Partials are a type of denture that do not replace all your teeth, but act as a way to preserve remaining teeth, support your jaw integrity, and make smiling and chewing a lot better.
Pulling teeth is an extreme measure that should not be taken lightly. Whenever possible, a good dentist will try to save your remaining teeth, even if you have lost quite a few.
If any dentist tells you he or she has to pull all your bottom teeth, or any other extreme and expensive procedure, warning bells should go off in your head. ALWAYS get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I can't stress this enough.
Your new partials will feel a bit strange at first. You may even think, "What have I done? This is kind of awkward getting used to." That's normal.
You've got some new hardware in your mouth. Chewing and talking will seem slightly odd at first.
But within a very short time, you'll get used to your partial dentures, popping them in and out of your mouth, and chewing up your favorite foods like before. Plus, you'll have a lot more confidence in smiling and talking.
Here is some advice on getting used to your partials.
(1) You will have more saliva production in your mouth for a brief amount of time. This will end soon.
(2) You will probably notice that food seems to stick to the partials, making you think you've got big gobs of cuisine jammed in them. It feels that way, but there will be far less food stuck in them that it feels like. Just pop them out, rinse out your mouth and rinse the partials, then pop them back in.
When convenient, brush and floss your remaining teeth and brush the partials, too, before popping them back in.
(3) Avoid dining in restaurants for a few days or weeks. You need to get adjusted to chewing with your partials before you'll want to eat in a public place.
Also -- avoid sticky foods and foods that require a lot of strenuous chewing at first. Go with softer cuisine. Cut up small sections and take your time getting used to eating your food.
(4) Keep telling yourself, "I have modern technology in my mouth now. I will be patient. Soon it will be no big deal and everything will be back to normal."
(5) Follow all instructions from your dentist.
(6) If your partials seem to not fit right after a few days, or there's a pinching when you pop them out, tell your dentist. He or she can probably get you in quickly to make some minor adjustments to increase your comfort and perfect the fit.
(7) NEVER use toothpaste or any abrasive cleansing agent to clean your partials. A mild liquid soap or dishwashing detergent, like Dawn, will be fine.
(8) Keep your partials away from pets like dogs or cats, because they may try to chew and eat them.
(9) Rinse off and gently brush your partials in cool water, NEVER hot water.
(10) Have a rubber mat or cloth towel in the sink, under your partials, as you clean them, to cushion their fall in case you drop them.
(11) Take your partial dentures out every night before you go to bed. This will allow your gums to get air.
(12) NEVER force your partials into place by biting down or clenching your jaws. They should slip in and out with relative ease.
(13) Wear your partials a lot, especially at first, so possible problems can be more quickly identified.
(14) Avoid bending or breaking your partials.
(15) Store them in a glass of cool water overnight.
(16) If you have a bit of difficulty speaking clearly, practice reading a book or making a speech out loud to adjust your mouth to the new hardware in it.
(17) NEVER try to adjust or repair your partials by yourself. You could end up ruining them. Have only the dentist who fitted you for them do the adjusting or repairing.
(18) Never loan your partials to another person. [Okay, this is just a joke. I hope!]
Keep these tips in mind and you'll be on your way to full satisfaction with your new partial dentures!