Three Denture Care Tips
Your dentures will last longer and fit better if you take proper care of them. Keep these points in mind to keep your dentures in top shape:
Clean dentures daily: Brush your dentures each day the same way that you would brush your teeth, with one key difference: Skip the toothpaste. Many commercial types of toothpaste can damage dentures. Instead, use a soft-bristle denture brush, designed specifically for cleaning dentures, and water to brush all surfaces of the dentures, but be careful not to bend any attachments. Rinse your dentures with water after each meal. You can buy specialized denture cleaners for soaking dentures, but soaking is not a substitute for brushing—you need to brush the dentures to remove plaque.
Treat dentures right: Fill the sink with water or place a folded towel in it when handling your dentures, so you don’t break them if they should fall into the sink. When you aren’t wearing your dentures, let them soak in cool water or a denture cleaning solution to keep them from drying out. Be careful of cleaning solutions if your dentures have metal attachments—the solutions could cause the metal to tarnish. And don’t soak dentures in hot water—they could warp.
Remove your dentures (full or partial) every night: This allows the gum tissue beneath them a chance to rest.
How to Clean Dentures
Plaque can form on dentures, just like natural teeth. If they’re not removed every day, your dentures may look less white and bright. It is also important to clean your dentures with a denture brush and soak them in a cleanser solution daily to avoid odor.
Clean your dentures over a sink filled with water to avoid damage if you drop them.
Rinse dentures thoroughly in warm water to remove any loose food particles.
Use a denture cleanser. (Conventional toothpaste, bleach, vinegar and soap are not designed for denture cleaning and could, in some cases, cause damage. Scratched dentures will harbor unsightly plaque bacteria, causing denture odor. Harsh products like bleach may even turn the pink parts of your dentures white.)
Moisten a denture brush (not a soft-bristle toothbrush) to clean all surfaces of your denture gently. Brushing too hard can damage any plastic or metal parts. Rinse and brush in clean, warm water.
Brush your gums, tongue and natural teeth with a fluoride toothpaste before reinserting your dentures. This will help remove plaque from your teeth, stimulate circulation in your mouth and help maintain good oral health.
Rinse with a mouthwash after brushing to give your mouth a refreshed feeling.
How to Remove Dentures
Swish your mouth with warm water or a mouthwash.
Fill the sink with warm water to avoid breaking the dentures if they are dropped.
Remove your top denture by placing your thumb against your front teeth and press upward and outward toward your nose.
Remove your lower denture by slowly pulling on it while applying a rocking motion.
If you take care of your dentures, you should be able to use them for five to seven years before you need to replace them. It’s important to see your dentist every six months to check the condition and fit of your dentures and to look for any signs of irritation or gum disease so they can be treated immediately.
Can Dentures Be Refitted?
Visit your dental professional regularly, as recommended by the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP). Rely on him or her for advice and answers to specific questions about your oral care. Even with the best care, natural changes in your mouth may make it necessary to have your dentures remade after a number of years. The bony ridge that your dentures rest on shrinks over time. Dentures should be refitted every few years by relining or rebasing, and new dentures should be made every five to 10 years. Report any change in the way your dentures work or feel to your dentist or prosthodontist. Your oral care professional can tell you whether an adjustment, a relining or new dentures are needed.
For more about dentures visit www.dentureliving.com.