There’s a stigma around dentures. The stigma sounds something like this: “If you’ve got dentures, it’s either because you’re old or because you’ve made serious mistakes in your life.”
It’s incredible that such a short sentence can be so problematic – but there are a lot of flaws with that stigma. The first is that dentures are only for the old. That’s simply not true – people of all ages have benefited from dentures.
The second is that if you’re young and you have dentures, you must have made serious mistakes in your life. That’s simply ignorant. Young people can need dentures for any number of reasons, and we’ll talk about many of the reasons that young people may need dentures below.
Our last problem with the stigma is that it connotes that people who have made mistakes don’t need support. Yes, there are people who need dentures because of drug use and other social ills, and those people deserve support. They deserve to smile, eat, speak, and laugh – they deserve the chance to heal.
In this article, we’re going to tackle the stigma around dentures. Let’s break out of ignorance and come to a deep understanding – together.
When are dentures a good idea?
Dentures are a good idea when you’re missing some or all of your teeth, or your teeth are severely damaged. It’s as simple as that.
When your teeth are missing or damaged, it can negatively impact every element of your life, from your health to your confidence. Teeth go missing or get damaged for a variety of reasons. Dentures restore the function and look of patients’ mouths. When natural teeth fail, dentures are there to bring patients’ lives back to normal.
Why younger people might need dentures
The older you are, the more likely you are to need dentures. That’s because there’s been more time for accidents, more time for a bad oral health routine to catch up to you, and more chances for diseases that affect your mouth to cause you to lose teeth.
That doesn’t mean that young people can’t need dentures. A catastrophic accident that takes out most of your teeth can, for example, lead to an emergency need for dentures. Several genetic disorders and other diseases can make teeth more susceptible to damage. Diabetes can increase the risk of tooth loss. Some people’s adult teeth never grow in.
All of these problems, and many more, can lead to a young person needing dentures.
Dentures are more common than you think
About 6.4% of Canadians have no natural teeth – that’s more than 1 in 20, and that’s not even counting the number of people who have partial dentures. You probably know someone who has dentures. We’re getting very good at making dentures that fit and look naturally – so even though you may meet people with dentures every day, you’ve probably never noticed.
The benefits of dentures
There are countless benefits to dentures. They can:
- Improve your general health
- Boost your confidence
- Restore your smile
- Improve your ability to speak
- Allow you to eat your favourite foods
- And much more
Without dentures, your health can suffer because chewing and enjoying food becomes more difficult. This can lead to digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, and more. And as bad as the social stigma around getting dentures young can be, there are other stigmas surrounding not getting dentures. Smiling is a huge part of our culture, and if you can’t smile with confidence, it can be hard on your mental health.
Full & partial dentures can be life-changing – and we should work together to get rid of any stigma surrounding them in our culture. After all, there should never be a stigma around people trying to improve their health and lives.
Why you should get dentures as soon as possible
All of the benefits we described above are great reasons to get dentures as soon as possible – you want to prevent nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems before your health starts to deteriorate.
Another reason to get dentures early is to prevent bone loss in your jaw. At our clinic, we offer a wide variety of custom-made Winnipeg dentures, including implant dentures. These dentures use implants which, in the absence of natural teeth, promote a healthy jawbone. Without teeth or implants, bone loss is common, which can cause all sorts of health problems.
Support for denture wearers
If you feel anxious or uncomfortable about getting dentures, you’re not alone. The good news: That means there’s support for you.
Call us. We’ll give you a free consultation to help you decide whether or not dentures are right for you.
Talk to your close friends and family. They can help support you while you adjust to your new dentures, helping you learn to speak and grow your confidence.
Go online. There are plenty of forums and groups that offer support for denture wearers – you can find support everywhere, from the denture subreddit to the Denture Living forums.
And remember – even when it’s hard, and even when there’s a stigma, you’re not doing this for other people. You’re getting dentures to improve your own health and life. That’s something we respect wholeheartedly.
Let’s break the stigma together.