Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Jade Roberts
Table of Contents
- 1 How Young People End Up With Dentures
- 2 Reasons To Consider Dentures At A Young Age
- 3 The Different Types of Dentures For Young Adults
- 4 Getting Used To Dentures
- 5 Comparison with Other Dental Solutions
- 6 Cost Implications
- 7 Maintenance and Care
- 8 Potential Challenges
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9.1 How long do dentures typically last?
- 9.2 Will dentures make me look different?
- 9.3 Can I eat normally with dentures?
- 9.4 Will dentures affect my speech?
- 9.5 Do dentures cause discomfort or pain?
- 9.6 How often should I see a dentist after getting dentures?
- 9.7 Can I sleep with my dentures in?
- 9.8 What’s the best way to clean my dentures?
- 9.9 Will people be able to tell I’m wearing dentures?
- 9.10 What if my dentures don’t fit right or become loose?
- 10 In Conclusion
Dentures are usually associated with older adults. However, it is not uncommon for younger patients who have lost a few or many of their teeth to consider dentures as a viable option.
Getting dentures at a young age is becoming more popular, and statistics verify this. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), many young adults aged 20 to 34 years do not have all of their natural teeth. The lab says this age group has an average of 26.9% of their natural teeth and that figure drops for those aged between 35 and 49 years. Clearly, getting dentures is no big deal for young people.
How Young People End Up With Dentures
There are many reasons for getting dentures at a young age. Tooth loss can happen from gum disease or cavities. Teeth can erode as a result of medical conditions like bulimia or gastrointestinal acid reflux. Having dentures at a young age may also be the result of some form of trauma to the mouth, teeth, and gums. This can be in the format of an accident or sports injury.
When you consider these possibilities, it becomes clearer that false teeth are not restricted to old people as wearing dentures at a young age is not so uncommon.
Reasons To Consider Dentures At A Young Age
There are several reasons young people should consider dentures to replace missing teeth. Here is a list of some of the most common:
Increase Your Confidence
When you have gaps in your smile from missing teeth, it affects your appearance. When this happens, it also impacts the way you feel about yourself. With dentures, your smile is restored, and you will lose that self-conscious feeling when participating in social activities.
Improve Your Eating Habits
Missing or damaged teeth will change the way you eat and the foods you eat. For overall good health, you need to have proper nutrition. Young people with dentures can enjoy consuming certain foods that may have been difficult to bite and chew with teeth missing.
Keep Your Other Teeth From Getting Damaged
When you have gaps between your natural teeth created by missing teeth, it puts excessive pressure on the teeth that remain. This can cause additional wear, position shifting, and damage to where some of the healthy teeth end up having to be removed.
Are More Comfortable Than Before
False teeth are no longer big and bulky and difficult to wear. Advancements in denture technology have progressed to the point where they fit better and look much like the natural teeth they are replacing. Dentures are also lighter than they used to be.
Are Appropriate For Young Patients
Dentures for young adults are an appropriate solution to missing or damaged teeth. They are not just for the elderly. Being young with dentures is not a huge concern as they are made to look like your natural teeth and are difficult for anyone to identify as not being natural.
The Different Types of Dentures For Young Adults
Young adults generally have the same choices as anyone else when it comes to different types of dentures. Two of the most common options are full or partial dentures. Here is further information on each type of denture:
- Full dentures: are designed to replace all teeth in either the upper jaw or lower jaw. They are also used to replace all teeth in both jaws. A full denture is a plate-like item that is flesh-colored and has fake teeth attached to it. The plate sits on the gumline of the jaw the teeth are being replaced.
- Partial dentures: are the logical solution to replacing single or small groups of teeth between natural teeth. These appliances contain fake teeth attached to a base that is made to look like your gums and fit to sit between natural teeth, which hold them in place. There may be small metal anchors connected to the remaining teeth used to lock the partial dentures where they are designed to sit. They look like your natural teeth.
Getting Used To Dentures
Regardless of whether you are getting dentures at a young age or if you are older, it may take some time to get used to wearing dentures. Typically, it will take between a few weeks to a few months to get into the routine of having a foreign object in your mouth. You may have to relearn how to eat certain foods, how to speak clearly, and how to care for your false teeth. Most young people with dentures indicate that speaking and eating with dentures takes the most getting used to.
Here is a breakdown of some of the lifestyle adjustments that may be necessary and how to implement them:
- Initial Soft Diet: When you first start wearing dentures, it is wise to keep to a soft food diet to prevent dislodging the dentures and to reduce potential pain development. Foods that are good to enjoy during this period of adjustment should include soups, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and yogurt.
