If some or most of your natural teeth have fallen out, using dentures might be the best option for you. Whether you are using few dentures or a whole set, you need to take care of them.
Here are some tips on taking good care of your dentures:
- Remove and rinse dentures after rinsing: After each meal, make sure you remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly. This helps in removing food debris and other dirt stuck between the teeth.
- Handle with care: Dentures are quite costly. They are also easily breakable. You must handle them with care to ensure that they don’t break. Keep a bowl of water or a soft towel under your dentures while cleaning them in case they fall. Do not use toothpicks while you are wearing them. Do not use harsh cleaners and hard brushes to clean them. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
- Brush dentures daily: Just like your natural teeth, your dentures need to be brushed daily too. However, you should use a soft-bristled brush specifically designed to clean dentures, not the ones you use on your natural teeth. You should also avoid using toothpaste. Toothpaste contains abrasive elements that cause microscopic scratches on the dentures. These scratches cause food and bacterial build-up.
- Clean your mouth after removing dentures: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on your natural teeth, and gauze or a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your mouth. Clean your tongue, inner cheeks and roof of the mouth (palate). If you use denture adhesive, make sure you remove it completely. Do not use denture cleaners inside your mouth.
- Soak dentures overnight: Dentures need to be kept moist to retain their shape. Place the dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. Your mouth also needs time to restore to its original shape. If removing dentures at night is not an option, make sure you remove your dentures for 6 to 8 hours at some other time of the day. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and soaking your dentures.
- Rinse dentures before insertion: Clean your dentures thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth. This step is important especially if you have soaked your dentures in a denture-soaking solution. These solutions contain harmful chemicals that can cause vomiting, pain, and burning if ingested.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Your dentist will decide how often your dentures need to be checked and professionally cleaned. Your dentist also ensures that your dentures are a proper fit. If there is any slippage or discomfort, the dentist takes care of it.
- Inform your dentist if you have a loose fit: Many people ignore loose fits. Loose fitting dentures cause sores, irritation, and infections. In case you feel your dentures have become loose, consult your dentist immediately.
Here’s a list of what you should avoid:
- Abrasive cleansers: Avoid using stiff-bristled brushes, strong cleaners, and regular toothpaste. These are too abrasive and could cause damage to your dentures. Mild hand wash or denture cleansers are perfect for cleaning dentures.
- Whitening toothpaste: Toothpastes that are advertised as whitening ones contain peroxide. They do not change the color of your dentures but cause damage.
- Cleansers containing bleach: bleaching cleansers ca weaken dentures and change their color permanently. Do not soak dentures with metal attachments in denture-soaking solutions containing chlorine. These solutions can tarnish and corrode the metal.
- Hot water: Avoid drinking hot water or cleaning your dentures with hot or boiling water. Hot water could warp your dentures irreparably.
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