If you’re one of the millions of Americans who need dentures, you may have questions about what getting them will entail. Although dentures take some getting used to, they will improve your appearance and health. Here are five important things to know about dentures, according to the American Dental Association.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who need dentures, you may have questions about what getting them will entail. Although dentures take some getting used to, they will improve your appearance and health. Here are five important things to know about dentures, according to the American Dental Association.

Different dentures

You can get either full dentures that replace all your teeth or partial dentures to replace a few of them. You can also get “overdentures,” which are removable and fit over any remaining natural teeth.

Importance of oral health

You may think that tooth brushing isn’t necessary if you don’t have any real teeth left, but you still need to take good care of your mouth. Each morning before you put on your dentures, you should brush your tongue, gums and palate with a soft-bristled brush. This will remove any plaque in your mouth, as well as get blood flowing in your gums.

Eating and speaking

Start out slowly when you start eating with new dentures. Eat softer food at first, but once you get used them, you should be able to eat normally. While speaking, some words might not sound right at first. Practicing speaking and reading out loud should help.

Taking medications

Older people are more likely to use medications, and many of these medications affect your oral health and dentures. For example, a side effect of many medications is dry mouth; however, adequate levels of saliva are needed to keep dentures in place. Make sure you tell your dentist about any medications you’re using.

Dentures don’t last forever

Dentures are fragile and can easily be cracked or chipped. With time, they will have to be relined or remade. See your dentist if your dentures become loose or show signs of wear. If you don’t get them fixed, it could affect chewing or your appearance.