In our last article, the Marconi Dental Group talked about some common misconceptions about dentures. In this article we want to focus on how patients with dentures can care for themselves and their “false teeth.” You may have switched to dentures, but that doesn’t mean your mouth requires no further attention. In addition, while dentures are robust and durable, proper maintenance goes a long way towards preserving your investment in a new and useful smile.
Caring for Yourself After Dentures
Yes, the original teeth are gone, but you still need to brush your mouth! Brushing stimulates the gums and helps to preserve blood flow to these tissues. It removes plaque and helps control oral bacteria. Both can lead to bad breath, so you still want to remove them regularly with brushing. So every morning, before putting in your dentures, you should brush your gums, tongue and palate. Brushing at night, after you remove your dentures, is up to you.
You still should visit the dentist every six months. At our local Carmichael dental office, our dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral disease or ill-fitting dentures. If the dentures need adjustments, we can immediately consult with our in-house dental technician about the types of changes that would be helpful. Maintaining good oral hygiene and vigilantly paying attention for signs of oral disease is a team effort between you and your dentist, even after you receive dentures.
Caring for Your Dentures
Dentures are just like teeth, in that they need to be cleaned daily. You may use a special denture brush or a soft bristle toothbrush while cleaning them. After rinsing off any food particles, brush the dentures using a denture cleanser, not toothpaste. Some toothpastes contain abrasives (chiefly silica – also known as “sand”), which can damage the dentures. You may even use liquid hand soap for cleaning your dentures. Be gentle as you remove plaque and food remnants — brushing too vigorously on a regular basis will likely damage your new teeth. Make sure to rinse your dentures thoroughly afterwards — some cleansers, and certainly soaps, are not intended to be put in your mouth. When you are not wearing your dentures, it is best to keep them in water. Dentures do dry out, which can change their shape.
For information about specific types of denture cleansers, feel free to ask our dentists for their recommendations. Always look for products that have been approved by the American Dental Association.
Don’t Drop Your Dentures
Accidents happen, but dropping your dentures should be avoided. A very short drop onto a very hard surface often requires repairs, so extra caution is a good idea. To help protect dentures from accidental falls, fill the sink basin with water while you clean them. If you are concerned about saving water, lay out a double-folded towel over the basin while you work or when you inspect them.
Dentures last for anywhere between five to ten years, but good patient care can make them last longer. They may need to be relined to fit changes in your gums and jawbone. Rebasing saves the denture teeth, but creates a new base that fits better with any changes that have occurred in your mouth. If the teeth and base are too worn to be reused, replacement is the best option.
For answers to more questions about dentures, or for both installation, maintenance and repair, please make an appointment for a consultation with any one of our Carmichael dentists at the Marconi Dental Group, 916-589-6462.