If you use dentures, then you know just how important they are – after all, they are replacements for your teeth. In order to get the most out of them, it’s important to take proper care to keep them looking great and to keep your oral health in check. Here are the most important Do’s and Don’ts of denture care.
Complete Denture Care Instructions
Taking Care of Full or Partial Dentures: Do’s
- Handle Your Dentures Carefully. Make sure not to bend or damage the clasps or the plastic when cleaning the dentures.
- Remove and Rinse Dentures after Eating. After each meal, run water over your dentures in order to get rid of any loose particles and remove food debris. You can put a folded towel on the counter or inside the sink to make sure that dentures do not break in case you drop them.
- Remove Them Before Bed and Soak Overnight. It’s good to give your mouth and your dentures a break every so often throughout the day. Taking them out before bed, or removing them for at least six hours a day is a good habit to practice. This also allows the tissues in the mouth to recover. And while they’re out, keep them soaking in warm water if they have metal clasps, or if not, then submerge them in a special denture cleanser to keep them away from bacteria.
- Rinse Dentures before Putting them in Your Mouth. Make sure to rinse your dentures thoroughly after using a denture-soaking solution, as it could contain harmful chemicals that could cause pain, vomiting, and burns if swallowed.
- Brush Your Dentures Daily. Just like you would with teeth, you must (thoroughly clean your dentures every day) make a habit of daily brushing and denture cleaning with a soft bristled brush. Use a soft denture brush, along with ADA-accepted denture cleaner. With a little warm water, gently brush them in circular motions, focusing on each area. It’s good to do this over a counter or table with a towel beneath to catch them if they happen to slip and fall.
- Take Proper Care of Your Entire Mouth. Keeping your gums nice and healthy is crucial for your overall health and ensuring that your dentures fit and stay put. Even though there may not be any teeth along the gumline, you still need to maintain a habit of gently brushing your gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth to remove plaque and bacteria. If you do have any remaining natural teeth, be sure to brush those and floss if possible.
- Schedule Regular Dental Checkups. Talk to your dentist about how often you should visit to have your dentures professionally cleaned and examined. A dental professional can check your oral health as well as ensure a proper denture fit to avoid discomfort and slippage.
- See Your Dentist if You Have a Loose Fit. In case your dentures become loose, visit your dentist as soon as possible. Loose dentures can cause sores, irritation, and infection.
Don’ts of Denture Care
- Don’t Use Sharp Objects. Avoid using anything abrasive or sharp along your dentures. Items like toothpicks or dental scrapers are not recommended to use on dentures since they can easily slip and damage your mouth tissue.
- Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Materials. Avoid brushes with stiff bristles, harsh toothpaste, or strong cleansers, as these could damage your dentures.
- Forget about Whitening Toothpastes. Toothpastes labelled as “whitening” often contain hydrogen peroxide, which has no effect on the colour of denture teeth.
- Don’t Use Bleach-Containing Products. Any bleaching products could weaken dentures and alter their colour. Do not soak dentures with metal attachments or parts in chlorine solutions, as chlorine could corrode and tarnish the metal.
- Avoid Hot Water. Hot or boiling water could warp your dentures, – use warm water for denture care instead.
- Don’t Use Tugging Motions When Eating. It can take time to get used to your dentures, but it’s important to use them correctly as you learn how to eat with them. Avoid taking large bites of food, don’t use tugging motions as you bite, and avoid biting down on hard items with your front dentures to prevent damage and chipping.
- Don’t Neglect Your Dentures. Your dentures are an important part of your day-to-day life, so the most important point in denture care is to take good care of them so they can serve you well for as long as possible. Don’t neglect them, or toss them about carelessly. Always be mindful and gentle when handling them, and keep them sanitized and clean to keep your mouth happy and healthy.
Why Keep Dentures in Water
Whenever you are not wearing your partial or full dentures, it is important to always keep them submerged in water or denture solution. Otherwise, the acrylic can dry out over time and lose its shape, causing the dentures to become brittle and not fit as well.
Dentures are full of microscopic holes, and keeping them moist is crucial to ensure the long life of your dentures.
What Happens when Dentures Dry Out?
There are several issues associated with dry dentures:
- They Become Painful. Moisture keeps dentures pliable, which allows them to stay comfortable in your mouth.
- They Become Brittle. Dry dentures are brittle, which means that if you were to drop them in the sink, for example, they would be more likely to shatter. If your dentures break, you would have to go through the entire process of getting new dentures all over again.
- They Are More Likely to Be Contaminated. Soaking your dentures in a cleaning solution at night can help you to keep them clean and get all the harmful bacteria killed.
Talk to your dentist about properly storing your dentures at night and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on denture cleaning.
Gum Care with Dentures
If you are a new denture wearer, you may find yourself asking questions like “how do you take care of your gums with dentures?” or “should you brush your gums if you have dentures?”.
In fact, whether you wear dentures or not, you should still practice good dental hygiene. If you wear full dentures, brush not only your gums, but also the tongue and the roof of your mouth, with a soft brush prior to inserting dentures. This will help to remove plaque, as well as improve and stimulate circulation in oral tissues.
Have Questions about Dentures in Ottawa? Contact Us Today!
If you have any questions about your dentures or denture care, or if you have broken dentures that stop fitting well, do not hesitate to talk to your Ottawa denturist at Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre. Contact our denture clinic in Ottawa to schedule a regular dental checkup to ensure you have a beautiful smile for years to come.