If you are the spouse of someone who wears dentures, it can be very challenging. Any problem they have with their dentures isn’t their problem alone — it’s your problem, too.

But how do you talk to them about their dentures? Here are some tips.

Senior couple looks out at the sea while walking on the beach

Be Positive

You might be annoyed that your spouse isn’t cleaning their dentures properly and their breath smells terrible. You might be angry that you spent a lot of money on dentures that your spouse never wears. You might be embarrassed that your spouse wears old, damaged dentures rather than replacing them. With these feelings, it’s so easy to be negative, but you’re unlikely to get the response you want.

Instead, focus on the positive. Talk about how good your spouse smells after their dentures have been cleaned and how it makes you want to be around them and get close more often. If your spouse won’t wear their dentures, praise how they look with their dentures in. If their dentures are old, reminisce about how attractive their dentures were when they were new.

Try to Understand

What you see might not be the true underlying cause of the problem. For example, failing to clean dentures or failing to wear them can be signs that your spouse is unhappy with their dentures and may be depressed about them.Or maybe they don’t wear dentures because they’re painful. Your spouse might not want to get replacement dentures because the initial denture process was humiliating or painful.

Once you understand the true reasons why your spouse isn’t taking care of themselves or their dentures, you’ll be in a better position to help them overcome the problem.

Offer Support

Sometimes your spouse might not know what to do about their denture problems. If they don’t have the knowledge they need or can’t do what’s necessary, help them out. Help them with cleaning their dentures, for example.

If your spouse is having difficulty learning to talk with new dentures , take the time to help them practice. Listen to them speak and read aloud, and offer constructive criticism.

Your spouse might not know where to begin getting new dentures, so help out with some preliminary research.

Of course, it’s important to make sure these helpful offers will be taken as such, and won’t be seen as intrusive or passive-aggressive.

Go Multimedia

Sometimes hearing you describe the problem isn’t enough. They need to see the problem for themselves, so take advantage of the capabilities of your smartphone.

Your spouse may not understand how old they look without their dentures in. A few pictures can show them what they’re doing to themselves. A short video can show them how their old dentures look and sound when talking or eating. Unfortunately, there’s no way to record the smell of dentures, but perhaps there are some visual signs of poor hygiene on the dentures.

Be Gentle, but Persistent

People with dentures may not initially be responsive to comments or criticism. They may feel so bad about their dentures that their initial response is to shut down. Don’t be too aggressive when this happens. Even if you understand the true reason for their feelings, it can be hard to get them to talk about their dentures.

But over time, you will be able to get past the various obstacles your spouse puts in the way and get them to really talk about and consider the problems with their dentures. And then, hopefully, you can really find a solution that works.

And if you’re looking for a Columbia, SC denture dentist who can help find a solution to your spouse’s denture problems, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment at Smile Columbia Dentistry.