Post denture instructions

A complete denture education program for denture wearers

Post denture instructions includes-

  • The nature of complete dentures
  • The 1st oral feelings
  • The problem of excess saliva
  • Speech difficulties
  • Eating suggestions
  • Proper tongue positions
  • The importance of tissue health
  • The proper cleaning of complete dentures
  • The danger of do-it-yourself corrections

The nature of dentures

Your lost Natural teeth had roots which were housed in the bone making you chew on tough food items.

On the other hand, dentures can cope with the limited amount of forces as they rest on wet, slippery mucosa housing the bone.

 Patients with teeth have an acute proprioceptive system; they are able to detect minute variations in movement as well as differences is size, location, and texture.

 Denture patients, on the other hand, have lost their “tooth guidance mechanism”.

A great deal of the success rests with the patient’s ability to understand the basic problems associated with complete dentures and to overcome or compensate for them.

First oral feelings

You are entitled with a mirror to look into, as soon as you get your dentures.

You are definitely going to get the feeling of fullness while wearing it for the first time. There are two reasons for this; 1st, the dentist wants to take advantage of as much tissue area as possible to aid in stabilization, retention and the distribution of chewing forces, thus the new denture may be slightly larger than the old denture.2nd, any small changes in denture contour tend to be perceived by the mouth as bulk or excess.

But you don’t have to worry about it. This feeling will go on its own in a couple of days.

Excess saliva

New dentures are often interpreted as foreign objects by your oral system.

This leads to a stimulation of salivary glands to produce saliva.

If the flow is excessive, you may feel like dentures are floating and a general excess of watery saliva.

You don’t have to worry about it, as this happens initially. This overactive flow of saliva is a normal body mechanism and it will be reduced over the next few weeks.

You should avoid spitting or compulsive rinsing during this time since it will lead to unsettling of your dentures.


First few days initially, you might face communication difficulties. This is due to the feeling of bulkiness and excess salivation.

Speaking may become uncoordinated during rapid sensation. This will overcome with a routine speaking practice. You should read a book while at home.

Speech with reading practice quickly assumes a natural tone and fluency.


It is important for you to know that chewing is not random, but an intentional and selective activity.

Your eating skills must be slowly developed and refined.

You should begin chewing relatively soft food that has been cut into small pieces.

If the chewing can be done on both sides of the mouth at the same time, the tendency of the dentures to tip will be reduced.

During this early period, you are advised to eat simple types of food such as crackers, soft toast, or chopped meat and eating hard food items are strictly prohibited.

First-time denture wearers are advised to eat food that requires little chewing

Tip for chewing is swallowing with a simple push of the tongue against the palate. This will stabilize the denture.

While biting with dentures, place the food between the teeth toward the corners of the mouth, rather than between the anterior teeth. Then the food should be pushed inward and upward to break it apart rather than downward and outward as would be done if natural teeth were present. Inward and upward forces tend to seat the dentures on the residual ridges rather than displace them.

Learning to chew satisfactorily with new dentures usually requires at least 6 to 8 weeks.

Once the habit patterns become automatic, the chewing process can take place without conscious effort.

Tongue position

Most common problem you come across is loosening of lower denture. The position of the tongue is very important for the stability of your denture.

Positioning of the tongue farther forward to rest on the lower front teeth dislodge the lower denture.

You must practice opening and closing while the tongue assumes a normal position.

It is important, for the dentist, as well as for the patient to realize that a tongue position creates a problem and no denture adjustment or relining procedure will correct it.

Maintaining tissue health

There are 3 factors involved in the maintenance of healthy edentulous oral tissues:

A. Adequate tissue rest

B. Proper denture hygiene and

C. The cleansing of oral tissues

Adequate tissue rest

Removing the upper and lower dentures before sleeping serves 2 purposes:

– It provides a convenient time for soaking the dentures in a cleaning solution.

–  It allows oral tissues to rest.

Adequate rest allows the oral tissues to affect the daily stresses upon them by denture wearing.

Failure to allow the tissue to recover from these forces may result in increased sores and irritation.

Additionally, many people clench and brux during sleep. These can be powerful movements that can severely damage the underlying foundation.

 Removal of one or both of the dentures will eliminate this potential hazard.

