If you’ve lost some or all your natural teeth, you may now be living with dentures. Whether you have partial or complete dentures, it’s important to take care of them properly to ensure they last a long time. Here are 8 important aftercare rules for keeping your dentures in tip top shape.
- Give your mouth a break.
Denture-wearers are advised to take out the dentures every night before going to bed to allow the gum tissue time to recover from wearing them. The recommended amount of time for removing them is about 6-8 hours every day. When your dentures are out, make sure to have them in a soaking solution. For dentures with metal clasps you can use warm water, for other dentures you can use a denture cleanser or a solution of half vinegar / half water.
- Be careful when handling.
Dentures have the potential to break easily. Make sure to put down a towel to cover your counter and sink when you are taking the out or putting them back in.
- Clean them regularly
Even though your dentures aren’t your real teeth, they can still accumulate tartar, stains, and bacteria. Plaque build-up on dentures can lead to inflammation or infection of the gum tissue. Avoid harsh cleaners, and instead, opt for a mild dish soap or a special denture paste. Use a separate soft bristled toothbrush than the one you use to brush natural teeth.
- Don’t ignore your gums
It’s still important to care for your gums when you are a denture wearer. Use a soft toothbrush or warm, damp washcloth to wipe down the gums after you take your dentures out. If you still have some natural teeth, make sure to brush and floss them daily.
- Keep your routine dental exams
It’s still important to see your dentist twice yearly for a regular cleaning and examination. In addition to evaluating the health of the gum tissue, the dentist will also check the fit of the dentures and look for any signs of oral cancer.
- Make note of any changes in fit
Over time, loss of natural teeth can cause changes in the gum tissue and bone, leading to poorly fitting dentures. If you notice that your dentures feel uncomfortable or don’t fit right, call us to make an appointment for an evaluation. In many cases we can adjust the dentures to fit right and prevent problems like pain or sores.
- Maintain good nutrition
Learning to eat with dentures requires making some adjustments. Biting and chewing nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables can become difficult, making it easy to skip these options altogether. It’s still important to make sure you are consuming a diet rich in essential nutrients.
- Quit Smoking
It is recommended to not smoke with dentures as it can lead to leukoplakia (thick, hard patches in the mouth). Smoking can also increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If you need help with resources for quitting smoking, please ask.
Dentures are a valuable dental restoration that can keep you smiling even after permanent tooth loss. If you would like more information about denture options, contact The Denture & Implant Clinic at 020 8629 1226.