My friend Frieda nearly erupted with excitement after her latest trip to the dentist. Although she was still holding her hand over her mouth, like she was wont to do due to missing front teeth, I could hear her words through her fingers. "I love my dentist! He changed my life!" she beamed.
Frieda used to always duck her head in public, lacking the confidence she needed to look people in the eyes. She'd also be disinclined to smile, especially if it meant opening her mouth. She was constantly hiding her mouth with her hand and confided how people often thought she was stupid, drug addicted or lazy because she was lacking front teeth.
Frieda never cared for apples or corn on the cob and still can't eat them. Her front teeth partial dentures were mainly for looks, although she said it also helps her bite off portions of softer foods. Instead of cramming a sandwich into the back part of her mouth, she can now eat like a normal person, biting with her front teeth.
While Frieda is too embarrassed to take out the front teeth partial denture plate to show anyone, she described what it's like. Hers has a row of four teeth to replace those that are missing. The teeth are connected to a plate, which fits snugly on the roof of her mouth. The sides of the plate have little clasps that hook around the molars so the front teeth partial dentures stay in place. Her favorite features of the denture plate are that the color matches the rest of her teeth and no clasps are visible from the front. "They look so real," she said.
Frieda complains what a pain the front teeth partial plate can be if she keeps up the recommended maintenance. When she's out late or spending the night somewhere, she often ignores that fact that she's supposed to take the plate out at night. She often gets kind of lax about storing the plate properly, even losing the container her dentist gave her for storage and often forgetting to store them in a bit of water. To her credit, Frieda does keep the plate out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources when it's not in her mouth, just as the hygienist suggested.
Frieda is a whole new woman with her front teeth partial denture plate, but it took some time for her to get used to it. She developed sores in the first week or so, which went away once her inner mouth got used to the device. She also was spitting when she talked, as the plate can impede speech and increase the amount of saliva produced. She still usually keeps her hand over her mouth, but I noticed she is starting to look people in the eyes. I think I even caught her smiling at a guy---without her fingers blocking her new front teeth.