

Irritation felt early on with dentures can be reduced with a dental cream or adhesive. The main thing to remember with products of this nature is that they shouldn’t become a crutch. If your dentures aren’t fitting correctly, please let our dentists know and we’ll do what we can to remedy the situation. We can also talk about possible dental implants in the future if you decide keeping up with denture care is too much for you.

Ask Our Dentists About Dentures 

Ultimately, full and partial dentures from our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, demand patience, care, and a positive mindset, but it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s experience is unique and adjustments take time. If you’d like to get started with dentures or have questions along the way, call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 to request an appointment.