Now that you have dentures, you might be wondering how and when to use denture adhesive. Whilst most people assume that dentures and denture adhesive are automatically paired together, that's actually not always the case. In fact, you may very well need denture adhesive only occasionally, so don't buy out the chemist just yet. Below, you can read about the situations in which denture adhesive is actually needed. 

1. Whilst the Dentures Still Feel Brand New

Whilst you will adjust to your dentures in due time, in the beginning they might feel rather odd for a while. During this adjustment period, denture adhesive can help the dentures feel more like your natural teeth.

Whilst the dentures are new, use a thin layer of denture adhesive on all of the surfaces that connect with your gums. This is especially important for the bottom dentures. After all, your top dentures have the entire roof of your mouth to adhere to whilst the bottom ones have only a narrow arc of gum tissue.

After a few weeks of wearing denture adhesive, you might feel confident with your new dentures. Try the dentures without adhesive for a day to see how they feel -- you might not need it anymore!

2. Whilst Chewing the Challenging Foods

Whilst chewing with your new dentures, you might feel especially worried about the more challenging foods. This includes chewy, hard or sticky foods such as:

  • Raw vegetables like carrot or celery sticks
  • Raw fruits like whole apples
  • Popcorn (and its partially-popped kernels)
  • Chewy lollies
  • Corn on the cob
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegemite 

Your dentist might tell you to avoid eating the foods above whilst you make the adjustment to your new dentures. However, once they feel fine in your mouth, you can use a bit of denture adhesive to help you eat with confidence. Even with denture adhesive, be sure to eat slowly and with small bites to avoid stress to your dentures. 

3. If Speaking Clearly is Difficult

Many dentures wearers find that speaking can be a bit different than it was before dentures. You might have trouble with enunciating sounds like "th", but this will improve as you grow accustomed to the dentures. A good layer of denture adhesive on the upper dentures is especially helpful in this situation, but the lower dentures could use a thin application as well. Whilst you'll still have to grow accustomed to the feeling of a new dental device in your mouth, the denture adhesive can really smooth that process and make you feel more confident whilst speaking. 

Whilst denture adhesive can be extremely helpful in all of the situations above, it can't correct problems like ill-fitting dentures. You may need to have your dentures periodically relined or rebased to ensure a good fit. If your dentures seem to shift too much even with adhesive on them, contact a dentist now.