While keeping a spare set of dentures may give you some peace of mind in case you have problems with your main set of teeth, you may find that switching to wearing your spare set is not as easy as you think. Even if your spare dentures were a good fit in the past, there's no guarantee that this older set will fit you when you need to use them. Why might you have fit problems with spare dentures and is there anything you can do to make them fit better?
Have Your Dentures Dried Out?
Dentures need to be kept moist to keep them in tip-top condition. Typically, your regular teeth get this moisture from your mouth during the day and from the liquid you store them in at night if you take them out when you sleep. If you haven't stored your spare set of dentures in a liquid or if the liquid dried up and you forgot to replenish it, then the dentures may dry out.
As well as making them more brittle and prone to damage, a lack of moisture may make your dentures feel inflexible when you put them in. They may not give you a comfortable fit any longer and, in extreme cases, may lose their original shape because they've dried out so much.
Sometimes, you may be able to fix this problem by resoaking your teeth. Try soaking the dentures in water, say for 24 hours, to see if you notice a difference. If your fit problems were simply down to dentures that have lost their moisture, a resoak may make them more comfortable to wear.
Has You Face Changed Shape?
When you have your natural teeth extracted, your jaw bones lose the support of your teeth, making them shrink back over time. This changes the shape of your mouth and gums. If you haven't worn your spare set of dentures for a long time, you may notice that they don't fit the shape of your mouth any longer for this reason. Typically, if this is an issue, the dentures may feel looser than they used to.
If your facial shape has changed, your dentist may be able to make your spare dentures fit better by relining them. This process adds a layer of material to pad out your denture plate that may make your teeth fit your gums more closely.
In some cases, you may not be able to fix the fit of spare dentures. For example, if your false teeth dried out and warped, then you may not be able to get the original shape back; if your face shape has changed a lot, then a reline may not be enough to give you a really comfortable fit. In these cases, your dentist may recommend that you get a new set of teeth made.