People with implant-retained dentures (dental implants) may care for their prosthetic teeth much like a natural set of teeth, but for those with regular dentures, special care will be needed to keep both mouth and teeth in optimum condition. Proper denture care is essential for a healthy mouth and also extends the life of your replacement teeth. The following are some tips to help denture wearers make the most of their experience.
Caring for Your Dentures
- Handle with care. Remove your dentures over a sink partially filled with water, or over a folded towel in the sink, to prevent breakage or shattering should your teeth slip out of your hands.
- Brush and rinse daily with a gentle dishwashing liquid, or special denture cleaner. You need to care for and clean your artificial teeth, but toothpaste is too harsh for them! Many toothbrushes may be too abrasive as well – make sure you use a soft-bristled brush. Gently brush the entire denture and rinse your dentures out after every meal.
- Keep your dentures moist when you’re not wearing them. Just as contact lenses must be kept wet when they’re not in your eyes, dentures must be kept wet when they’re not in your mouth, so they don’t dry out and warp. The solution you soak them in depends on the materials used in your denture; ask our denturist for the optimal cleanser, or you can soak in plain water as long as it’s not too hot.
- Bleach any stains on your denture. You may inadvertently whiten the pink areas that match the colour of your gums. Instead, use an ultrasonic device when soaking your dentures, and brush daily as mentioned above.
- Miss your follow up appointments. You will need to see your denturist at least once after you receive your new teeth so that he or she can adjust them. Though dentures are created to be a perfect match, your jawline normally changes and shrinks with healing, so if you’ve had extractions, your new teeth will need to be adjusted as soon as your gums heal.
- Try to DIY repair dentures. Trying to repair or adjust your own dentures is like performing surgery on yourself: not a good idea. You can permanently damage your dentures, get sick from ingesting harmful chemicals contained in DIY-kit denture glue, or just make yourself vulnerable to getting sores in your mouth and gums from a poorly fitting or cracked denture sliding around in your mouth. Instead, bring your broken dentures to a reputable lab like the in-house laboratory at Dentures Direct. Your dentures can usually be professionally repaired in about an hour.
Caring for Your Mouth and Gums
One of the kindest things you can do for your mouth and gums as a denture wearer is to accept that dentures are not a lifetime prosthesis. They should be completely replaced every 5 to 7 years, and re-lined or re-based during that time to keep up with your changing jaw line. Your mouth and gums provide a clue as to when that should happen; you may feel areas of soreness or discomfort where the teeth no longer fit perfectly. You should also keep your mouth, tongue and palate clean and plaque-free by brushing every morning before putting your dentures in. You can also rinse and gargle with warm salt water to keep your mouth and gums clean and healthy – and don’t forget regular visits to your dentist or denturist to keep your mouth in tip-top shape!