Denture Care – Are You Doing It Right?

Posted on Posted in General Oral Health, Prosthodontics

What Is A Denture?

A Denture is defined as a removable appliance which is used to replace any missing tooth/teeth in the oral cavity. Dentures are commonly used among elderly people to replace missing tooth/teeth. In general, dentures are classified into 2 types, namely partial denture and complete denture. When all the teeth are missing in a dental arch, complete denture is used. However, when only some of the teeth are missing in a dental arch, partial denture is used.

How To Take Good Care Of Your Dentures?

Removable partial or full dentures require proper care to keep them clean, free from stains and looking their best. For good denture care:

  1. Remove and rinse dentures after eating:
    • Run water over your dentures to remove food debris and other loose particles.
    • You may want to place a towel on the counter or in the sink or put some water in the sink so that the dentures won’t break if you drop them.
  2. Handle your dentures carefully:
    • Be sure that you don’t bend or damage the plastic or the clasps when you are cleaning the dentures.
  3. Clean your mouth after removing your dentures:
    • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your natural teeth.
    • Use a gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean your tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth (palate).
  4. Brush your dentures at least once daily:
    • Gently clean your dentures daily by soaking and brushing with a non-abrasive denture cleanser to remove food, plaque and other deposits.
    • If denture adhesive is used, clean the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any remaining adhesive.
    • Do not use denture cleansers inside your mouth.
  5. Soak dentures overnight:
    • Most types of dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape & size. Place the dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. Check with your dentist about how to properly store your dentures overnight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you are using the cleaning and soaking solutions.
    • Rinse dentures before putting them back into your mouth, especially if using a denture-soaking solution. These solutions might contain harmful chemicals that cause vomiting, pain or burns if swallowed.
  6. Schedule regular dental checkups:
    • Your dentist will advise you about how often to visit to have your dentures examined and professionally cleaned.
    • Your dentist could help ensure a proper denture fit to prevent slippage and discomfort. Your dentist could also check the inside of your mouth to make sure it’s healthy.
  7. 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.

What Are The Things You Typically Should Avoid?

Certain materials or products could damage your removable dentures. Here are the few things that you should avoid:

  1. Abrasive cleaning materials:
    • Avoid stiff-bristled brushes, strong cleansers and harsh toothpaste, as these are too abrasive and can damage your dentures.
  2. Whitening toothpastes:
    • Toothpastes advertised as whitening pastes are especially abrasive and generally should be avoided on dentures.
  3. Bleach-containing products:
    • Do not use any bleaching products because these can weaken dentures and change their color.
    • Do not soak dentures with metal attachments in solutions that contain chlorine because it can tarnish and corrode the metal.
  4. Hot water:
    • Avoid hot or boiling water that could warp your dentures.

Visit your dentist as directed or at least visit once a year even if everything feels fine. Your dentist will evaluate the fit and the functionality of your denture and do a routine oral examination. If you have any questions, always contact your dentist.

Article written by,

Dr Ajay Jain

BDS, MDS (Prosthodontics),

AIMPT (Glasgow, UK), FPFA (USA), MISMR (USA), MIPS (India), MAP (Malaysia),

Maxillofacial Prosthodontist.

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