Understanding proper denture care will make living with dentures much easier and prolong the life of your dentures. When you are adjusting to new dentures, either complete or partial, one of the most important things you will need to know is how to properly care for your dental dentures as well as your mouth and natural gums. The proper maintenance and care of removable partial dentures or a full denture will keep your teeth clean, stain-free and give you a beautiful, confident smile. With good oral care dentures can last for 5 to 10 years.
Excellent dental denture care not only consists of learning how to properly clean your dentures but it also means practicing excellent oral hygiene in caring for your mouth and the tissues in the mouth. Scheduling routine visits with your denture dentist is also an important part of denture care.
Dentures should be cleaned daily to remove food particles and prevent stains and the buildup of plaque and tartar. If good oral hygiene is not followed it makes the dentures susceptible to damage and discoloration which will affect their appearance and may shorten the amount of time they can be expected to last. Problems in your mouth can also arise such as irritation to the tissues under the dentures, mouth odor and even infections. Prior to discussing denture care (the proper cleaning and care of your dentures); it is important to know how to properly remove your dentures to avoid any possible damage to the dentures.
Caring For Your Dentures with Proper Removal and Handling
Removing and inserting dentures may require a little practice but you will get the hang of it in no time. One thing to keep in mind, though, is dentures require careful handling to protect them and avoid breakage or loss. Be sure to fill your sink up with warm water or stand over a thick folded towel when removing and handling dentures to avoid breaking them if they are accidentally dropped.
– To avoid injury or damage to the dentures or your mouth, only your fingers (not fingernails or any other object) should be used to pry or pull the dentures loose and remove them.
– Wash your hands thoroughly before handling dentures.
– Swish mouth with warm water or mouthwash just prior to removing the dentures.
– To remove the top denture place your thumb behind the front teeth and press upward and outward, toward the nose, and gently remove from mouth.
– To remove the lower denture, slowly pull on the denture using a gentle rocking motion and remove from mouth.
First- Rate Denture Care Will Give You Something to Smile About
Treating your dentures with the utmost care is extremely important to ensure they stay in tip- top shape. It is just as important, if not more important, to clean and care for dentures just as if they were your natural teeth. If dentures are not cleaned properly and frequently it can lead to hard deposits (buildup of plaque and tartar), staining, and possible damage to the dentures which can adversely affect their appearance.
Other complications can also occur such as inflamed and irritated gums, bad breath or bacterial or fungal infections in the mouth. Denture care should consist of daily cleaning including rinsing after meals. It is best to consult with your denture care dentist on denture maintenance and the best ways to clean your dentures. Practicing good oral hygiene by knowing how to properly clean and care for your dentures will help maintain a beautiful smile.
Proper Denture Care:
How often should I clean my dentures?
Dentures should be cleaned several times a day but at a minimum at least twice daily. If brushing is not possible after each meal, they should be rinsed with water after meals and snacks to remove any loose food particles. It can be very easy for germs and bacteria to hide within microscopic crevices in the denture and a very meticulous and thorough cleaning is needed to prevent the growth of bacteria. Brushing alone may not be sufficient to thoroughly clean your dentures and keep your mouth healthy so soaking is also required.
What should I use to clean my dentures?
Dentures should be carefully removed and brushed with a soft bristle toothbrush or special denture brush after all meals and at bedtime to prevent accumulation of plaque and tartar and to remove any bits of food. Do not use a hard bristle brush as this can actually scratch the surface of the denture. A denture brush is best to use as it is specifically designed for this purpose.
Brush with water and soap or denture toothpaste. Be very careful not to use abrasive cleansers as they can scratch and damage the surface of the teeth making them more susceptible to the accumulation of plaque, bacteria and staining. It is best to use over-the-counter denture cleansers that have the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance so you know that they have been evaluated and tested for safety and effectiveness. Gently brush the entire denture being careful not to bend or damage any attachments.
What do I do if I see stains developing on my dentures?
Frequent and consistent denture care and cleaning should be sufficient to keep your dentures stain-free. Over-the-counter denture cleansers that have been approved by the American Dental Association are specifically designed with cleansing agents that target stains, germs and plaque. Do not ever use bleach or other harmful chemicals on your dentures as it can potentially discolor the teeth and gums and cause damage to the dentures. If you encounter problems with staining, talk to your denture dentist for help in determining the cause and for a professional recommendation on what to do.
