Proper care of your dentures may help you avoid unnecessary, and costly, emergency denture repair. The health of your mouth also depends on how well you care for them. Use this guide to help ensure that your full or partial dentures are kept in tip-top shape.
Brush Your Dentures Daily
Good oral hygiene habits are just as important for your dentures as they are for real teeth. When you take your dentures out every night, be sure to brush them gently to remove food particles, dental plaque and stains. Use a soft-bristled denture brush and a denture cleanser that bears the ADA Seal of Acceptance, or mild hand soap.
Don't Forget Your Gums, Tongue and Palate
Keeping your mouth clean also helps keep your dentures clean. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every evening and in the morning before reinserting your dentures. Brushing stimulates circulation in your mouth and gums, and helps remove plaque buildup.
Soak Your Dentures When Not Wearing Them
Dentures need to be kept moist; otherwise, they'll dry out or lose their shape. Be sure to soak your dentures in water or a dentist-recommended cleansing solution whenever you take them out. Avoid soaking your dentures in hot water, which may cause them to distort.
Keep Follow-Up Appointments With Your Dentist
It's common to feel minor discomfort and soreness in your cheeks, lips and tongue when you first start wearing dentures. That's why it's critical to keep your follow-up appointment -- your dentist can make adjustments to help improve comfort and prevent more serious problems in the future.
Handle Your Dentures Carefully
Dentures are fragile, so it's important to stand over a towel or a sink filled with water while handling them. Doing this will help you avoid dropping your dentures on a hard surface, which may cause them to break.
Practice Chewing and Speaking
If your dentures feel uncomfortable while chewing and speaking, you may be tempted to use a denture adhesive. But with practice, you may not need it. Start by chewing small pieces of soft food on both sides of your mouth, and gradually build up to chewing larger pieces of hard food. Using the muscles in your cheeks and tongue will eventually become second nature -- and can greatly improve how your dentures feel while chewing. To practice speaking, read out loud often. After time, any difficulty that you have pronouncing certain words will fade away.
Avoid Denture Repair Kits
Even if the damage seems minimal, you should visit your dentist right away if your dentures break, crack or chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Don't use a do-it-yourself denture repair kit; doing so may cause irreparable damage.
Get Your Dentures Relined Regularly
Changes in gum and bone structure occur throughout your lifetime, and will eventually cause your dentures to become loose. Ill-fitting dentures can cause sores and infection, and may make chewing and speaking more difficult. If this happens, see your dentist for a denture reline. A denture reline will resurface your dentures for a better fit and feel, and is usually necessary every three years.
Have Your Dentures Remade Every 5-7 Years
Over time, your dentures will become less effective due to normal wear and facial growth. Getting your dentures remade every 5-7 years can help you avoid changes in your facial appearance, which may be difficult to correct if you wait too long.
If you have more questions about denture dental care, talk to your dentist. If you don't have one, let us help you a dentist you'll love!