Many people with dentures think they can relax their dental routine now they’ve got fewer or no natural teeth. However, the reality is that looking after dentures requires the same amount of care and effort. Not only do denture wearers need to properly clean and maintain their false teeth, but they also need to take care of their whole mouth to ensure their gums remain healthy too.
Gums act as a foundation for dentures, and any irritation caused by bacteria can quickly cause sores on the gums, which can make wearing dentures very uncomfortable. If you’re new to dentures and need tips on how to properly care for them, this guide is for you.
Brush your dentures daily
Just like with natural teeth, dentures need daily brushing to remain clean. This ensures plaque and bacteria don’t build up and cause stains. Soak and brush your dentures using a soft-bristled brush and a nonabrasive denture cleanser to remove food, plaque and other deposits.
It’s important to not use a hard-bristled brush, as this can damage the dentures. If you’re using denture adhesive, be sure to clean the grooves that fit against your gums. Don’t use denture cleansers inside your mouth.
A whole-mouth clean
If you’re using partial dentures, it’s important to take care of the rest of your teeth. After cleaning your dentures, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean any natural teeth you may have. You should also clean your tongue, cheek and roof of your mouth (palate). If used, also remove any remaining denture adhesive from your gums.
It’s recommended that you regularly massage your gums to stimulate blood flow and alleviate any irritation or discomfort. If your dentures are starting to feel uncomfortable, get in touch with your dentist, as it may be time for a new fit.
Soak dentures overnight
It’s important to remove your dentures before going to sleep at night. This is because wearing dentures at night can increase the levels of saliva in your mouth, which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Your gums also need a break from contact with your dentures, which can cause sores and infections.
Bacteria caused by dentures can evolve into stomatitis (inflamed and sore mouth), gum disease, or even pneumonia, and the constant rubbing can accelerate jawbone loss. This can cause a shift in your face shape and a need for replacement dentures.
Dentures need to stay moist to retain their shape, so put your dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. For the best guidance, check with your dentist on how to properly store your dentures overnight. You should also follow the manufacturer’s advice on cleaning your dentures and what soaking solutions to use.
In the morning, don’t forget to rinse your dentures before putting them on.
Rinse your dentures after every meal
If you can, you should give your dentures a quick rinse every time you eat something. This helps stop bacteria and stains from building up and from food getting trapped between your gums and dentures. When food gets trapped, it can cause irritation and sores which can lead to gum disease if left unchecked.
Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist
Your dentist will let you know how often you should visit to have your dentures examined and professionally cleaned. They can also help ensure your dentures fit properly to prevent them from slipping or causing discomfort. They will also check the inside of your mouth to make sure it’s remaining healthy.
It’s also important to ensure your dentures fit perfectly. If your dentures are loose, they can cause irritation, sores or infection.
Things to watch out for
Here are some things you should keep away from your dentures to ensure they last a long time:
- Stiff or hard-bristle brushes, strong cleansers and harsh toothpaste are too abrasive and can damage your dentures.
- Whitening toothpastes usually contains peroxide, which is hard on your dentures and will do little to change their colour.
- Bleach products can weaken the dentures and change their colour.
- If you soak your dentures with metal attachments in a solution that contains chlorine, it can tarnish and corrode the metal.
- Avoid hot or boiling water as it can warp your dentures.
How Hamilton Dental Centre can help with dentures
If you’re new to dentures and are wondering how to look after them, or if you’d like to know more about dentures, get in touch with Hamilton Dental Centre. Don’t delay, contact us today!