- Avoiding Certain Foods: Some foods should be avoided as you get used to your dentures. They include sticky foods like gum or caramel. Nuts and some raw vegetables will also present challenges.
- Smaller Bites: One way to enjoy food and not worry so much about your dentures is to cut foods up into smaller pieces. This makes them easier to eat and over time, you can slowly revert to how you used to eat before you received your dentures.
For more tips on eating with dentures, click here.
- Pronunciation: It may be difficult to say certain words or sounds when you first receive your dentures.
- Practice: Singing, reading aloud, and repeating words that give you problems will help you to improve your speech.
- Speech Therapy: Seeking professional speech therapy may be useful if you have a great deal of difficulty. It may take time, but eventually, you should be able to speak clearly when wearing your dentures.
For more tips on learning to talk with dentures, click here.
- Contact Sports: If you engage in intense physical activities such as contact sports, you may have to take extra precautions to ensure your dentures do not get dislodged.
- Outdoor Activities: When camping or hiking, it may be a good idea to pack along a denture care kit so you can clean and store them. Denture adhesive can help hold dentures in place and keeping them clean will help you to maintain oral health.
Emotional and Psychological Adjustments
- Self-Image: It may be challenging to get used to your new appearance with dentures.
- Social Concerns: You may feel concerned that your dentures are noticeable or have issues about eating in public in case they slip or move around uncontrollably.
- Psychological Counseling: If you find yourself dealing with emotional and psychological problems associated with your dentures, seeking the support of a professional can help.
For more information on the emotional impacts of dentures, click here.
Daily Routine Adjustments
- Cleaning Regimen: It is vital to include a thorough denture cleaning schedule in your daily life. It will include brushing, soaking, and regular checkups with your dental professional.
- Regular Check-ups: To ensure your dentures fit correctly and look their best, it is important to visit your dentist regularly. The checkups will also permit examination of your oral tissues to ensure they are healthy and that there are no signs of disease or other problems developing.
Comparison with Other Dental Solutions
As a young adult, it is important to explore what dental solutions offer to find the right one for you. Dentures are just one of many different choices. Below is a closer look at the most popular dental solutions and how they compare to dentures.
- Durability: With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime and they are designed to do so.
- Natural Look and Feel: Dental implants not only look like natural teeth, but they function like them as well.
- Bone Preservation: Dental implants do not cause bone loss which keeps your jaw intact and won’t negatively impact the way your face looks.
- No Impact On Adjacent Teeth: Implants do not need to be supported by neighboring teeth. Bridges do.
- Cost: Dental implants top the scale as the most expensive of the dental options available.
- Surgical Procedure: Dental implants require a surgical process. This may not be right for you.
- Healing Time: Expect the next several months to be part of the healing process following surgery.
- Non-surgical: This procedure does not require surgery, so bridges are a quicker solution.
- Cost-Effective: Dental bridges typically cost far less than dental implants.
- Natural Appearance: Dental bridges can be made to both look like natural teeth and have the same shape as your remaining natural teeth, so they look like they fit right into your smile.
- Reliance on Adjacent Teeth: Bridges need to be supported by neighboring teeth to hold them in place. This can cause the support teeth to weaken.
- Durability: Dental bridges are a long-term solution, but normally require replacement after 10 or 15 years.
- Potential for Decay: If not properly cared for, the area located directly underneath the bridge can be a target for decay.
Orthodontic Treatments (Braces, Invisalign)
- Natural Teeth Preservation: Natural teeth are shifted into position with orthodontic treatments. This corrects misalignment and keeps natural teeth intact.
- Variety of Options: There are several different types of orthodontic treatments. They range from traditional metal braces to clear acrylic aligners.
- Boost in Self-Confidence: When your smile is improved, your self-esteem increases.
- Duration: Orthodontics is not a quick solution. It may take months or years for your natural teeth to shift into the correct position.
- Maintenance: Braces require regular visits to the orthodontist for adjustments.
- Dietary Restrictions: Certain foods can get trapped in the metal workings of braces making it difficult to keep them clean. Other foods may cause damage to orthodontics.
- Potential Discomfort: Following adjustments, you may feel pain in your mouth until you get used to the changes.
- Cost-Effective: dentures sit near the other end of the scale as one of the most affordable dental solutions.
- Non-surgical: There is no surgery required to fit dentures.
- Customizable: Dentures are made to fit your mouth shape and look like your natural teeth. The fit and look are individual to just you just like your fingerprints.
- Maintenance: Dentures must be cleaned at least twice daily and may need adjustments as the shape of your jawbone changes.
- Potential for Slippage: Dentures can slip or become dislodged which can cause pain, embarrassment, and difficulty eating or speaking.
