Ask Dr. Parker: How to Maintain a Denture?

December 28, 2015

denture careLoosing even one tooth negatively impacts your teeth, gums and even the shape of your face. A full or partial set of dentures can replace missing teeth and provide the support necessary for preventing these changes.

Although dentures made of durable, long-lasting, acrylic resins look like real teeth and gums, they still require continuous denture maintenance that involves at-home care and professional care provided at our dental clinic.

What Do I Need to Know About Taking Care of Dentures?

Dentures will last many years with proper care. Thoroughly cleaning dentures involves brushing them with toothpaste or a good denture cleaner. It is also a good idea to rinse with fluoridated mouthwash to prevent bacteria buildup responsible for staining and halitosis.

I also recommend that patients who receive a new set of dentures visit our office for a follow-up appointment to ensure their dentures are fitting properly. Adjustments to dentures are simple to make with the proper tools, but they should never be attempted by anyone other than a certified dentist/denture provider.

What Advice Would You Give on the Maintenance of a Denture?

Tips for keeping your dentures clean and functional include:

  • Always removing your dentures after eating and rinsing them with clean water to remove food particles.
  • Using a soft toothbrush to clean your mouth, tongue, and palate when you are not wearing your dentures. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, you can use a piece of gauze to wipe your gums.
  • Handling your dentures carefully to avoid damaging or bending clasps.
  • Brushing your dentures at least twice a day. After brushing dentures, soak them in a nonabrasive denture cleanser overnight. You should also know that most dentures need to stay moist in order to keep their shape.
  • Making sure you clean your denture’s grooves if you use denture adhesive (adhesive residue tends to cling there).

In addition, never clean your mouth and gums with denture cleansers. They are formulated to clean denture material only. Also, remember to rinse your dentures with water after they have soaked in a denture cleaning solution. Ingesting denture cleanser may burn your throat or cause you to vomit.

How Do I Know When I Should Have My Dentures Adjusted?

Losing teeth induces bone resorption, a condition where the bone surrounding the empty socket starts to diminish in density. Because bone resorption continues even though you are wearing dentures, a pair of well-fitting dentures will eventually become uncomfortably loose. How fast bone resorption progresses varies among denture wearers, which makes it possible for some people to wear the same dentures for 15 years while others need adjustments (relining) every few years.

If you notice your dentures coming loose from your gums when talking or eating or you have sore spots in your mouth, you should make an appointment with us to ensure your dentures are fitting properly. Never try to repair or adjust your dentures at home. Also, be aware that “do-it-yourself” denture repair kits may permanently damage your dentures or make them even more ill-fitting.

Do you have questions about your dentures, or would you like to find out more about getting dentures? Feel free to contact Dr. Parker today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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