Modern dentures are better than ever before and last longer than ever when properly cared for. Today we’re going to talk about what you can do to make sure your dentures stay in their best shape for a healthier, more beautiful smile!
Just like your natural teeth, your dentures require consistent daily care, mainly because of harmful plaque buildup (food particles, oral bacteria and saliva) mixed into a clear film that coats both teeth and dentures. While plaque can’t destroy your dentures it can make them look dull and the “teeth” less pearly.
Unlike your teeth, you don’t have to use toothpaste to clean them, which is important because they often contain abrasive elements, especially whitening toothpaste. Scratching your dentures allows plaque to hide in the scratches, making them smell. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush to gently clean bacterial plaque out of the nooks and crannies in your dentures with water, and then a denture cleaner to soak them in overnight. This will also make sure your dentures remain odor-free.
Please note that other cleaners can damage your dentures, including regular toothpaste, bleach, vinegar and some soaps. But even with a denture cleaner, you’ll want to thoroughly rinse it off before putting your dentures back in. Swallowing the cleaner can leave your soft oral tissues burned, in pain and even cause vomiting. Don’t forget to rinse your dentures well with plain water after eating a meal or snack.
When taking out your dentures, just swish some warm water or mouthwash in your mouth to loosen them from your gums. Put your thumb against your front teeth and push up and out towards your nose to get your top denture out. Your lower denture will easily come out if you slowly pull on it using a rocking motion.
When cleaning your dentures, don’t forget to brush your soft oral tissues to get rid of plaque, including your gums (to remove denture adhesive too), tongue, palate and any natural teeth (using fluoride toothpaste helps protect your teeth) before putting your dentures back into your mouth. This will remove plaque from your teeth and help maintain good oral health. You can also rinse with a mouthwash after brushing so your mouth feels and smells fresher.
Whenever you take your dentures out, be sure to take precautions so they don’t accidentally fall and break or otherwise become damaged. They are fragile, so it is highly recommended to place a small towel into your bathroom sink or fill your sink with cool water in case they fall while handling. And when you go to soak your full or partial dentures for the night, you’ll also want to use cool or room temperature water – so they won’t warp – with some denture cleaning solution. The goal is to keep your dentures moist so they don’t dry out. If your dentures have a metal clasp, you’ll have to make sure your cleaning solution won’t harm them. Taking out your dentures daily allows your gums to stay healthy.
Even though you don’t have to have your dentures professionally cleaned like you would your teeth, you still want to have our dentist check your mouth and your dentures every six months to make sure they still fit properly and make sure there’s no gum disease or irritation going on. At some point, you might need to have your dentures adjusted, remade or relined according to any natural changes that could be taking place in your mouth. For example, bone material diminishing in your mouth affects the ongoing fit of your dentures.
With proper care, your dentures can give you a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles! Call our Valley View Dental team today to learn more about dentures!