You thought you’d planned for everything – the cookies are decorated, the lights are twinkling, the turkey is roasting, and the carols are softly playing. Unfortunately, you didn’t plan for that denture emergency during Christmas dinner.
Denture problems like broken or cracked dentures, lost teeth, and sore spots can interfere with the socializing, dining, and festivities that many of us look forward to at Christmastime.
Here are some tips to help you manage and ideally avoid such problems during the holiday season.
Denture breaks and lost teeth
Before the holidays
Christmastime often means being surrounded by foods that are hard on dentures. Chewing on things like nuts, hard candies, sticky puddings, dried fruits, and turkey bones can cause excessive stress on your denture, leading to fractures and dislodged teeth.
The danger presented by hard and sticky foods is especially high if your dentures are loose or old. This is because chewing pressure can cause an old and worn-down denture to break a lot easier than a well-fitted, new denture.
Schedule a consultation with your denturist if your denture is loose, worn down, or older than 5 to 7 years. These conditions are all warning signs that your denture is not fitting and functioning properly, which can lead to breakage. Your Denturist can examine your denture, alert you to any issues that may be apparent, and discuss your options to correct things before a problem arises.
During the holidays
The best way to minimize the risk presented by hard and sticky foods is to avoid such foods. However, if you can’t or don’t want to steer clear of your favourite holiday treats:
- Eat slowly and cautiously.
- Cut food into small pieces to make sure that you have an easier time breaking them down.
- Try to chew on both sides of your denture rather than favouring one side. This will spread out the chewing forces and reduce the stress on any specific area of your denture.
If your denture breaks or you lose a tooth, please do NOT try and repair it yourself. Doing so can lead to more damage and can void any warranty that your Denturist may offer. Most repairs can be completed by your Denturist in about an hour. Book an appointment as soon as you can to have the repair done properly.
Though they can be small, sore spots can present a tremendous amount of pain and irritation.
Don’t let a sore spot get in the way of a festive holiday season. Be proactive in the lead-up to Christmas, and be diligent with oral care throughout the holidays. If the problem persists, schedule a denture adjustment.
Prevent sore spots before they happen
- Ensure your denture fits you properly. A poorly fitting denture will move around and lead to painful friction while eating, talking, laughing, and other daily activities.
- If your denture fits poorly and a new denture is not an option, consider having your denture relined so that the fit (and comfort) improves.
- Thoroughly clean your denture and your oral cavity after every meal. This will help ensure that food debris does not get caught between your denture and your tissues, which can cause irritation.
- As a last resort, try a denture adhesive, though these should be used sparingly and not on a daily basis.
If a sore spot develops:
- Leave your denture out as much as you can.
- Stick to eating soft, easy-to-chew foods.
- Rinse your mouth several times a day with salt water.
- Make an appointment with your Denturist to have a denture adjustment.
When attending social events or travelling
When you’re out of your usual routines, it can be easier for you to break or lose your denture, and more difficult to find a Denturist to help you with problems.
Take care to minimize issues that can happen when you aren’t at home.
At social events or when dining out
- Bring a denture case with you. If you have to remove your denture at any time, store it discreetly in your case. Don’t wrap your denture in a tissue or napkin as this can result in your denture being forgotten and accidentally disposed.
- When you remove your denture at the end of the day, store it in the same place each night to reduce the risk that you will forget where you left it.
- Pack any denture supplies in your carry-on luggage, to be sure you have what you need with you even if your checked luggage becomes lost.
- Consider bringing your old denture with you, in case something happens and local denture clinics are closed.
Best wishes from all of us at Kelowna Denture Clinic for a happy and healthy holiday season!