Restorative dentistry provides patients with an excellent way toimprove not only their physical appearance but also the ability to talk properly, chew and function normally once again. If your teeth have decayed beyond repair, you’ve started to lose bone mass,or you simply have never experienced a healthy smile, then you might want to consider dentures. Dentures help to replace your missing teeth, fix your aesthetic problems and functions just like natural teeth. On average, dentures will last for five years but can even last longer if you provide them with proper cleaning and maintenance. If you are one of the millions of people who wear dentures, there some information you need to know about denture cleaning to avoid haphazard care as dentures don’t come cheap. This article is going to discuss more onthe Dos and Don’ts associated with keeping your dentures clean.
To start with, it is important first to know exactly what dentures are. Dentures are removable appliances that are used to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. If you’ve all or some of your teeth missing whether, from gum disease, tooth decay or injury to the tooth, replacing missing teeth using dentures will benefit your dental health and appearance. The factor that makes dentures different from all the other teeth restorative options is that dentures are not permanently attached to the jawbone. The primary reason for this is because dentures are meant to replace multiple teeth at the same time.
When you lose all of your teeth, your facial muscle can sag making you look older than you are. Dentures can help in filling out the appearance of your profile and face. They can be custom made to resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance will not change that much.
Dentures can be either complete or partial. Complete dentures are primarily used to replace all your teeth on either the top or bottom gum line, whereas partial dentures are used when there are some of your natural teeth remaining. Irrespective of what type of dentures you may need, they will be custom-made to fit your mouth and matched to your existing natural teeth.
Complete dentures can either be conventional or immediate. Conventional dentures are made after teeth removal, and the gum tissues have started to heal. They are ready for placement in the mouth around 8-12 week after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are always made in advance and can be placed immediately the teeth are removed. In this case, the wearer doesn’t have to be without teeth as the gum tissues heal. However, the gums and bones tend to shrink over time especially during the healing process following teeth removal. Therefore, one of the disadvantages of immediate dentures compared to conventional dentures is that they need regular adjustments to fit appropriately during the healing period. Immediate dentures should only be considered as a temporary solution until conventional dentures are made for you. With proper maintenance and care, complete dentures can last for more than 5-10 years.
A removable partial denture is mostly used when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support structures like dental bridges or when more than one tooth is missing. Partial dentures are fixed on the gum line that they will sit on. They are fastened to the nearby teeth to prevent them from falling or shifting out of place. However, partial dentures are not permanently fixed; they can be easily taken out at any time while sleeping and cleaning.
Other types of teeth replacements are fixed surgically such as dental implants, overdentures and dental bridges. Dental bridges and implants tend to be more expensive than removable dentures. There are four main types of fixed dentures:
– Fixed Bridge
A fixed bridge is used for replacing missing teeth by cementing a false tooth to the remaining natural teeth on each side.
– Dental Implants
A dental implant resembles the root of your tooth. Dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone and fused with your tooth for a natural fit. The implant is later loaded with a prosthetic either immediately after surgery or within six months.
– Implant-Supported Fixed Dentures
A crown is fused to the dental implant that is surgically inserted into your jawbone. Screws are then used to place it in place.
– Implant-Supported Removable Dentures
Dental implants in the jaw are used to attach a denture. This offers support while still allows you to remove your denture when necessary.
Not only does good denture care protect your investment in a tooth replacement option, but it also helps your mouth and the remaining teeth to stay healthy. If dentures are not properly well taken care of, it can lead to some serious oral health concerns and uncomfortable fit. Furthermore, when you fail to provide proper care to them, plaque particles can collect and lead to chronic gum disease, bad breath and loss of any remaining teeth. There some common do’s and don’ts of denture care that can either prolong the life of your dentures or bring some complications.
Denture Cleaning: The Do’s
Here are some of the easy things you can do to make sure that your dentures remain strong and as clean as possible.
– Handle Them With Great Care
The chances are that your dentures didn’t come cheap. And since they are fragile and can easily break, you’ll want to be extra careful with them. Clean your dentures over a bowl of water or folded towel just in case they drop. Don’t use a hard brush or strong cleaners while cleaning them. Such things can cause damage to your dentures. Also, never leave them where pets and young children can reach them.
