Dentures are a common tooth replacement option. Whether you have several teeth or all of your teeth missing, dentures can help restore your smile. While dentures are common, caring for them is not necessarily intuitive. You can’t take care of your dentures in the same way that you might care for natural teeth.
Keep Dentures Moist
Dentures need to remain moist in order to maintain their shape. Therefore, it is essential to soak your dentures when they are not in your mouth. There are denture solutions available that you can use to soak your dentures nightly. However, simply soaking your dentures in water will suffice.
Without proper moisture, dentures will lose their shape. If your dentures lose their shape, it won’t be easy to place them in your mouth. In fact, ill-fitting dentures can hurt your gums and potentially leave sores. Any sore in your mouth can lead to infection.
Dentures can also dry out if they are not kept moist. Once dentures dry out, they form cracks within their structure. Cracks can be breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. This bacteria creates gum disease, which may alter your ability to wear dentures.
Avoid Damaging Materials
While dentures are relatively durable, certain materials can damage or warp their shape.
Because dentures are made from plastic, harsh chemicals or abrasives can ruin them. When you brush your dentures, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to buff away food particles gently. In addition, you should avoid using harsh or abrasive toothpaste to clean your dentures. The abrasives in certain kinds of toothpaste can leave tiny scratches in your dentures where bacteria can thrive. Whitening toothpaste is also not advised because the bleaching chemicals can weaken the denture structure
Additionally, you should avoid using hot or boiling water to clean your dentures. Hot water will warp the structure of your dentures. This can ruin their shape and fit within your mouth.
Continued Daily Care
A vital care rule of dentures requires nightly removal. You should never sleep with your dentures in your mouth. Even if you clean your dentures as directed, you still subject your mouth to unnecessary bacteria. This can not only cause your breath to stink, but it can create other health issues.
In fact, wearing your dentures overnight can double your risk of developing pneumonia, according to the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI). Wearing your dentures for long stretches of time increases the number of bacteria. So, when you sleep, you inhale or aspirate the bacteria into your lungs, causing pneumonia.
Daily cleaning is essential for dentures. Much like caring for your natural teeth, dentures need cleaning to avoid plaque buildup or harmful bacteria. There are denture cleaning products and solutions available at most convenience stores.
Along with brushing your dentures, you should also rinse your mouth thoroughly every time you remove your dentures. Additionally, you should still use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your gums and tongue. Your mouth will still continue to create plaque even if you do not have all your teeth.