Post-Operative Instructions: Complete Dentures

What to expect?

1. Your dentures are custom-made and specifically designed and fitted for your mouth. Every set of dentures will feel different and a period of adaptation is required where you will need to learn how to eat and speak again. The time it takes to adapt to new dentures varies from person to person and may require several months. In the rare instance that you have persevered but still cannot adapt, then alternative options involving dental implants will be necessary. Please discuss this with your dental professional if you think this may be an option for you.

2. Although you will need some time to become accustomed to your new denture, any persistent sore spots must be professionally adjusted. The number of adjustments varies from patient to patient. Please do not attempt to adjust the denture yourself.

3. Over the first week:

  1. The denture may feel uncomfortable and bulky.
  2. The gums may feel sore but persistent sore spots should not be tolerated and will need to be adjusted.
  3. Some patients have a gagging sensation that slowly subsides.
  4. You may notice an increased amount of saliva in your mouth.
  5. Your speech may be affected but will slowly improve.
  6. You may have some difficulty eating initially. Maintain a soft diet for the first week or until you can slowly re-introduce hard foods.


1. Clean your dentures after eating every meal. Rinse them under running water or mouthwash to remove any large food debris. Brush all surfaces of your dentures (especially the inside) with a toothbrush or denture brush using soap or other approved denture cleaners. Bacterial plaque can grow on dentures and inadequate cleaning can lead to “denture sore mouth” or oral fungal infections.

2. Avoid using

  1. Hot or boiling water as this can warp the dentures.
  2. Toothpaste as they are often too abrasive.
  3. Bleach or detergents.
  4. Methylated spirits or other strong chemicals.

3. Remove the dentures every night and soak them in water or a disinfecting agent such as “Strident”. They should not be allowed to dry out as this can cause them to warp. It is important to allow your oral tissues to recover and therefore if you cannot sleep without them, then it is important to set aside some other time during the day when you are at home and able to leave them out.

4. Over time, you will experience progressive bone loss underneath your denture due to missing teeth. It is not painful, and therefore you are not likely to be aware of this. If severe, then your denture may start to feel loose.

It is recommended that dentures be relined every 2-3 years and replaced every 6-7 years in order to protect and preserve the remaining oral tissues.