While dentures are a great solution for replacing missing teeth and improving your smile, they require daily care so you do not develop oral health problems. Discomfort and pain caused by dentures can hamper your ability to eat and speak properly. You can avoid many common problems associated with dentures by heeding the following tips for taking care of your dental prosthetics.
Do Not Wear Dentures for an Extended Period
While it may be tempting to keep your dentures on overnight for several days in a row, wearing them for a prolonged period will put you at risk for developing inflamed gums, infections and sores. The soft tissues in your mouth need to breathe, bathe in saliva and recover from the pressure of dentures.
Furthermore, over time, you may begin to notice bone loss in your jaw if you wear your dentures to bed on a regular basis.
- Heed your dentist's guidelines for rinsing and soaking your oral prosthetic in a denture cleaner overnight. Soaking also helps dentures keep their shape and prevents stains from developing on the replacement teeth.
- Rinse and massage your gums with lukewarm salt water at night after you take your dentures out to help keep your gums healthy.
Follow Proper Cleaning Instructions
- Before you put your dentures in a container to soak overnight in cleaner, gently scrub them with a denture brush to remove food debris and plaque. You can use a denture cleaning solution or mild soap.
- Do not use toothpaste, a stiff toothbrush or any solution that contains chlorine to clean dentures. Toothpaste and firm toothbrushes are too harsh for the dental prosthetics and may cause irreversible damage.
- Do not leave your dentures out overnight or for an extended period to prevent them from drying out.
- Rinse your dentures before you insert them in your mouth in the morning. Some people are sensitive to denture solution and may experience vomiting and a burning sensation if they swallow the fluid.
In addition to taking your dentures out at night to soak them in cleaner, you should also clean your mouth and dentures after every meal. While it may seem like an inconvenience to clean your dentures when you are out dining or eating snacks at a sporting event, think of the money you spent on oral care when you feel too lazy to clean your dentures.
- Purchase travel-size denture brushes that fit in your pocket or purse.
- Scrub and rinse your dentures with lukewarm water to dislodge any food particles.
- Place your dentures on a moist paper towel so they do not fall to the floor and break while you rinse your mouth.
- Do not use toothpicks to remove you food as they can damage dentures.
Take Care of Denture Problems Right Away
In addition to making sure you follow your dentist's orders for regular checkups, schedule an appointment as soon as you notice problems with your dentures. While your dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly, poor maintenance as well as general wear and tear will cause them to loosen or develop chips and cracks.
Loose or ill-fitting dentures make you more vulnerable to infections that can take a toll on your oral health. Your dentist can reline your dentures so they fit comfortably.
If you have had your dentures for several years, you may need to be re-fitted for new prosthetics. Older dentures may be beyond repair and not worth fixing. Your dentist will know if repairing ill-fitting dentures will do more harm than good to your mouth.
Since your oral health can have a huge impact on your appearance and self-confidence, it is important to take care of your dentures. You do not want to waste the money you invest in maintaining a great looking smile by ignoring basic maintenance guidelines. In addition, you will avoid embarrassing problems such as whistling noises when you speak due to loose and damaged dentures. Talk to a dentist to find more information.