Know that you’re not alone and it’s not an age thing
When getting dentures these days, they’re made to fit so well and look so natural, it’s nearly impossible to tell who wears them. In fact, you probably know several people with dentures without realising it.
About one in five adults globally wear dentures. Also almost half (45%) of people who wear denture are under the age of 60 years old, so try to let go of any feelings about being old before your time.
“Since I got them, I've definitely discovered people who have them, but I just had no idea.” Lucy, 56
“My perception always was like, the old grandma, the stereotypical older person in their 70s or 80s. Prior to me having gone down this journey, it never occurred to me that somebody under age 70 could be wearing dentures, that was quite an awakening.” Lucy, 56
Give it time
When you first start adjusting to dentures, it’s natural to feel anxious about simple things like talking, eating and kissing. Some denture wearers have lisps when they talk after new dentures go in and others find certain foods difficult to tackle. Be aware that these things may affect your confidence, but they will improve with time.
“That was one of my main concerns – if there would be changes in the way I ate or anything like that. My dentist told me no, once I got used to them, they'd feel completely natural. And he was right.” Greg, 57
“I was a bit anxious about my first kiss (with my partner)…but it was just natural.” Asher, 59
“For about the first week, I felt like I was talking with a slur. Actually, my wife even told me my speech was a little slurred like I'd been drinking because I wasn't used to them. But once I got used to them, everything was fine.” Greg, 57
It’s ok to feel anxious about the emotional aspect of adjusting to dentures but remember that it always helps to speak to friends and family for support. You can also speak to your dental professional as they can help you understand how your new dentures may affect you emotionally as well as physically.
- Before eating in restaurants, practice eating different foods at home to become comfortable with biting, chewing and how the dentures feel.
- Don’t just use your remaining natural teeth while eating. The more you start biting and chewing with your dentures in, the sooner they will feel like part of your mouth.
- To adjust to talking while wearing your dentures, try reading something out loud until you become used to the way they feel and how to make different sounds.
- Use a specialist denture cleanser to make sure your dentures are clean and fresh to help build your confidence.
- Be as open as you can about wearing dentures with those close to you, so that you don’t have to fret about people noticing a difference. It will help you accept your dentures and enjoy the positive impact they can have on your life.
Look to the future
There will be a few things to get used to when you’re adjusting to dentures, but it won’t be long before you feel like you again. You’ll be able to smile, laugh, eat and get close to loved ones without a second thought.
“I found wearing dentures very easy to get used to. It didn’t take me long at all before I could settle into using them properly.” Wendy, 64
“It's going to be different. You’ve got to wrap your head around it and just get used to it. It's not going to happen overnight mentally. After a while, it just sort of goes away.” Ed, 62
“I’ve come a long way and I’m not so self-conscious about it. It fits, it’s comfortable, it doesn’t interfere with anything…it’s just part of me now.” Wendy, 64