When I was nine years old my two front teeth were accidentally broken so I had to have a partial denture made to duplicate my missing teeth and to fill the gap right in the center of my mouth when I smiled. I have worn a denture ever since that happened. In fact, from that time on, I was very much aware of having those two “false teeth” in my mouth, and I thought they were obvious to all of my friends. But, actually, nobody ever commented or said any thing about my missing teeth or my denture, so I don’t know it they noticed them or were just being polite. I do know I was always embarrassed because I had to wear that denture everywhere I went.
A few years ago, all of my upper teeth were so badly decayed that I had to have them pulled out. The result of those extractions is that I now have a full upper denture in my mouth. At the time, I was sure everyone would notice the difference the full denture made in the way I looked when talking and smiling. But, again, no one seemed to notice anything different about my physical appearance.
Even so, the full denture I was wearing did change the way I thought about myself. In short, I felt much older and I was still embarrassed that I now had to wear a full set of artificial teeth in my mouth. Then, instead of brushing my natural teeth in my mouth, I now had to, privately, remove my teeth brush them clean in the sink and in general keep them in good condition. All of that somehow, changed my thinking about myself – it is hard to explain, but there was a very subtle change in me that I was very much aware of because of my new full upper denture.
When asked if wearing a denture is embarrassing, I have to admit that for me it is. I would much rather have all of my natural teeth and not have to face all of the ways I need to change my life because of my dentures. For example: I’ve had to learn how to speak properly with a mouth full of acrylic – plastic – dentures, how to properly chew the many different kinds of food, how to bite an apple, and how to sneeze without having my artificial teeth pop out of my mouth, how to kiss my wife and how to smile broadly and much more.
In short, having dentures in my mouth constantly has always been a life changing experience for me. But, the saving grace is this: The people around me never seem to notice my teeth or the problems I have with accepting them as my new way of living. They just accept me the way I am – and now, very gradually – over time, I have gotten used to wearing dentures. Sometimes I even forget I have them in my mouth!
The truth is, now, after all of these years – I’ve almost gotten used to wearing dentures to the point where I am no longer embarrassed by wearing them.
So, when asked: “Should you be embarrassed about having dentures?” My answer is: “No.” You see, the embarrassment I have in wearing a denture is only in my head – no one else seems to notice or care one way or the other.
Believe me when I say you can forget about having “denture embarrassment” and enjoy looking better in every way than you would without them!
By: Terry L. Weber