Tooth loss as a result of trauma/injury, poor oral health, decay and periodontal disease can be restored by using dentures. These dentures serve as removable synthetic replacements for missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from a varying number of synthetic devices such as; acrylic (plastic), metal or nylon. They offer the benefits of eliminating possible problems caused by tooth loss, such as; sagging facial muscles, impaired speech or trouble eating.
A lot of time and money goes into getting dentures made and fitted to suit every patient’s individual needs, so it is paramount that we know and understand the basic ways of maintaining and caring for dentures. In this article, we have compiled a helpful list of the dos and don’ts of denture care.
The do’s of denture care
Your dentures can get damaged if you drop or manhandle them while cleaning. Always ensure that you carefully handle your dentures while cleaning to avoid bending or damaging the plastic and the clasps.
Remove and rinse dentures after eating
After every meal, carefully remove and run clean water over your dentures to get rid of any food particles and debris. To prevent your dentures from breaking in the event that you drop them, place a folded towel inside the sink or on top of the counter.
Soak your dentures overnight
It is important to take your dentures out before going to bed. Taking them out for at least six hours a day is good practice as it allows the tissues in your mouth to recover. Ensure that you soak them in warm water overnight if they have metal clasps, and if they don’t, you can soak them in a special denture cleaner to get rid of any bacteria build-up.
Always rinse dentures before wearing them
Although the denture solution you soak your dentures in removes all bacteria, it is important that you rinse it off thoroughly before wearing them. Some of those solutions could contain harmful chemicals that can cause vomiting, burns and pain if ingested.
Brush your dentures daily
Just like regular teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily. Ensure to thoroughly brush your dentures every day by using a soft-bristled brush. The brushing should be done with a non-abrasive denture cleaner or special denture toothpaste together with some warm water. Brush gently in a circular motion while ensuring that you get all areas of the denture.
Practice good oral hygiene
Practising overall good oral hygiene by keeping your gums clean and healthy is important for ensuring that your dentures continue to fit and stay put. Maintain a habit of brushing your gums, tongue, any remaining teeth and the roof of your mouth regularly to ensure that there is no plaque or bacteria build-up. If you have any natural teeth remaining, ensure to also floss them if possible.
Regular dental check-ups
Regular dental check-ups give your dentist the opportunity to professionally clean and examine your dentures to make sure they still fit properly. It also allows your dentist to carry out any adjustments or repairs needed for your dentures.
Fix all damages to dentures immediately
Accidents can happen. If you drop your dentures, damage the clasps or notice that they’ve become loose, a simple search for denture makers near me and have them fixed immediately.
The don’ts of denture care
Avoid using sharp objects
Sharp or abrasive Items like dental scrapers or toothpicks have no business being close to your dentures. This is because they can easily slip and cause damage to your mouth tissue.
Avoid harsh/abrasive cleaning materials
Cleaning your dentures with hard-bristled brushes, non-approved denture toothpaste, or strong cleansers could damage them. Also, whitening toothpaste or any product containing bleach should be avoided as they contain chemicals that can weaken and alter the colour of your dentures.
Don’t use hot or boiling water on dentures
Soaking dentures in hot or boiling water causes them to warp and become ill-fitting. Warm or room temperature water is recommended.
Avoid tugging motions when eating
If you’re new to wearing dentures, it can take some time for you to get used to eating with them on. However, it is paramount that you avoid tugging motions as you bite your food. Eat small bites of food, and don’t bite down on any hard items like candy or bones with your dentures.
Inadequate denture care can lead to poorly fitted or damaged dentures, which in turn causes great discomfort in the mouth. If your dentures are damaged, immediately get a professional to carry out repairs and continue to keep your mouth in perfect health.