Most people tend to think of dentures and denture adhesive as a pair. After all, denture adhesive products are usually marketed as a must–have thing for anyone who wants their dentures to stay in place. What you may not know is that denture adhesive is actually not quite as essential as the commercials might lead you to believe. In fact, sometimes denture adhesive isn't required at all. Read on to learn the main three times when you need (and don't need!) denture adhesive.
If Dentures Are New to You
If you got dentures recently and are still in the "getting used to them" phase, denture adhesive can be very useful. For a while, the dentures may simply not feel like a natural part of your mouth, a normal reaction. That weird feeling won't last forever, but if you want to speed up the adjustment, you can use a thin layer of denture adhesive on both the upper and lower dentures. The denture adhesive can lend the extra stability that makes your dentures feel more like they were always part of your mouth.
If You've Had Your Dentures For a While: You may not need any denture adhesive at all. Once your dentures feel like part of your mouth, you may not need this extra help any longer.
If You Eat Tough Foods
One of the main reasons that people use denture adhesive is that they're worried about the dentures moving around (or even falling out) while eating tough foods. Any foods that are especially hard, crunchy, or chewy may fall into this category. Before you tackle the tough foods, use dental adhesive on both the top and bottom dentures to help them stay put. Keep in mind that some things aren't meant to be eaten, whether you have dentures or not. For example, chewing ice is something that your dentist probably won't recommend for either natural teeth or dentures because it can dislodge dentures and break teeth.
If You're Eating Soft, Semi–Soft, or Firm Foods: Most normal foods can be eaten easily without denture adhesive. Save the adhesive for foods like raw veggies, corn on the cob, and caramel.
If You Have a Dry Mouth
Some people have a dry mouth, and this can interfere with the adherence of dentures. This may happen in a couple of cases.
- Taking Decongestants: If you take decongestant cold medicine, the drying up of the mucous membranes can end up making your mouth too dry to retain your dentures as it normally would.
- Chronic Medical Conditions: Some chronic medical conditions, for example Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome, cause the mucous membranes to dry up. This can leave you with a dry mouth that can't hold onto dentures very well.
Denture adhesive can replace the natural wetness of you mouth in cases where your mouth is just too try to keep the dentures in place. Even if your mouth is only a little bit dry, you might benefit from a layer of denture adhesive. It can help you have the confidence you need to speak, eat, and live normally without worrying about your teeth.
If You Don't Have Dry Mouth: No dry mouth? No need to add denture adhesive. Your mouth is typically a damp enough environment to provide plenty of natural adhesion for dentures.
For more tips on using your dentures, contact a local denture clinic.