Complete denture hygiene


You can use a wide variety of agents for cleaning artificial dentures. In approximate order of preference, these include:

1. Dentifrices

2. Proprietary denture cleansers

3. Mild detergents

4. House hold cleansers

5. Bleaches and vinegar.

Both immersion and brushing techniques are used with these materials.

The most common commercial denture cleansers use immersion techniques.

 These cleansers are marketed in powder and tablet forms.

Immersion agent contain

(1) Alkaline compounds

(2) Detergent

(3) Sodium perborate and

(4) Flavouring agents

When dissolved in water, sodium perborate decomposes to form an alkaline peroxide solution. This peroxide solution subsequently releases oxygen, which is reported to loosen debris via mechanical means.

House hold bleaches can also be used as denture cleansers these are in expensive, safe and as effective as commercial cleansers. The formula is:

1 table spoon (15 cc) sodium hypochlorite (house hold bleach)

1 teaspoon (4cc) calgon

4 ounces (114cc) water

This cleaning solution should only be used for acrylic dentures with porcelain teeth.

It is not recommended for any prosthesis, containing cr-co (a) other metals as the sodium hypochloride may pit, (or) corrode the metal.

The sodium hypochlorite provides a bleaching action that, when used in the above concentration, does not affect the color stability of the resin, denture base or teeth. The weak sodium hypochlorite solution is also an affective germicidal agent Calgon: a water softener provides a detergent action that effectively softens and loosens food debris.

You should thoroughly brush your dentures with a soft brush under running water after chemical soaking. This ensures that the entire chemical cleaner is removed from the denture prior to insertion.

To effectively remove calculus over night soaking with 4 ounces (114 cc) white vinegar is recommended. The solution of vinegar provides a safe concentration of acetic acid which decalcifies calculus deposits.

Mechanical cleaning

The use of a brush soap or denture cleaning paste and water is a very popular method of cleaning complete denture.

If you are interested in knowing cleaning dentures at home, read our article HOW TO CLEAN DENTURES AT HOME

 Gentle brushing with a soft denture brush and a nonabrasive detergent is an effective cleaning method especially when combined with overnight soaking.

Sonic cleaners

They are relatively new denture accessory. They employ vibratory energy (not ultra sonic energy) to clean dentures.

Tissue hygiene and massage

Gentle brushing a nibbling of your ridges with a washed cloth removes plaque and food debris which can cause or exacerbate areas of local irritation.

The best regimen should include denture brushing and tissue cleansing.

 The loss of taste perception often associated with older age groups and denture wearers can be markedly improved by thorough oral hygiene including tongue cleaning.

Potential danger of do-it-yourself corrections

There are a variety of pathologic changes commonly seen under the home-relined denture.

The most common tissue change is inflammation.

Acute reactions range from erythema to ulceration.

If present over a long period of time, this chronic inflammation leads to severe bone resorption.

 Palatal petechiae and papillary hyperplasia are common in the palate of such patients.

The open palatal area that is present in many relining pads may contribute to papillomatosis.

If there are rough edges and over extension on the denture periphery after home refitting, epulis may develop.

The porous nature and large voids promote staining and increased colonization of microorganisms, notably Candida albicans (fungus).

In addition to the pathologic pressure areas that home relining creates the do – it yourself refitting may also create a dangerous discrepancy in the position of the denture.

 Not only do the reline materials and adherent add thickness to the denture base, thereby increasing vertical dimensions, but they also can disrupt the proper horizontal relationship of the denture as well.

The immediate effect of the loss of these two important relationships is a malocclusion.

The perpetuation of the situation leads to tissue soreness, inflammation and accelerated bone loss.

Each of these repairs poses a different danger if attempted by the untrained patient. Most of these types of repairs are unsightly and can result in a malpositioned tooth and anterior prematurities.

The home repaired posterior tooth can result in a premature contact and bilateral disharmony.

The most dangerous repair is the broken denture flange or fractured denture base. This type of home repair can result in a misalignment of the fragments unequal pressure on the denture foundation and a malocclusion.

The problem with home adjustment is that patients invariably have difficulty in locating the offending area and have no Judgment in knowing how much to relieve the denture base.

You must keep in mind before attempting these stunts that inoperable damage can be done if these adjustments are attempted outside the dental office.

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