Denture Maintenance & Care

New to Wearing Dentures?Β Finding out you are going to lose your teeth and have to get a denture/dentures can be a devastating time in your life. However, you are not alone in this fight.Β In fact, there are millions of people across the globe who currently wear dentures.
Transitioning from a life with natural teeth to a life with dentures can be both difficult and overwhelming. There is so much to learn in regards to taking care of dentures: i.e. what's the best way to clean dentures, gum care after dentures, brushing dentures, and so much more.
To make the transition to a life with false teeth as smooth as possible, this article discusses proper denture care and maintenance and helps you to familiarize yourself with cleaning false teeth properly, gum and mouth care, and storing your dentures.

Best Way To Clean Dentures

The dental industry has come a long way with how dentures are made. Dentures are designed to look natural and can be made from various different materials such as acrylic, metal, PMMA (poly (methyl methacrylate), etc. Even though denture teeth are fake teeth, it's still very important to properly clean them regularly to keep you healthy and keep your teeth looking aesthetically appealing.
We know that natural teeth can develop plaque (a sticky film of bacteria that forms after eating and drinking), stains, calculus and food buildup if not brushed regularly, but did you know that these things can also stick to dentures in the same manner? If your dentures aren't cleaned regularly, plaque and food can build up on them posing a risk for bad breath and gum disease. Cleaning false teeth regularly is also vital to your overall health.

To keep your dentures clean and for proper storage, you will need the following items:
● A soft-bristled toothbrush
● Water
● Denture paste or non-abrasive toothpaste
● A denture cleaning solution or mild soap
● A denture storage container
● A soft-towel

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends brushing dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least once a day, but preferably twice a day, in the morning and at night. However, brushing dentures alone doesn't clean them thoroughly enough, so cleaning false teeth not only entails brushing them daily, but also soaking them every night after removal.
Denture paste or a non-abrasive toothpaste are recommended as regular toothpastes contain ingredients that are too abrasive for dentures. Regular toothpastes/toothbrushes can gradually damage the surface of fake teeth causing scratches or small cracks. Also, it is important to note that whitening products are not good for your dentures and often contain peroxide which can actually change the color of them.
This is a very important part of long-term denture maintenance.

Cleaning Instructions

1. Place your soft towel on the bathroom counter or in the sink before removing your dentures (Dentures are very fragile so dropping them on a hard surface could cause them to break). Having a soft towel in place protects your dentures in case you drop them.
2. Remove your dentures from your mouth and thoroughly rinse them with warm water.
3. Using your soft-bristled toothbrush and denture paste, brush your dentures gently to remove and loosen food particles, bacteria, and plaque; this will also help to remove any denture adhesive. After brushing, rinse your dentures again with warm water.
4. If it's bedtime, soak your dentures in lukewarm water and the denture cleaning solution of your choice, per the instructions. Lastly, rinse your dentures well in warm water before placing them back into your mouth.
Once you start your own denture care, you will develop a routine and through trial and error, figure out which denture products work best for you. Just remember that no two denture wearers are going to have the same exact care routine. A cleaning routine or denture product that works great for you may not work the best for your fellow denture wearer.

Gum Care After Dentures

Gum care after dentures is equally as important as properly and regularly cleaning your dentures. While regular toothpaste isn't advised to clean your dentures, it should be used to brush your gums and tongue twice a day. This helps to prevent bad breath and keep your gums healthy.
If you have partial dentures, it's crucial to continue brushing and flossing your remaining natural teeth regularly. Using a mouthwash to rinse your mouth can also contribute to maintaining good oral health. Mouthwash can be used either after removing your dentures or while they are in your mouth. There is a mouthwash specifically designed for denture wearers.

Maintaining Your New Dentures

Dentures aren't necessarily cheap so proper care and maintenance are a crucial part of the denture process. With proper care a set of dentures can last an average of 7 to 10 years. There are several maintenance tips and key points that are important to know as a new denture wearer.
Let's go over some key points when it comes to denture maintenance.
● Dentures should never be placed in boiling or hot water as this could cause them to warp. Especially dentures or partials made out of flexible materials
● If not in your mouth, store your dentures in warm water to prevent them from drying out. Water helps a denture retain its shape, keeps it pliable and from drying out. Dryness causes dentures to become more brittle and lose their shape.
● Old or backup sets of dentures can be wrapped in a wet paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the freezer.
● Denture adhesives should never be used to remedy an improper fitting denture. If your denture has become loose or ill-fitting, it may need to be relined with a product such as Cushion Grip to prevent infection, irritation, or oral sores from developing. Please note that soft reline adhesive products like Cushion Grip are only meant to be used temporarily and should never take the place of seeing your dentist for treatment. A loose or ill-fitting/improper fitting denture may need to be replaced.
● Sleeping in your dentures is not recommended.
● If your denture fractures or breaks, call your dentist. Do not attempt to fix broken dentures at home. This can cause or create further damage to false teeth.
● Bleach-containing products can weaken dentures. Never soak dentures with metal clasps or attachments in chlorine based solutions as it can tarnish and corrode the metal.
Learning to properly care for and maintain your dentures are a vital part of the denture process. There is a lot to learn making the denture journey quite overwhelming at times. However, with a daily routine you will retain all of this valuable knowledge in no time and hopefully one day be able to help others through this process.
Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups after you've adjusted to your new smile. Your dentist can examine your dentures and mouth to make sure it's healthy. They can also ensure your dentures are still properly fitting to prevent slippage and discomfort. Of course if your dentures become loose or you develop any irritation, sores, or sign of infection, see your dentist promptly.

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