With over 41 million people using full or partial dentures, you’re not alone. These removable prosthetic devices are a costly investment ranging from between $1,000 to $2,000 per set. Taking the time to properly care for your dentures will ensure their longevity and better oral health for you.
Dentures Are Susceptible To Damage Like Real Teeth
Dentures are not a device that you simply put in your mouth and forget about. Rather, they must be properly taken care of as they are susceptible to many of the damages that your real teeth are. Problems like plaque accumulation, staining, and breakage can all happen to your dentures without proper precautions.
You should be cleaning your full or partial dentures each day to ensure that they don’t experience any negative staining. Avoid using your dentures abrasively, such as biting the top off of a bottle or chomping down on hard candy. It will help if you take the same health precautions with your dentures as you do with your regular teeth.
What Oral Health Problems Are A Result Of Dirty Dentures?
Over time, dentures that are left to accumulate food and are not properly cleaned can result in various oral health conditions. The most common is known as denture-related stomatitis. This condition is characterized by a candida infection of the mouth that can cause excessive pain and the appearance of white patches.
When you have poor hygiene habits for your oral health, it can drastically affect your remaining teeth. When this happens, harbored bacteria and fungi infect your real teeth. This infection can lead to excessive tooth deterioration and even periodontitis of the jaw.
Proper Care Techniques For Your Dentures
As you’ve discovered above, poor denture hygiene can lead to a slew of oral health issues. The easiest way to avoid these issues is to commit to practicing good denture hygiene. Here are some of our top care techniques that you should be using in your denture care routine:
Use A Cleaning Solution Daily
Just as it’s important to brush your teeth each day to ensure they stay healthy, it’s just as vital to clean your dentures so that they stay in good condition. Ideally, you want to wash your dentures after each meal. However, this isn’t always feasible as you may utilize a denture adhesive. Aim for cleaning your dentures each night. You should take them out and use cold water to rinse away loose food particles and any denture adhesive that is present. Next, you’ll want to let your dentures soak in a dental cleanser that will take care of removing any harmful bacteria that was left behind after rinsing them off. Dental cleaners come in a variety of different forms, including creams, pastes, gels, and tablets. Many users prefer to use tablets as they can simply drop their dentures into the fizzy solution and watch them be cleaned. If you’re in a pinch, you can always use toothpaste to clean your dentures.
Keep Your Dentures Moist When Not Using Them
When you’re not using your dentures, such as when you go to bed, you should have them soaking in water. This practice ensures that the dentures stay supple and don’t lose their shape. Most users prefer to soak their dentures in a cleaning solution overnight. Resist the temptation to use warm or boiling water to soak your dentures. Dentures are made of an acrylic plastic base, which can easily warp when it comes into contact with high heat. If you’re worried about killing bacteria on your dentures, use a cleansing solution instead of boiling water.
Use Dental Adhesives Wisely
Just as with dental cleansers, there are a variety of different adhesives that can be used. Before you try the latest and greatest product on the market, consider trying your dentures without an adhesive. Dentures are designed to be held in place by your natural saliva. If your mouth is naturally dry or you’re just having trouble keeping your dentures in place, a dental adhesive can be used. These adherents come in powders, wafers, strips, and creams. You may find that you’ll need to try different types of adherents until you find one that works best for you. Be careful to follow the directions that come along with the adhesive that you choose to use. In most cases, you’ll be instructed to use a very small amount of the adhesive. Don’t give in to the temptation of using more than is recommended by the manufacturer as some adhesives contain zinc, which can be harmful to the user in high amounts.
Seek Professional Assistance To Adjust And Repair Your Dentures
When you get a new pair of dentures, your dentist will ensure that they properly fit before you leave their office. However, your gums can change with time, and this can result in unwanted irritation of your gums, like sores. If you’re experiencing these irritations, then you want to seek assistance from your dental professional to get your dentures readjusted. Don’t try and adjust your dentures yourself. Dentures need to be handled with the utmost care, or they will break. Having your dental professional do the adjusting ensures that it gets done properly and without any sort of damage to the dentures. Dentures can break from time to time. Don’t settle for purchasing do-it-yourself repair kits and hope the glue hold appropriately. Schedule an immediate appointment with your dental health professional so they can properly repair your dentures.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Just as dentists recommend regular teeth cleanings for their patients, they also recommend regular checkup appointments for those with dentures. These appointments are made for two main reasons, which are professionally cleaning your dentures and performing any necessary adjustments for better alignment. Most dentists will recommend appointments every few months. However, this will vary depending on your individual situation. It’s best to follow the recommendation of your dental health professional so that your dentures always feel and look good.
By practicing the above tips, you’ll ensure a nice long life for your dentures. Realize that half of the battle is simply creating habits that you can easily follow to ensure your dentures stay in good condition. Also, always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as those from your dental health professional.
Top Denture Care Mistakes You Should Avoid
One of the best ways to really learn how to do something is to learn what not to do. There are many common mistakes that denture wearers make, which damage and sometimes renders their dentures unwearable. We’re going to share with you what these are and what you should do to avoid making the same mistake.
Don’t Brush Your Dentures
It may seem pretty easy to just grab your toothbrush and go to town on your dentures. However, stiff-bristled brushes will actually cause damage to the acrylic material that makes up your dentures. Some toothpaste can also be abrasive, so it’s best to stick to a dental cleaner.
Avoid Whitening Or Bleaching
Those who don’t practice proper dental hygiene may find that their dentures become tarnished or stained. Their first instinct is to whiten them with whitening toothpaste or soaking them in bleach. Avoid both of these practices as these abrasive materials will harm your dentures, and they won’t make your dentures any whiter.
When you get your first set of dentures, it can be overwhelming. Trying to get used to the new feel on your gums can be a task in and of itself. When it comes to denture hygiene, you need to be performing the proper care techniques outlined above to ensure that your dentures stay in good condition.