- Durability: Provided you take good care of your dentures, you will get years of use out of them but they should be replaced every 5 to 10 years.
For young adults, working through the financial implications of dental care can be quite a task. Dentures, for example, involve a variety of costs that start with the initial investment and continue with ongoing maintenance. Here is a breakdown of costs related to dentures:
- Dentures: Various factors can impact the price. This can include things like the type of dentures (full or partial), the material that the dentures are made from, and the location of the denture clinic. A full set of dentures can cost anywhere between $300 and $3,000 for something basic. More elaborate dentures that are made from premium materials can cost as much as $8,000. Click here for more information on denture prices.
- Dental Implants: As the dental option that tops the price scale, implants are known as being much more expensive. Single dental implants can cost between $1,500 and $6,000 or more. A complete set can cost $30,000 or more.
- Dental Bridges: The average cost per artificial tooth for dental bridges runs from $500 to $1,500.
- Orthodontic Treatments: Traditional braces can cost between $3,000 and $7,000 with clear aligners costing the same or more.
- Dentures: The cost of dentures is usually included as part of a dental insurance plan. Usually, coverage is good for 50% of the cost with limits in place. Check with your insurance provider to get accurate details of your policy.
- Other Solutions: Depending on the type of dental insurance coverage you have, a portion of the cost of bridges, implants, or orthodontics may be covered. There may also be age restrictions in place so to be sure, review your present coverage policy.
Long-Term Maintenance Costs
- Dentures: Dentures may need adjustments, relining, or replacement over time. If you replace your dentures every 5 to 10 years, these costs add up. Additionally, regular maintenance costs include adhesives, cleaning solutions, and supplies, including toothbrushes, soaking and storage containers.
- Dental Implants: Although the initial cost may be high, dental implants don’t normally require much in the way of maintenance and if they are cared for properly, can last a lifetime.
- Dental Bridges: As dental bridges rely on neighboring teeth to keep them in place, it is important to have regular dental checkups to monitor the condition of your remaining natural teeth. Bridges normally need replacement every 10 to 15 years.
- Orthodontic Treatments: Retainers are usually required after orthodontics have been applied. They can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.
- Lost Wages: An absence from work may be required to allow full recovery from certain dental procedures. This can result in a loss of income.
- Travel and Consultation Fees: If you choose a dental professional based on expertise rather than proximity to where you live, you may incur travel costs.
Although dentures are usually a cost-effective solution, you also need to consider the long-term maintenance and indirect costs. The same goes for each of the dental solutions available to you. These extra costs must be considered to ensure you choose what option best fits your overall budget. To be sure, consult with your dental professional and review your insurance policies to make an informed decision.
Maintenance and Care
Consistent, proper care is required to keep dentures lasting long and functioning well. Keeping them clean is an important part of the equation and is as important as adjusting to how they feel and operate in your mouth. The daily care routine, outlined below, can extend the life of your dentures and when combined with regular checkups with your dentist, you will get years of use out of them.
Daily Cleaning Routine
- Rinse After Eating: remove your dentures after each meal. Rinse them under warm running water to remove food particles and debris.
- Brush Daily: With a soft-bristled toothbrush, or a denture brush, gently brush your dentures twice a day. Do not use regular toothpaste as it contains abrasives that can damage dentures. Use a toothpaste or denture cleaning solution specially formulated for dentures.
- Clean the Mouth: Clean your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth with the soft-bristled toothbrush. This not only removes bacteria that can cause bad breath, but it also stimulates blood circulation which is good for oral health.
- Keep Them Moist: When dentures dry out, they can warp, crack, or chip. When they are not in use, it is important to soak them in either water or a denture-cleaning solution to keep them from drying out.
- Use Denture Cleaners: When soaking dentures overnight, it is important to ensure that if a denture cleaning solution is used it is made specifically for dentures. It is also important to rinse dentures after soaking as ingesting some types of denture cleaning solutions can be harmful.
Handling with Care
- Avoid Bending: Always handle dentures carefully. Clean them over a sink filled with water or a folded towel to prevent damage should they slip out of your hand and fall.
- Be Gentle: Do not bend or damage the plastic or attachments that are on certain types of dentures.
Regular Dental Check-ups
- Routine Examinations: It is essential to continue with regular dental checkups even if you have full dentures. This is because your dentist will check more than your dentures. Your oral tissues will be examined to confirm oral health.
- Professional Cleaning: Tartar can build on dentures. Your dental professional will monitor this and perform a professional cleaning of your dentures when required.
- Realignments and Adjustments: The shape of your mouth will change over time. This can change how your dentures fit and function. Regular check-ups ensure that when adjustments are needed, they will be performed.
