Essential Denture Care

Denture care

Even though there seems to be a dentist on every corner and dentistry has come a long way, millions of Americans lose all of their teeth. Dentures have been the answer to this problem for a very long time. Even though traditional dentures don’t attach to the jawbone, they are still better than not having any teeth at all when it comes to chewing and speaking.

Many people who wear dentures and the people who care about them think that since they don’t have any teeth, they no longer need dental care. Denture wearers need to take care of their mouths at home and go to the dentist regularly, just like people with teeth.

Important Aspects of Denture Maintenance

To take good care of your false teeth, you need to do a few things on a regular basis. If you don’t do these things, you could get dangerous infections or increase your risk of getting oral cancer.

Cleaning Your Denture at Home

Plaque, bacteria, and food particles build up on dentures just like they do on natural teeth. They also pick up stains from foods and drinks that are dark. There are two important ways to clean your dentures that will keep them looking and feeling clean.

First, brush your dentures every day. Use a soft denture brush to clean the surface of the denture and get rid of any dirt or dust. No toothpaste should be used. Some tooth pastes are rough and can leave small scratches on dentures. If the gums’ acrylic and teeth’s plastic have a rough surface, they are more likely to get plaque and stains.

Then, soak your denture in a denture cleaner that has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. A denture cleaner like Efferdent that works overnight kills bacteria and gets rid of tougher stains.

Removing it Every Night

Your gums need time to heal while the dentures are out of the way. The best time to do this is while you sleep. You shouldn’t go to sleep with your false teeth in. When you keep your dentures in your mouth for too long, the soft tissues inside your mouth get irritated and swollen. Some people get painful fungal infections, such as thrush.

Taking your dentures out at night helps keep your mouth’s tissues as healthy as possible.

Professional Cleaning of Dentures

At least once or twice a year, you should have your denture cleaned by a professional at the dentist. We have antibacterial solutions and ultrasonic machines that can “deep clean” dentures. This cleaning can get rid of dark stains and glue residue that might be hard to get rid of at home.

Consistent Dental Visits

Going to the dentist often is important for more than just getting your dentures “deep cleaned.” You also need to go to the dentist regularly so that your dentures can be checked for fit and you can be checked for oral cancer. Because of years of infection and inflammation, most people who wear dentures have a slightly higher risk of getting oral cancer.

When your dentist checks how well your dentures fit, he or she can find spots that might cause irritation before they start. If your dentures don’t fit right, you’re more likely to get sore spots, ulcers, and feel embarrassment.

Denture Troubleshooting

Even with good care, problems can happen with dentures. Most of the time, people who wear dentures have problems with them coming loose, breaking, or a tooth falling off the denture base.

A Loose Denture

This is by far the most common problem we see with dentures. And there’s a very good reason for that: your jawbone and gums change shape, but dentures don’t. After your dentist takes out your teeth, your jawbone and gums slowly get smaller. They get narrower and shorter over time. As the bone and gums shrink, there is a space between the gums and the inside of the denture. The denture doesn’t fit as close to the gums as it used to, so it can’t pull the gums in. If there isn’t much room for air, glue might work.

The problem of a loose denture can be fixed in a number of great ways.

Denture Reline: During a reline, the new acrylic material is added to the inner surface of the denture to fill in the space between the gums and the denture and make it fit better. Relining dentures is a fairly inexpensive process that takes about a day. They make dentures fit better by increasing the area of contact between the base of the denture and the gums. This makes it more likely that the denture will stick to the gums.

New Denture: For many patients, the best way to keep a traditional denture in place is to start over with a brand new denture. This is a great option for people whose dentures still don’t fit well even after they’ve tried relining.

Implant Support: Traditional dentures don’t work for a lot of people. They can’t get a suction effect, never feel comfortable chewing or talking in front of other people, or just can’t handle the amount of material in the mouth. If any of these sound like you, you might want to think about getting implant support. Dentures that are held in place by implants are a whole new ballgame. By attaching the denture to an implant in the jawbone, you don’t have to use suction or big materials to keep it in place. The denture stays in place because it is attached to the implant abutment in a safe way. Dental implants are the best way to keep dentures in place.

A Broken Denture

Dentures are made of materials that are not very strong, so they can’t be dropped on a hard surface. If you slip your hand while cleaning your dentures in the sink, they could break. Where the acrylic base is thin on a denture, it is especially weak. When you hold your denture up to the light and look through it, that is a weak spot.

If your denture breaks, you should call your dentist right away to set up a time for it to be fixed. Some quick repairs can be done in the dentist’s office, but a final repair needs to be done by a lab technician in the dentist’s office. Even after it’s been fixed, the part of the denture that broke will always be weaker and more likely to break again.

If your denture breaks, you should keep in mind that you will have to get a new one at some point.

A Tooth Breaks Off the Denture

Rarely will just one tooth come loose from the denture. Like a broken denture, this could make an area of the denture weaker than other parts. Call your dentist right away, and DON’T try to super glue it back in. Superglue can get in the way of the bonding that needs to happen to put the tooth back in place. We must use materials that are compatible with the denture acrylic to attach the tooth back to the denture.

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