Unfortunately, many common misconceptions about dentures have prevented people from achieving their best health, appearance and self-confidence. The fact of the matter is that proper denture fit, maintenance and regular dental care can positively impact everyone who wears full or partial dentures. So, check out the following 11 myths. You may be surprised to find out that one or two you have accepted as “fact,” are in fact, “fiction.”
1. Dentures last forever!
While it’s true that dentures are durable, they aren’t any more permanent than eyeglasses. Just as the conditions of the eyes change as you age, so too do the conditions of the mouth. Replacing dentures at regular intervals of five to seven years makes it possible to maintain a healthy natural smile and prevent intraoral deterioration.
This is probably the most common myth about dentures, and it’s wrong for several very important reasons. You should see your Denturist regularly for an oral examination, because your mouth is continually changing. Mouth tissue can reveal signs of diseases. Besides checking your dentures, the Denturist will examine your gum ridges, tongue and jaw joints.
2. Once you have dentures, you don ‘t need to see a denturist any more.
Of course, your dentures need attention, too. Important indicators of their condition are:
- Looseness caused by tissue changes.
- Bad odour caused by absorption of fluid and bacteria.
- Colour change due to age or a reaction to mouth fluids.
- Stains and calculus deposits resulting from mouth fluids.
3. Everyone knows when you’re wearing dentures. It’s embarrassing.
This is true only if your dentures look unnatural or need re-fitting. Many of the “tell-tale” signs of dentures-clicking or slipping, unpleasant odour or stains-are signs of poor fit or improper home maintenance. Regular professional examinations and following your Denturist’s instructions on home care are essential steps in assuring a “natural appearance.”
Confidence in wearing dentures comes from realizing that you have taken a positive step towards improving your health and appearance. Protecting your oral health with properly fitting dentures is a smart move!
4. Denture wearers can’t eat normally, or even speak properly.
While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, many have very few restrictions in their diets. So, if you develop persistent speech or eating problems at any time, have your Denturist check the fit of your denture as soon as possible. Good nutrition is just as important for mature adults as it is for younger persons. Properly fitting dentures may encourage you to eat a varied and well-balanced diet that maximizes your overall health and you’ll be able to enjoy the social benefits that make dining with friends such a pleasant experience.
5. I must use adhesives to make my dentures fit, or I can’t wear them all day.
This is a particularly dangerous myth. Dentures are made to fit precisely and usually do not require regular use of an adhesive for comfort. In an emergency, denture adhesives can be used to keep the dentures stable until you see the Denturist, but prolonged use can mask infections and cause bone loss in the jaw. Likewise, a poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores and tumors. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, see your Denturist immediately.
6. Dentures aren’t like natural teeth; they’re not affected by over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Drugs can affect denture fit and wear ability. For example, certain medications can reduce the supply of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow or chew. So, let your Denturist know of any medications you may be taking regularly – or even occasionally.
7. I have a fixed income. Regular dental care is too expensive.
Before deciding that oral examinations and denture care is too costly, discuss the situation with your Denturist. Be frank. Ask about charges for denture adjustments, repairs and possible replacement. Keep in mind that if you are in your 60s, you are likely to have twenty more years of talking, eating and smiling. Your oral health is a vital part of your total health.
8. I can make my own denture the mouth.
Even if you are a whiz at fixing toasters, leaky pipes or automobiles, do not fry to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Improperly relined dentures can be bulky, causing increased pressure on the jaw and more rapid loss of jawbone. Do-it-yourself relines can also irritate the soft tissues of your mouth. The handyman approach can cause irreparable damage and may result in the need for a new denture
9. I’ll be without teeth for days if I take my denture to the denturist for refitting or repair.
Advances in modem techniques make it possible for your Denturist to reline or repair dentures quickly right in the office. If you let your Denturist know that you need a denture repair or reline, the correction can frequently be made on the same day, within a few hours.
10. I need to replace my denture, but don’t want to go through a long adjustment period again.
The first time is always the hardest. You’re a pro now. You’ve learned the basics about eating, speaking and wearing a denture. There will be some adjustment, but it will probably be shorter and easier than the first time. And it is important! Prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures can irritate the gums, tongue and cheek, and even cause the ridges of your mouth to shrink to the point where it will almost be impossible to fit you with normal dentures. Your ability to chew may decrease, and your face may acquire deep ageing lines and wrinkles. When you look at the big picture, the temporary adjustment period isn’t so bad.
11. All dentures are the same.
When your dentures are made by a Denturist, you are in the hands of a person who specializes only in the making of dentures. All phases of the service are performed by the same operator, on site, resulting in an accurate and personalized denture product. Services are at very reasonable costs.