Denture Do's and Don'ts
Tuesday February 24, 2015 by Melissa Brown, DDS
Dentures have come a long way from what they used to be. Today people of all ages are wearing dentures for many different reasons. Dentures today are much more affordable and can make life more comfortable and enjoyable for the people wearing them. While dentures can greatly improve your smile and your confidence it is important to remember that they require proper denture care to maintain a good fit.
WHAT ARE DENTURES?
Dentures are replacements for your teeth, or more simply put, artificial teeth. They can be taken out of the mouth and put back into your mouth as needed. While dentures may not feel exactly like natural teeth, they do look very natural and are more comfortable than ever to wear. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you decide what type of denture is best for your based on your unique situation.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Each denture is custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. They are made of acrylic, resin, and metal. Dentures fit over your gums with a flesh-colored acrylic base. The base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, or your palate whereas the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. The goal here is to make comfortable dentures that feel as close to natural teeth as possible.
When caring for your dentures it is important to know right from wrong so that you can ensure proper denture health. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to denture care:
Do: Take your dentures out overnight for cleaning and overall oral health. Cleaning your teeth –real and artificial- and caring for the rest of your gums and mouth are essential for denture wearers.
If dentures are left in too long, infections, swelling, and mouth and gum sores can develop. This causes bacteria levels to grow which can increase other problems for your oral health. Make sure that your dentures soak in a specialized cleaner overnight and do change the solution daily. You do not want them to dry out because this can cause them to lose their shape.
Don’t: Use toothpicks or hard dental scrapers on your dentures. Dentures do not have the same sensations of natural teeth and you may accidentally poke and damage soft mouth tissues
Do: Brush your dentures daily with a soft denture-cleaning brush, warm water, and an ADA-accepted denture cleaner. When you are brushing your dentures make sure to lay a towel over the sink to eliminate possible breakage should you accidentally drop them.
Don’t: Bite and pull with tugging motions when eating. Avoid using your front dentures on harder foods as this may cause them to chip or break. Practice taking small bites as this will prevent breakage and wear of your dentures.
Do: Take care of your mouth and gums. In order for your full or partial dentures to fit and stay put, they need a healthy base of gums to fit around. When you take out your dentures for cleaning get in the habit of gently brushing your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth to remove any bacteria and build up. This keeps the blood flowing and your mouth tissues thriving. Also make sure to brush and floss any remaining natural teeth as this is part of your daily dental care.
Your smile is something that no one will forget if you take care of it. Whether you still have your natural teeth or you have dentures, it is important to know that good oral health is vital to your overall health. Taking care of your dentures as if they are your real teeth will ensure that they will last a long time and that you can keep smiling for many years to come.