– Rinse Your Dentures After Every Meal
Food particles are among the biggest causes of stain both on natural teeth and dentures. Remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly after every meal to prevent excessive particle accumulation and buildup. Rinsing them also helps to avoid debris lodging between the prosthesis and gum tissue, which may lead to infections and sores. Whenever you are rinsing them, remember to do it over a bowl of water or use a thick towel just in case you accidentally drop them.
– Brush Your Dentures Daily
Just like natural teeth, dentures can get stained and develop bacteria and tartar and thus they need to be brushed every day. To help keep your dentures pearly white and clean, first, rinse them to remove food particle. Then use a damp brush with soft bristle and warm water to brush them. Scrub gently not to damage the dentures.
– Use a Dental Brush
While brushing, dentists advise that you use a dental brush. Denture brushes are specially made to clean your prosthesis without being abrasive to them. Using a traditional brush may not be appropriate to brush dentures since it might be too stiff and may damage the softer acrylic over time. It may cause more scratches on that and may tend to cause even more accumulation of stain. You can get a denture brush from your dentist or your local drug store.
– Remove Dentures Correctly
Dentures are supposed to be removed properly using the right technique, which a majority of people overlook. Remove them using both your thumbs and index fingers in that you can feel the borders of the dentures. Then gently pull them downwards and for lower dentures gently pull them upwards. Ensure not to bend or squeeze them especially if they are flexible. You should also follow these simple tips while removing your dentures:
Insert Dentures Properly
Just as it is in removing your dentures, there is a specific technique that you should follow while inserting them. Stretch one side of your cheek outwards using the edge of the dentures, allowing enough room on the other side to insert them. Insert the opposite end and then insert the side stretching the cheek. Make sure that you have placed your appliances in your mouth properly and then press them towards the tissue surface on both sides simultaneously. You should also follow these simple tips while inserting your dentures:
Always Clean Your Mouth Before
Even if you do not have any natural teeth left, you still need to clean the inside of your mouth. This is because bacteria that reside inside the mouth can spread to your dentures. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently clean along the gum lines, on the palate and inside the cheeks. You can also use an extra soft toothbrush. Don’t forget to also clean your tongue as most bacteria that cause bad breath reside here. You can use a tongue scraper or any other device that can perform the same task.
Take your dentures Out Every Night
While dentures are great devices to help you eat a wide range of food, you cannot keep them in your mouth the whole night as you sleep. Dental experts recommend that you take your dentures out for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. This allows tissues in your mouth to heal from any irritation and soreness that might have occurred throughout the day. Sleeping without your dentures is a perfect way to give your mouth a break. While it may seem like an inconvenience to have to remove your dentures every night before you go to sleep, not doing so can bring a number of issues. Some of the health problem that can occur due to sleeping with dentures every night include:
Use Specially Formulated Denture Cleanser
Soak your dentures all night with a nonabrasive denture cleanser approved by the Australian Dental Association. The cleanser may be powder, cream or a tablet mixed with water. The cleanser works in a way that it loosens all the debris present on the surface of the denture. Use a denture toothbrush in the morning to gently brush and clean away all the soft particles on the surface of the denture and then clean them using room temperature tap water. An added advantage of soaking your dentures on a nonabrasive denture cleanser is that it can also help to kill germs that cause bad breath.
Ask Your Dentist About Adhesives
It’s vital that your dentures properly fit in your mouth. Dentures that don’t fit properly can result in problems such as soreness and pain. To ensure a better fit and prevent such occurrence, some denture wearers use adhesives. Denture adhesive can be instrumental in protecting food particles between the gums and dentures. Adhesives also help in securing your dentures in place while you are talking or eating. Consult your dentist and know if it’s best for you to use adhesives as some contain zinc and may have some health issues.
