First week with dentures: Adjusting and overcoming stigma

Congratulations on your new dentures! It’s normal to feel a little discomfort in the first week, as your mouth is adjusting to something new. Everyone’s experience is different, so don’t worry if it feels strange at first.

Some people might have a perfect fit right away, while others may need to make adjustments to get the correct fit. If you experience discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist to make the necessary changes.

Aside from the well-known problems faced by denture wearers, like comfort issues, jawbone loss, and daily cleaning requirements, dentures are also associated with emotional and psychological problems. This could perhaps be due to the hope and expectations of getting dentures, while still dealing with the pain of losing natural teeth.

People who have undergone other dental procedures like bleachingimplants, or bridge work are more likely to discuss their treatment with family and friends following its completion. Denture wearers, on the other hand, are unlikely to discuss their new dentures.

So, what physical, social, emotional, mental adjustments can you expect to make over the first couple of weeks?

dentures first week

Expectations when getting dentures

According to a recent study, a patient’s satisfaction with dentures is closely linked to their ability to adapt to wearing them. Patients generally tend to expect dentures to be pain-free, enable them to talk, chew, and improve their appearance.

But at the same time, most of them are generally prepared to accept the limitations of dentures as long as those limitations are explained to them. It is important to set realistic expectations and inform patients about the potential challenges of denture treatment.

Dentist’s attitude 

The attitude of the dentist plays a significant role in the adaptive process and patient satisfaction. Building a trusting relationship with patients from the beginning, explaining the limitations and possibilities of denture treatment, and addressing patient concerns with patience and acceptance are crucial before commencing denture treatment.

Dentists should avoid labeling patients as “difficult” and instead show understanding and empathy towards their concerns. This approach fosters a positive adaptation process and contributes to higher satisfaction rates.

Overall, it’s important to ensure effective communication, managing patient expectations, and providing support throughout the denture treatment process. Dentists who establish a positive and supportive relationship with their patients tend to achieve higher levels of patient satisfaction with dentures.

The stigma of wearing dentures

recent survey revealed that 63 percent of denture wearers try to keep their dentures a secret from their siblings, friends, or other people. The survey also showed that 59 percent believe that dentures are only for seniors, despite the fact that 53 percent of the respondents first started wearing dentures before reaching 44 years, with many needing dentures in their 20s and 30s.

Additionally, many people admitted that wearing dentures affected their career and networking because they did not want to attend interviews, avoided social situations, or simply refused to smile.

What is evident from these survey findings is that adjusting to wearing dentures can be a difficult process for some, affecting their self-esteem and confidence. This often spills over into many areas of the person’s life that non-denture wearers may take for granted, like eating, smiling, talking, and kissing.

Overcoming the social Stigma

First, it is important to note that dentures are not just for the senior citizens. They are a great solution for restoring missing teeth due to accidents, sports injuries, tumors, birth defects like cleft palates, or even neglect.

Secondly, dentures were traditionally provided to replace missing teeth and restore normal function like eating and speaking. These dentures were bulky, difficult to get used to, and were often too obvious, since achieving a natural look was not a priority.

Fortunately, advances in technology have led to the development of natural looking prosthetic teeth. These teeth, combined with up-to-date techniques that tint both the teeth and gums and offer a seamless fit into your mouth, ultimately provide a more natural feel and appearance.

A modern denture that is done right through proper denture design, so the length and tooth positioning enhances your aesthetic appearance and creates a more confident look, can put to rest the notion that dentures are old-fashioned and only for aging people.

Going back to work

Going back to work with new dentures can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people. Some individuals may feel self-conscious about their appearance, speech, or ability to eat, while others may feel more confident and open about their dentures.

The decision to tell others about your new dentures is a personal one, and it’s best to do what feels right for you.

Some new denture wearers take time off work to adjust to their new set of teeth, while others may be comfortable returning to work right away. It’s important to speak with your dentist about any necessary time off and when you feel comfortable going out.

When it comes to telling people about your new dentures, opinions vary. Some wearers are very open about their experience, while others keep it a secret. Sharing with family and close friends can provide a sense of support, while others may prefer to keep it private.

Adjusting to dentures takes time

During the first few weeks, you’ll be conscious of your dentures, but it’s important to have faith that you’ll get used to them. With time and patience, they will start to feel more natural, and before you know it, you’ll forget that you’re wearing them.

You might notice temporary changes in the way you talk, such as a lisp or difficulty forming certain sounds, but these issues will also improve with time and practice.

First 24 Hours

  • Dentures should not be removed during the first 24 hours to allow the gums to heal.
  • Dentures act as a bandaid during the first day, so you may even need to wear them to bed.
  • Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese as the extraction site will be sore.

First 2 Weeks

  • Sore spots may develop during the first few days of wearing dentures.
  • Gum tissue may contract as it heals, so multiple visits may be necessary for the dentures to fit comfortably.
  • After two weeks, you will notice fewer sore spots and less saliva.
  • Read aloud from your favorite book to improve speech with dentures.

After 30 Days

  • You should be used to your dentures after the first month.
  • The fit of your dentures may change over time due to gum tissue or wear and tear.
  • If your dentures no longer fit comfortably, contact your dentist to have them adjusted.

Eating with dentures for the first week

As a new denture wearer, adjusting to eating with dentures may take some time. Here are some tips to help you through the first week:

  • Cold foods, such as popsicles and ice cream, can be very helpful in reducing swelling and soothing sore gums.
  • During the first week, it is important to consume soft but nutritious foods such as soups, puddings, mashed potatoes, and beans.
  • To make your favorite foods easier to eat, you may need to adapt your cooking methods. Consider baking or steaming instead of frying.
  • Initially, you may need to avoid some foods that are harder to eat with dentures. However, with time and practice, you can gradually build up to eating a wider variety of foods.

Conscious of your dentures

Some people may feel self-conscious about wearing dentures, but remember that millions of people wear them every day. Don’t let any stigma or embarrassment hold you back from enjoying your life to the fullest.

If you’re feeling self-conscious:

  • Try reading out loud from a book to improve your speech and get used to the feel of talking with dentures, as well as how you sound with them. You can also practice talking to yourself in front of a mirror to build up your confidence.
  • If you’re still having trouble speaking or feeling comfortable with your dentures, talk to your dentist. They may be able to adjust the fit or offer suggestions for improving your comfort level.
  • While it can take some time to adjust to dentures, remember that they are there to help you feel confident and comfortable with your smile. Embrace your new teeth and be proud of the positive changes they’ve brought to your life.
  • Consider joining a support group or talking to friends or family members who have also gone through the process of adjusting to dentures. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can help you feel less alone and more supported.

Lastly, remember that adjusting to dentures takes time, and it’s normal to feel self-conscious during the first few weeks or months.

Preparing yourself for dentures

Preparing for dentures can be a daunting experience, but with the right mindset and preparation, it can be much smoother.

One important step to take is to empower yourself by making sure you know exactly what’s going to happen on the day of the procedure. Your dentist should explain everything thoroughly, from what you should expect to feel during the procedure, to what type of pain medications you’ll need for aftercare.

If you’re feeling anxious leading up to the surgery, try practicing deep breathing to calm your body and mind. Sit quietly, inhale slowly, and count the number of seconds it takes, then breathe out for the same count. Do this for a few minutes whenever you feel anxiety rising.

Final thoughts

Some individuals may notice changes in speech or appearance, while others may not notice at all. Keep in mind that the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in your new dentures, whether or not others notice them.

Think about the bigger picture. Focus on the end result of getting your smile back, rather than the process itself. Keep in mind that losing a tooth can also have strong emotional impacts, so be prepared for this possibility.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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