We’ve all seen depictions of a stereotypical elderly woman with huge glasses, curlers in her hair, and a jar for her teeth. Maybe it’s been in media, advertisements, or comedy sketches but whenever I think of dentures I immediately see the same elderly woman.
But dentures aren’t just for crazy elderly women in a pink bathrobe and hair curlers. They’re for everyone who needs them, whether that be old or young.
It doesn’t matter how old we are either; we still feel some shame surrounding the idea of needing dentures. A lot of us are in complete denial over ever needing them in the future, no matter how old we grow.
This doesn’t have to be the case anymore. The stigma surrounding the need for dentures is an outdated one that we as a society should move beyond. There is nothing shameful about needing dentures and avoiding the idea will only make your life more difficult.
To help remove the stigma around dentures here’s some information so you understand why they’re so important.
Who needs dentures?
A lot of us assume that dentures are only for elderly patients. In reality, dentures are for those who have lost their teeth for many different reasons such as age, gum disease, sports injuries, or other trauma.
Because of this idea that only the elderly or infirm need dentures, many people try to avoid getting them. Some don’t want to admit that they’re aging and dentures are a common reality of the process. Others are younger and feel as though dentures couldn’t possibly benefit them. A lot of people still believe that dentures equal poor hygiene or health. In reality, the cause of missing teeth can be from a variety of factors.
Regardless, dentures are for anyone who has lost some or most of their teeth.
What are the benefits of dentures?
- Improved Health: Losing teeth can cause holes or pockets in the gums that can house bacteria and cause infections.
- Proper teeth alignment: Teeth will shift to accommodate the space in the mouth. If you’ve lost a few teeth, dentures can help keep the ones you have in their proper place.
- They assist with eating: If you’re missing some, most, or all of your teeth, chewing hard food is nearly impossible. Having dentures can help you prevent going down a soft food or liquid diet that won’t do anything to benefit your health.
- Boosts confidence: If you’re missing a few teeth, you might feel embarrassed. You might avoid things like eating in public, speaking, or smiling in the hopes that no one sees. Dentures will allow you to have a full smile you can be proud of!
How will dentures affect the way I eat and speak?
With practice, eating solid foods will be much easier than before. Start slow, take small pieces, and chew slowly. Once you’re more comfortable with them in your mouth, you can start incorporating more and more foods into your diet. You’ll still want to avoid sticky food like gum or hard food like candy. For more information on how dentures affect your mouth, click the link. https://www.nuviasmiles.com/blog/dentures-for-bad-gag-reflex
Is there more than one type of denture?
Dentures come in a variety of kinds and shapes. They’re made to fit each individual’s needs. For instance, if you’ve lost all your teeth due to a disease, then complete dentures are the way to go. They are a complete set of teeth that will replace the ones missing from your mouth.
A partial denture is still a set of fake teeth that can be used to replace a small area of teeth within the mouth. They are usually attached to a plastic base that is connected to metal that can be attached to the surrounding teeth and held in place. They fill the space created by missing teeth while keeping the surrounding teeth in the same position.
Will my mouth look weird?
No. Dentures, whether they’re partial or complete, look very natural in the mouth. More than likely, you know a few people who have dentures but don’t even know that they do. If anything, dentures will improve upon your natural smile since they’ll resemble your teeth.
Are Dentures painful?
Dentures are for the most part painless. If your mouth and gums are still healing from past surgery or trauma, then wearing dentures might be irritating. That’s why it’s important to pair with your dentist to figure out how long you should let your mouth heal before trying dentures.
For everyone else, dentures might cause some slight irritation or soreness as they adjust in the mouth. This will take time to get used to but it won’t last forever.
The most important thing to remember is that dentures aren’t made to be uncomfortable long-term. As you use them more and more, any discomfort should resolve. Just be sure you’re taking care of them so they don’t cause any additional health problems.
As for speaking, there is a learning curve for most. Sometimes, especially as you’re adjusting to them, dentures can slip as you speak, laugh, or cough. This will happen from time to time but with more time and practice, you should be able to speak properly. Consult your dentist if you feel like your dentures are slipping out of place more than normal.
Do I have to wear dentures?
No. You don’t have to do anything. Getting dentures is a personal decision that shouldn’t make you feel pressured. It is a big, impactful decision on your overall health. However, you should know that there can be some nasty consequences if you refuse dentures.
If you decide not to wear dentures, you may suffer from things like infections from the exposed gums. Your teeth will shift to accommodate the space in your jaw. There can also be problems with bone density and shape over time because the body is trying to make up for what it’s lost.
Overall, dentures are a valid treatment for people who are missing teeth. They have a variety of benefits that should exceed any shame or guilt you may have for needing them. They’re for everyone, both the young and the old and there are different reasons why everyone needs them. Don’t be ashamed and call your dentist today.