Millions of people around the world have been fitted with artificial teeth or denture plates, bridges or other appliances to make their smile more attractive or to enable them to eat more easily. Our teeth help us present a beautiful smile to the world, eat, talk and express ourselves. That’s why the average person will spend thousands of dollars to regain the use of their lost teeth.
Caring for dentures is very important once you’ve purchased them. Even though your dentist has pulled most or all of your remaining teeth out of your mouth you still must continue to perform dental care each day.
Your dentures or appliances are an investment into your health, wellness and appearance. They probably cost you several hundred, if not thousand, of dollars and so caring for dentures is nothing more than watching out over your investment.
There are several steps to caring for dentures that will help you NOT to take shortcuts that result in stained, broken or ill-fitting teeth. This will make the dentures or appliance uncomfortable to wear. When you are placing your dentures into your mouth you’ll want to experiment with a good dental adhesive until you find one that allows your dentures to fit properly and work well all day. If you stuff the appliance into your mouth it can lead to sores or a poor fit that then leads to poor speech, difficulty eating and dentures that may fall out while you’re smiling!
When you take your dentures or appliance out you should brush them at least daily. This is best done at night after you are done eating and on your way to bed. Use toothpaste that your dentist will recommend and treat them like you would your own teeth. You can soak them in the suggested solution overnight unless you usually wear them during sleep. In the morning you must rinse off all excessive toothpaste or soaking solution and use non-alcohol mouthwash for extra antibacterial properties.
But all of this care should go beyond just the appliance. When you are brushing those dentures or your appliance you should also be brushing your tongue and gums to decrease the amount of bacteria that are living in your mouth.
If you find anything wrong with your appliance or dentures you must report them to your dentist. When you take them out during the night to care for them you should inspect them for chips, bends, cracks, breaks or warps. If you leave the dentures out of your mouth for more than 24 hours your mouth will go back to the position it held before. This will make wearing the dentures again difficult and sometimes painful.
There are a few things you should never do when you are manipulating and caring for dentures. You should never use sand paper or files to adjust your dentures. You’ll ruin the fit and it may not be able to be corrected. Do not clean your dentures with boiling water because you’ll ruin the product that it’s made with. Do not use an abrasive powder when you clean the dentures but instead use the toothpaste that your dentist recommended. Not only will the powder damage the dentures but it isn’t meant for ingestion into your body. It is very difficult to get rid of all of the product off of your dentures.
Caring for dentures isn’t difficult or rocket science but it takes a little time and effort to protect the investment you made when you first sat for the fitting and purchased the appliance. With good denture care you’ll be rewarded with a great smile, functional appliance and the ability to eat and speak without difficulty.
MayoClinic: Best way to care for removable dentures
Dental Fear Central: Dentures
IL Department of Public Health Division of oral Health: Caring for Your Dentures
University of Iowa College of Dentistry
NY Medical Center Department of Surgery: Caring for your dentures
Connecticut Dental: Caring for your dentures