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Living With Dentures When You're Young

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Tooth loss can happen at any age. And sometimes it happens when you're young. If that's something you're experiencing, no worries. You still deserve a beautiful smile, and dentures might be a great solution for you.

Believe it or not, tooth loss is actually common among young Americans. And with today's technology, dentures can look nearly identical to your natural teeth, so you can still look like you. Wondering why young people usually need dentures? We'll go into that. We'll also look at what it takes to have dentures fitted and what it's like to live with them and care for them as a young person.

Dentures for Younger Patients

You probably know more people your age who have dentures than you think. Young people can lose teeth for several reasons, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Ectodermal dysplasia (a genetic disorder that can affect teeth)
  • Gastrointestinal reflux (severe tooth erosion which causes stomach acid to come up into the mouth)

Whatever the cause for tooth loss, dentures offer a long-term solution that helps to relieve pain and give you your smile back.

Removable Denture Types

There are two types of removable dentures: full and partial.

Full dentures are usually made of plastic and replace all of your teeth in either your upper or lower jaw (or both). They're generally flesh-colored and rest on your gums. A dentist will make a mold just for you so that your dentures feel comfortable and snug. Ideally, they'll look just like your natural teeth and give you a happy and healthy smile.

Partial dentures are used if several teeth are missing, but nearby teeth remain intact. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base that looks like your gums. A partial denture may also have a metal (or more natural-looking) framework that connects to your teeth. Depending on what you need, your dentist will design the right partial denture for your mouth.

To figure out which kind of dentures you need, your dentist will examine your teeth to see how large the gap is, where it is located, and if there are still teeth next to it. They'll also examine your jaw. Then, they'll suggest the best type of denture for you.

Dental implants are also an option if you're looking for something more permanent down the line. Because they're implanted in your mouth, they tend to look very natural. Talk to your dentist if dental implants interest you. They might be a great choice to make you feel confident and comfortable.

Having Dentures Fitted

When permanent teeth are removed, your dentist needs to wait several months before placing dentures. This gives the gums a chance to take shape. The good news is that you don't have to walk around toothless!

If you're interested in keeping your smile big and bright while you wait, your dentist can use immediate dentures while your gums heal. These temporary dentures are easily removable. Pro tip: Your dentist will need to measure you in a preliminary visit so they can make a model that fits you. So be ready.

Once your mouth is healed and you're ready for dentures, your dentist will have you come in again to have them placed. Once they're in, your dentist will likely recommend leaving them in (if they're removable) for 24 hrs. You'll also be instructed to wait to eat and drink for at least an hour and a half after your dentures are placed. And you'll likely be asked to avoid straws for the first 72 hours.

Living with Dentures

It takes some time to get used to your dentures. Sometimes it takes a few weeks or months to adjust. At first, your dentures may feel loose or bulky in your mouth. That's completely normal. Speaking and eating may feel a bit wonky too. You may also have some extra saliva flow. These things are nothing to worry about. All of them fade over time as you get used to your dentures.

Looking for ways to adjust to living with dentures? We've got you covered with some great ideas to help you get used to your new teeth. First, practice speaking. You can do this alone or with a friend. It'll help you build your confidence in speaking with your new dentures. Also, know that over time, your mouth muscles will adjust, and your speech will improve.

Next, eat soft foods. We recommend cutting your food into small pieces at first. You can then gradually return to your regular diet as you learn how to chew and bite with your new teeth. Also, make sure to avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods. They don't mix well with dentures.

Dental Care for Dentures

Caring for dentures is pretty simple. Like caring for your regular teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your new teeth every day. Here are some other ways to care for your dentures:

  • Rinse them before brushing to remove any loose food.
  • Clean all areas of your mouth when you're brushing. This includes your gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. This can help with preventing oral irritation and bad breath.
  • Soak your dentures when you're not wearing them so that they don't warp

If you feel like you're too young for dentures, remember that it's common for young people to need them. Plus, with today's technology, dentures can make your smile look natural and beautiful. Once you get your dentures placed, you'll take care to listen to your dentist's post-care instructions. And in no time, you'll get used to them. Practice speaking and eating soft foods so you can adjust to them more quickly. And don't forget to clean your dentures daily like you do your teeth. With all of this in mind, your dentures will make you feel and look great. You're still young; you deserve it.


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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.

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