Many times people believe that because they have dentures they can ignore their oral health – nothing could be further from the truth. It is just as important to take care of your mouth and your dentures as it is to take care of real teeth. The risks of allowing poor hygiene to creep up on your mouth and dentures are numerous and could result in costly expenses.
Why should I clean my dentures daily?
Anything you put in your mouth ought to be clean, from food to dental appliances. If your dentures aren’t cleaned regularly there is a chance that they could introduce an infection to your mouth. Dirty dentures also have a tendency to irritate your gums and sometimes other soft tissues within your mouth.
What can I do to keep my dentures clean?
The easiest ways to keep your dentures in pristine shape is to treat them how you would treat your natural teeth. Brush them after meals or at least once a day.
When brushing dentures, it is wise to obtain a toothbrush made specifically for them. Dentures are made of a material that is more soft than teeth so normal toothbrushes can scratch them and make them more difficult to keep clean in the future. Also, using a toothpaste that is specially formulated for dentures is recommended because normal toothpaste can be too harsh and abrasive for proper denture care.
It is wise to rinse your mouth out with water after every meal to wash away any food particles that may still be hanging around in your mouth. This can also help to cut down on bacterial buildups that feed on food particles and produce bad breath.
A denture solvent such as Polident or Efferdent can be used to soak your dentures overnight. These solvents can go a long way in the battle against bacteria and the general cleanliness of your dentures. They can even remove stains from your dentures. Don’t forget to rinse off your dentures before putting them back in your mouth!
When Cleaning Your Dentures, Don’t Forget!
Because you take your dentures out of your mouth to clean and brush them there a few things you can do to make things easier on yourself.
Always remember that your dentures are delicate and can chip or crack if dropped. When brushing your dentures, do so over a sink that has been filled with water or over a folded towel on the countertop. If you accidentally drop your dentures into the water or onto the towel, their landing will be cushioned.
Make certain to wash or rinse your dentures only in cool water, being careful never to expose them to too much heat. Hot water or being left in an extremely hot area can distort a set of dentures and cause them to fit improperly.
Remember that your dentures are not ever to be scraped with tools or used to open packaging. Dentures are soft and can be damaged by such activity.
Give your gums a chance to breath. Remember that your gums need somewhere between six and eight hours of “rest” per day to maintain their health.
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to keep your dentures in water or denture solvent when they are not in your mouth. Dentures are made to be kept wet at all times and if they are allowed to dry out they can lose their shape. When dentures lose their shape they can become difficult to wear.
Take Care of Your Gums too
An important part of your daily oral hygiene ritual should always include taking time to clean and stimulate your gums. Your gums can attract bacterial buildup just like teeth or dentures so take some time to brush them with a soft brush or wet towel. This will help to wipe away any bacterial buildup as well as stimulate blood flow in your gums.
Notify Us of Any Changes
If you begin to notice that your dentures aren’t fitting you the same it is important that you call us to schedule an appointment. Make sure to inspect your dentures daily for signs of chipping or cracking. Excessive scarring of the surface of your dentures is worth telling us about too. All of these factors can affect your mouth and your comfort.
If you have questions about denture care, or if you need to schedule an appointment, please call us today at (425) 358-8500.