Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases. Depending on your needs, your dentist will design a custom partial denture for you. A partial denture may have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your teeth. Consult with your dentist to find out which type is right for you.
What to expect with new partial dentures:
In the beginning, your new partial denture may feel awkward or bulky. This is normal, and you will eventually become accustomed to wearing it.
Inserting and removing the partial denture will require some practice.
Your denture should fit into place with relative ease. Never force the partial denture into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how long the denture should be worn and when it should be removed.
Initially, wear your partial denture all the time. Although this may be uncomfortable at first, it's the quickest way to identify areas that may need adjustment.
If the denture puts too much pressure on a particular area, that spot will become sore. Your dentist will adjust the partial denture to fit more comfortably.
Eating should be easier with dentures. Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on both sides. Avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard, such as gum.
Partial denture can also help improve your speech. If you find it difficult to pronounce certain words, practice reading out loud. With time, you will become accustomed to speaking properly with your partial denture.
Caring for your dentures
Your dentist can recommend a denture cleaner. Do not use toothpaste since it can be too harsh for cleaning dentures.
Some people use hand soap or mild dish soap to clean their dentures, which are both acceptable. However, most household cleaners are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures.
When cleaning a partial denture, it’s a good idea to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water just in case you accidentally drop the denture.
Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. The helps the denture from becoming permanently stained.
It's best to use a brush that is designed for cleaning dentures because it has bristles that are arranged to fit the shape of the denture. A regular, soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable.
Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture.
Clean your dentures by thoroughly rinsing off loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply the denture cleaner. Brush all denture surfaces gently to avoid damaging the plastic or bending the attachments.
A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water.
Don’t chew, swallow, or gargle with denture cleaners.
Always thoroughly rinse the denture before placing it in your mouth.
Dentures that do not fit properly should be adjusted by your dentist. Poorly fitting dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. See your dentist promptly if your denture becomes loose. Over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, changing the fit of the denture.
You can do serious harm to your denture and to your health by trying to adjust or repair your denture. If your denture breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, call your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the denture be sent to a special dental laboratory.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.
Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD