Looking After Your Dentures
There are many causes of tooth loss, including periodontal disease, decay, and trauma. And dentures have been used to replace missing teeth for many years, actually, for hundreds of years.
In fact, around 700BC, Etruscans in northern Italy made dentures out of existing human or animal teeth! Ivory dentures were popular in the 1700s, made from natural materials including walrus, elephant, or hippopotamus.
Today, dentures are generally made of acrylic resin and metal. The base of partial dentures is often made of metal covered in plastic, and teeth are made of plastic.
But dentures have always been the same thing – removable replacements for your teeth, designed to look and function like your natural teeth and surrounding gum tissue. As denture technology has improved, more and more of the responsibility of taking care of them and keeping them in good shape falls upon the denture wearer.
At DentArana, we want you to know everything you need to keep you dentures comfortably in your mouth, and strong!
Strategies For Comfortable, Long-Lived Dentures
Brush your dentures daily.
Like regular teeth, dentures need to be brushed daily. Dentures can become stained and develop tartar and bacteria (though, thankfully, they don’t get cavities!). To help keep your dentures clean, rinse them to remove food particles. Then brush them with a dampened soft-bristled brush or denture brush using a mild hand soap or dishwashing detergent and warm water. Be very gentle!
Keep dentures covered.
When you remove your dentures for bed (and you should, because dentures should be out of your mouth from 6-8 hours daily to ensure the health of your mouth), be sure to keep them in a covered container. Use an OTC denture-soaking solution to keep them clean. Water works as a substitute, as your dentures need moisture to retain their shape. If you have any questions about storing your dentures, talk to us and we’ll help you.
Use cold or lukewarm water for your dentures.
Normally, to clean something effectively, you use very hot water. This is not a good strategy for dentures. Hot water can alter the shape of your dentures, especially the gum-colored base. This can destroy their close fit. If you clean your dentures regularly, you won’t need to use any hot water.
Ask about adhesives.
Dentures take time, effort, and money to get. And if your dentures do not fit properly, you may feel that this was all a waste. But sometimes it is not a question of fit, so much as it is a question of staying in place during speech or when eating tougher foods. Because dentures that slip are uncomfortable, and might cause sores and pain, many denture wearers use adhesives. If you have any questions about which adhesive is right for you, talk to your dentist.
Look after your whole mouth.
Even if you have complete dentures, you still need to care for your gums. Whenever you take out your dentures, give your mouth a good rinse and then massage your gums with a washcloth or a soft toothbrush. If you have partial dentures, brush and floss your regular teeth every day.
Schedule regular dental checkups.
Your dentist will recommend how often to visit to have your dentures examined and professionally cleaned. Your dentist can help ensure a proper fit to prevent slippage and discomfort.
See your dentist if you have a loose fit.
See your dentist promptly if your dentures become loose. Loose dentures can cause irritation, sores and infection.
Adjusting Or Repairing Dentures?
Never attempt to adjust or repair dentures yourself – you can do damage that your dentist cannot repair. Never twist or bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments yourself; the stress can weaken the metal structure. Over-the-counter repair kits can permanently damage dentures, and their glues may contain harmful chemicals.
Be sure to contact us at DentArana if your denture breaks, cracks, or chips, or if teeth in the denture loosen. Many times we can make the necessary adjustment or repair the same day. For more complicated repairs, your denture may have to be sent to a special dental lab.
Things to avoid:
- Abrasive cleaning materials. Avoid hard brushes, harsh cleansers and gritty toothpaste, as these are too abrasive and can damage your dentures.
- Hot water. Avoid hot or boiling water as it can warp your dentures.
- Bleach. Don’t use bleaching products because they can weaken dentures and change their color. Don’t soak dentures with metal attachments in solutions containing chlorine because it can tarnish and corrode the metal.
- Whitening toothpastes. Whitening toothpastes are usually useless on dentures.
DentArana Is Your Partner In Health
DentArana provides family dentistry in Arana Hills. Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable, and help you achieve maximum oral and overall health! We offer late and Saturday hours!