– If You Wear Partial Dentures: Get Routine Cleanings With Your Dentist Maybe you might be wearing partial dentures, and you still have some your teeth holding firmly in place. In such a situation, schedule for routine cleanings with your dentist and remember to take your dentures with you. Some people go to routine
cleanings but then fail to carry their dentures with them; it is important to bring yours with you. Your dentist will help clean both your dentures and your natural teeth as well.
Avoid Dry Mouth- Stay Hydrated
Studies suggest that dry mouth may cause irritation of the mouth and gums and also increase the chances of bacterial decay. People who wear dentures reportedly
experience dry mouth on occasion. It’s vital that you stay hydrated so that your body can replenish fluids such as saliva. The general rule of thumb is to take at least eight ounces of water every day. You can also check with your physician if you are currently on medication that is contributing to dry mouth. Speak with your dentist on measures that you can take to counter dry mouth.
– Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods
Sticky foods can get trapped and end up sticking on the dentures and teeth. This can result in discomfort, tooth decay and discolouration. Try not to chew hard food such as nuts and caramel, which can loosen your dentures. Opt for smooth foods such as vegetables and a well-blended smoothie for a healthy snack.
– Always Go for Regular Dental Checkups
Schedule regular visits to your dentist to check on the quality and fit of your dentures. Your dentist will also examine your mouth for gum infections and irritations. Ask your dentist to professionally clean your dentures and any of your remaining teeth and discuss with him or her about any other issue you might be experiencing with your dentures.
Don’t Use a Normal Toothbrush and Toothpaste
If you take a moment and compare between a normal toothbrush and a denture toothbrush, you will immediately notice the difference. The bristles of a normal toothbrush are coarse in that when regularly used it can eat away the dentures. You can also not use normal toothpaste because dentures are made of a different material than that of your natural teeth. The only thing that’s common between the two is that they look alike. Dentures are made of acrylic resin while natural teeth are made of enamel. Just like you wouldn’t want to use floor cleaner to wash your car, you will also not want to use normal toothpaste to clean your dentures. Ask your dentist to provide you with a denture toothbrush and toothpaste recommended for denture cleaning.
Don’t Leave Your Dentures Where There Could Easily Fall
Let’s face it; there are times that we get a bit careless with our belongings that we leave them in places where they can fall or easily break. However, you would want to be sure that you don’t make the same mistake with your dentures. Keep them in a safe location whenever you are not wearing them. If you do keep your dentures in the bathroom, make sure that you place them on a soft towel away from the sink
Don’t use Hot Water While Rinsing Your Dentures
While it’s tempting to use hot water, typically said to kill bacteria, never use it for dentures. Should you make a mistake of using hot water, you will be running the risk of warping your plates. Since dentures are generally costly, you would not want to run a risk of getting another set. The general rule of thumb is that you stick to warm water.
Don’t Use Abrasive Paste or products
Sometimes the idea of scrubbing things to get them clean isn’t always the best way out. Cleaning your dentures is not like cleaning a kitchen sink. Abrasive paste and products might actually do more harm than good to it. Products such as baking soda can cause microscopic scratches to them making them more prone to bacterial infections and stain build-up.
Never User Bleach on Your Dentures
It doesn’t matter what information you have acquired online, never use bleaching agents on dentures. While they may make your dentures appear whiter, bleaching agents are harmful to both your dentures and your body. Make sure that you only stick to cleaning agents recommended by your dentist.
If you are using dentures, you should make it a habit of cleaning them using recommended toothpaste and toothbrush. Use a soft toothbrush or moist washcloth to clean them manually. If you are missing some of your teeth or all of them and you are considering dentures as your most preferred teeth replacement option, Springvale dental clinic is here for you. Our dentists are well qualified and have years of experience dealing with denture fitting and installation.
After having the dentures fitted and installed, Springvale dental clinic recommends that you schedule regular check-ups and maintenance appointments. These appointments will help avert any problems that may occur with your dentures and ensure that they look and feel great. We hope that the tips we have provided in this article will help keep your dentures for a longer period and leave you smiling for years!
All Dentists of Springvale Dental Clinic are licensed general dentists, trusted by families in Springvale.