If you have been considering dentures, you are not alone; they are more prevalent than you may think. If you are considering dentures, Dr. Kami Kohani and his team at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics can help and walk you through every step of the way. If you’re feeling hesitation about wearing dentures, it’s ok; getting comfortable with the idea of dentures may take time. You can openly discuss your concerns and ensure your comfort in your decision.
Here are ten things you should know about maintaining your dentures:
1. Your lifestyle affects your dentures – Changes in body weight tend to affect the way dentures fit by affecting the gum pads on which dentures rest. To help maintain a healthy weight and fight tooth decay, the American Dental Association advises people to eat a diet rich in high-fiber fruits and vegetables. Ill-fitting dentures can cause leukoplakia, it is recognized by thick, hard patches in the mouth that cannot be removed. This may also be caused by smoking or using smokeless tobacco. What goes in your mouth will ultimately affect your mouth and body. It is recommended that you do not smoke with dentures.
2. Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. There are two types of dentures available – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all teeth have been removed, and the gum tissue has begun to heal.
Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. They are removable and consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.
Recommended routine for denture care during the night
- Your dentures will last longer and fit better if you take proper care of them.
- Remove your dentures, whether partial or full every night. This allows the gum tissue beneath them a chance to rest.
- Soak overnight in cool water or denture cleaning solution to keep them from dying out.
4. Some products can cause irreversible damage to your dentures – While toothpaste is good for natural teeth, it is not good for denture material which is softer than tooth enamel.
- Toothpaste contains abrasives that scratch dentures, leaving microscopic crevices where bacteria can collect and grow.
- Use a soft bristle brush that is specifically designed for dentures.
- Avoid using a hard bristle brush as it can damage or wear down your dentures.
- Be careful not to bend any attachments.
- Avoid bleach-containing products and whitening toothpaste as they can weaken dentures and change the color.
5. Normal function is the goal! Dentures are designed to function as normally as possible, to allow you to chew, breathe and speak naturally. You don’t have to live with poor function from your dentures. See your dentist to see if any adjustments need to be made. Adjustments and repairs are quicker than you think. Repairs can often be made in a matter of hours, or at most, a few days.
6. Overnight soaking can kill 99.9 percent of denture germs – Pharmacy and grocery shelves are lined with denture cleaning options, from all-natural soaking solutions to high-end ultrasonic devices. Most types of dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape. Place the dentures is water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. Rinse dentures before putting them back in your mouth especially if using a denture-soaking solution. Depending on the solution, there could be harmful chemicals that cause vomiting, pain or burns in swallowed.
7. For patients who suffer from dry mouth, contaminated dentures pose potential health risks – Dental professionals are more mindful of the prevalence of dry mouth in the aging population. The risk of dry mouth, xerostomia, increases with the number of medications a person takes. Dentures wearers with reduced salivary flow should be particularly concerned about the cleanliness of their dentures. To relieve ongoing symptoms of xerostomia, your dentist may recommend oral moisturizers that provide symptomatic relief and aid denture retention, which boosts patient confidence.
8. Older patients – with or without dentures – have higher bacterial counts in their mouths
- There are higher counts of bacteria in the saliva of older people, particularly older denture wearers.
- This is due to several factors, including reduced salivary flow and diminished immune system.
- There are supplemental denture cleaning methods such as denture wipes or stationary denture brushes for patients who have a decline in self-sufficiency.
9. Routine check-ups and regular denture cleaning are essential. Your dentist will advise you about how often to visit to have your dentures examined and professionally cleaned. Your dentist can also help ensure proper fit to prevent slippage and discomfort.
10. Regular denture cleaning is essential
- Remove and rinse dentures after eating to remove food.
- Clean your mouth after removing dentures, use a soft toothbrush to clean tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth.
- Brush your dentures at least daily.
Your dentures keep you smiling with confidence and help you enjoy the foods you love to eat. Remember that dentures are like your natural teeth and will last longer and fit better if you take proper care of them.
If you’re ready for your dentures consultation, call La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics to schedule your appointment today 858.622.1007. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you.