Do I need to soak my dentures?
Most new dentures do not need to be soaked, but dentures made out of older materials do. Soaking a denture in cool or lukewarm water will keep them moist, but a rinse with water in the morning for a newer denture should work just fine as well. If your denture becomes discolored or develops a bad odor or taste then ADA approved denture cleansers can also be used to help remove those stains and odor causing bacteria. When using a denture cleanser the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.
Special care should also be used if dentures have metal attachments since they could possibly tarnish if used with certain cleansers. It is typically recommended that only water be used if there are metal clasps. Dentures can typically be soaked overnight and should be rinsed thoroughly with cool water prior to inserting back into the mouth. Be sure to change the water solution each time you soak your dentures. Hot water should never be used as it can cause the dentures to warp and lose their shape.
How do I remove adhesive from my dentures?
Denture adhesives are often used to improve the performance and fit of dentures and prevent embarrassing slippage. Residue from the adhesive can be easily removed from dentures through brushing and soaking with a denture cleanser.
How do I clean the soft lining of my denture?
If your dentures contain a special soft lining due to sensitive gums, certain types of denture cleansers and fixatives may be too abrasive and could possibly damage the lining. Talk to your denture dentist about the proper way to care for your dentures.
What do Ultrasonic Cleaners do?
Typically brushing and soaking is sufficient to clean dentures. Ultrasonic cleaning units can be purchased for home use, usually anywhere between $50 and $150, for a more effective and thorough cleaning process (in addition to daily brushing). Ultrasonic cleaners are basically little tubs full of water that you place your dentures into with high frequency sound waves running through it. It is a mini jacuzzi of sorts for your dentures with microscopic bubbling action that cleans and sanitizes. Ultrasonic cleaning is typically also done at the dentist’s office during a routine office visit to remove stains and tartar buildup.
Oral Hygiene and Denture Care
Denture care is not just caring for and cleaning dentures but also includes the proper care and cleaning of your mouth and gums. Maintaining a healthy mouth and gums goes hand in hand with a sound oral health care program. If you are wearing a partial denture it is extremely important to brush, floss and rinse your remaining natural teeth on a consistent basis (at least twice daily). Special attention should be given to teeth that fit underneath any metal clasps that hold the denture in place as plaque and food particles can become trapped under the clasps resulting in a higher risk of tooth decay and the growth of bacteria.
Full dentures should be removed on a daily basis and left out for several hours (typically overnight) giving your gums a chance to breathe. If dentures are left in too long you are increasing your risk of developing gum sores, inflammation, bacteria and bad breath. It is important to clean the inside of your mouth and gums, including your tongue, as part of your denture maintenance before putting your dentures back into your mouth.
Use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently brush the gums, palate and tongue. A tongue scraper may be used in lieu of a toothbrush, or in addition to, if preferred. The brushing action will not only keep your mouth clean but will stimulate and improve circulation in the mouth by gently massaging the gum tissue. Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water or saltwater is recommended. Mouthwash may also be used to leave your mouth feeling truly clean and fresh.
Visit Your Denture Dentist Regularly
Your denture dentist is there to assist you and help you with any questions, concerns, and problems that may arise. Part of your denture care should include routine visits to your dentist for cleaning and exams. New denture wearers should visit their dentist for adjustments or fittings as needed to ensure their dentures are fitting properly and remain comfortable. There is initially a period of adjustment with new dentures which may require dentures to be adjusted frequently.
Denture wearers should routinely schedule a visit with their dentist every 6 months for denture cleaning, examination of the teeth, mouth cavity and surrounding tissues and to ensure their dentures fit properly. You should call your denture dentist right away if you experience any pain, sores, swelling, inflammation, problems chewing or if your dentures are loose. You may need to have your dentures adjusted or it may be an early warning sign of a bigger problem. Your denture care specialist can evaluate any problems and recommend the proper course of treatment.
Ascent Family Dental is the perfect choice for all of your denture care needs. Dr. Scott Williams and his entire staff are dedicated to giving their patients personalized attention and quality care. Denture care can seem a bit overwhelming to a new denture patient and Ascent Family Dental will do everything possible to make the experience pleasant and stress-free. They truly want their patients to feel comfortable and at ease. Give Dr. Williams a call at Ascent Family Dental (970-351-6095) to schedule an appointment to discuss your denture care.
Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634