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Etiquette Rules for Dentures

Sometimes we don’t really have a sense of needing something until something makes it painfully obvious. For example, there aren’t good etiquette rules for people with dentures. Perhaps we never had a sense that we needed them until we saw people doing disgusting things with their dentures in public. Like the man who took his dentures out on the train and began to clean them with his knife. Not only is this a good way to damage your dentures (don’t clean them with a knife!), but it was disgusting to the other people on the train that he was throwing food debris on the ground.

In the absence of good denture etiquette rules, here are a few basic guidelines to follow for the good of yourself and others around you.

Rule #1: Keep Dentures in While Eating

Dentures are designed to help you eat, so it makes sense that you should keep them in while eating. Not only will this help you eat better, ideally, it will help support your facial structures so that you can drink more easily and help contain food, drink, and saliva in your mouth. This isn’t just polite, it can help prevent angular cheilitis, which can be caused or worsened by saliva or food leakage related to lips folding over improperly.

Denture etiquette is important

Before you attend a social occasion with dentures, take time to practice eating with them. Eat a variety of food, and even try eating out at a restaurant to make sure you feel comfortable eating in public with your dentures. Learn what foods you can eat and which ones you can’t and stick to menu items you can handle with your denture. Sometimes a reception or other formal occasion may have a limited menu. Do the best you can from among your choices (even when it’s hard to choose the chicken over the steak), and, as necessary, rely on your knife to cut food into small pieces before chewing. Chew thoroughly before swallowing to avoid choking and digestive problems.

Rule #2:Removing Dentures at the Table

Unfortunately, there may be some occasions where you have to remove your dentures to eat. This is especially true with partial dentures, but can also be a factor with any kind of removable dentures where you might get food worked painfully up underneath your dentures.

If possible, excuse yourself to the bathroom to remove your dentures and clean them of irritants before returning to the table.

If you have to remove your dentures at the table, remove them discreetly, similar to the way you might spit out a piece of food that is unchewable. Raise your napkin to your mouth, concealing it. Then, remove your dentures with your tongue, pushing them out into the napkin. This can take some practice, but with most dentures it can be done.

Keep your dentures in your napkin on your lap until you can excuse yourself to clean and replace them. If you realize you won’t be able to finish the meal with your dentures in, clean them and put them in a case.

Never put your dentures on the table during dinner. If you do, you can:

  • Disturb other diners
  • Allow your dentures to dry out and warp
  • Risk knocking dentures on the ground
  • Risk leaving dentures behind

If you don’t have a denture case with you, keep your dentures wrapped in the napkin and place them in your pocket or purse.

This is also how to handle your dentures if you have worn them too long and they’re getting uncomfortable, but you’re not ready to go home.

Rule #3: Cleaning Dentures

You should clean your dentures after every meal. After eating, excuse yourself from the table and clean your dentures in the bathroom. You can clean dentures at the sink–you don’t have to go to a stall to clean your dentures unless you are trying to prevent people from seeing that you have dentures. If you have a purse, it’s easy to carry a denture cleaning brush. If you have a small clutch or just your pockets, carry a travel toothbrush, which can fold up very small.

If you don’t have a brush, clean your dentures with a cloth or napkin. You can even use your fingers if you keep your nails trimmed and wash your hands before and after. Never lick your dentures clean with your tongue.

Rule #4: If Your Dentures Come out Unexpectedly

Traditional dentures are notoriously insecure. They can come loose when speaking loud as we might tend to do at the end of the evening. They can even come loose and fall out onto the table if you laugh loud or sneeze. If this happens, don’t make it any more of a scene than it already is. Simply say, “excuse me,” and place your dentures back in your mouth. If fitting is a bit of a process for you, step away from table for a moment to get them back in.

There’s no need to mention the incident again or make a big apology, and, hopefully, everyone else will be polite enough to never mention it again, either.

Dentures That Don’t Need Special Rules

Although these etiquette rules can help you avoid very awkward scenes or talk about your dentures, wouldn’t it be best to have dentures that you just didn’t have to worry about? Dentures that let you eat all the foods you want without worry. Dentures that are comfortable for wearing all evening. Dentures that won’t fall out when you laugh or sneeze.

That’s FOY® Dentures in a nutshell. FOY® Dentures are designed to allow you to do everything effortlessly, just the way you did things with your natural teeth. Especially when designed as implant dentures, FOY® Dentures not only allow you to enjoy effortless etiquette, but also help you look great doing it.

To learn more about this and other benefits of FOY® Dentures, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rod Strickland. Dr. Strickland is a dentist in Savannah, GA. He is the inventor of the Denture Fountain of Youth® technique.