Tips for Longevity
- Avoid Hot Temperatures: When rinsing your dentures, do not use boiling water as this can cause them to warp.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Abrasive material or bleach can produce weak spots in your dentures or change their color.
- Limit Staining: Dentures can stain. Reduce intake of foods and beverages that can cause staining. Also, stop smoking as tobacco use can yellow dentures making them look dull.
Dentures are a good option for the replacement of missing teeth. However, for young adults, dentures may produce several challenges. Here is a closer look at what some of them can be and how to deal with them.
- Perception of Age: Although dentures are typically considered a dental solution for older adults, young people may feel that dentures make them appear older than they are.
- Misconceptions: Some people may judge young denture wearers thinking that dentures are a result of poor oral care.
The best way to deal with this is to take the opportunity to educate people about why you have chosen to get dentures. This will debunk myths and social stigmas will shift over time.
- Self-Consciousness: Dentures may make young adults self-conscious about themselves to the point where they think that potential partners will see them as less attractive.
- Intimacy: Anxiety may increase with fears of dentures slipping out of place during intimate moments.
It is important to remember that everyone has insecurities. Open and frank communication with a partner can help remove concerns and build self-confidence.
- Speech: When you first get your dentures, it may be difficult to speak clearly, which can be a problem for professionals who rely on public speaking.
- Appearance: Young adults may worry that their dentures will be obvious which could harm their image or appearance if they work in fields that highlight how they look.
Exercising the mouth by practicing how to say difficult words will help to improve speech when dentures are worn. Plus, as dentures are designed to match the look of natural teeth and gums, no one should be able to tell that you are wearing any.
- Dietary Changes: Certain foods are difficult to eat with dentures. This may be a concern in select social settings.
- Physical Activities: If you participate in contact sports, you may be concerned about your dentures being dislodged when engaged in intense activity.
Minor adjustments to your diet are easy to make and over time, should be automatic. Denture adhesives can help keep them in place during intense activity.
Emotional and Psychological Impact
- Identity: Individuals who receive dentures after a sudden illness or trauma may experience a mourning period as they deal with the loss of their natural teeth and get used to their changing self-image.
- Isolation: Some young adults may feel isolated in dealing with the changes noted above and may consider themselves as not fitting in anymore with their peer group.
Support from various sources such as family, support groups, or professional counselors can help with these situations. It is important to remember that challenges are common and with time and support, we often work through them.
Frequently Asked Questions
There may be many questions on the minds of young adults as they explore the world of dentures. Here are a few of the most common questions with answers to help you with your research on dentures:
How long do dentures typically last?
Provided they are cared for properly, dentures can last between 5 and 7 years. It is important to note that your mouth will probably change shape during this time making adjustments to the dentures necessary.
Will dentures make me look different?
Dentures today are made to closely resemble natural teeth. It should be difficult for anyone to tell that you are wearing dentures.
Can I eat normally with dentures?
Aside from eating a soft diet when you first receive your dentures to help you adjust to them, you should be able to eat your normal diet. You may wish to make a few modifications, but generally speaking, you can eat as you did before you got your dentures.
Will dentures affect my speech?
You may find it challenging to say certain words or make certain sounds but with practice, and once you are used to your dentures, your speech should be fine.
Do dentures cause discomfort or pain?
There may be some pain and discomfort when you first receive your dentures and during the beginning stages of the adjustment period. However, that should go away.
How often should I see a dentist after getting dentures?
It is a good idea to schedule regular dental check-ups for every six months. This way, your dentist can monitor the fit of your dentures and check your gum health.
Can I sleep with my dentures in?
Although you can probably do so, it is not recommended to sleep with dentures. Your mouth and gums need a break from carrying your dentures all day. Plus, taking them out at night when you go to bed allows you to soak them overnight.
What’s the best way to clean my dentures?
The best way to clean dentures is by using a non-abrasive denture cleaner and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do not use regular toothpaste as it may contain abrasives that can damage your dentures. Soak them overnight to keep them clean and to prevent them from drying out which could lead to cracks, breaks, and warping.
Will people be able to tell I’m wearing dentures?
Dentures today are made to look like natural teeth. It should be hard for anyone to tell whether you have dentures or not.
What if my dentures don’t fit right or become loose?
Your gums and jawbone will change shape over time. This can change how dentures fit. If they become loose, your dentist can make adjustments. Do not attempt to do this yourself as you may damage your dentures.
If you were wondering if you should get dentures at a young age, hopefully, you now understand that it is not unusual nor is it strange. There are several logical reasons why a young person may end up with false teeth. There are also many reasons why dentures are the appropriate choice for some young adults.
They will take some getting used to, regardless of your age, but the benefits of getting dentures at a young age make all the effort worthwhile.