Caring for your Dentures
If you want to keep your new smile looking great for a long time, there are some simple things to know about caring for your new dentures.
Dentures should be worn every day to make sure that they fit nicely into your mouth. Overtime, your gum and jawline will change. Wearing your denture regularly will help them to change less, and keep the denture fitting comfortably.
Caring for dentures also means caring for your mouth in general. Your mouth needs a break! Take the dentures out at night and massage the gums with a soft toothbrush. This break will help prevent fungal infections and keep the mouth tissue healthy.
Perhaps the most important part of caring for dentures is simply brushing them with a special denture brush, which is softer than a regular toothbrush. Use a denture paste, not regular toothpaste which is too harsh and could scratch the denture material. A little dish soap is okay, but be sure to rinse well, and never use other household cleaners on your dentures. The chemicals are just too harsh.
When handling dentures, be sure to use caution. They are fragile and can break easily if dropped even onto a bathroom or kitchen sink. Many people prefer to work over a basin of water or soft folded towel as extra insurance in the event that the dentures slip from their hands while cleaning them. Considering the time and money investment, not to mention the importance of your dentures to your daily life, this is a good habit to get into.
Caring for your dentures is simply about establishing good habits right from the beginning. Clean them twice a day, just as you would your natural teeth. After meals where brushing is inconvenient, be sure to rinse out your mouth to help wash away any food particles that may be caught between the teeth. With just a few moments a day, doing a good job caring for your dentures will provide years of satisfaction. These simple habits may take time to establish, but they can make a world of difference in how long they maintain their beautiful, new
Accidents happen. Denture repair is something that every denture wearer needs to be aware of and prepared for. Like anything else, dentures sometimes get broken or wear out. They are custom made to fit into your mouth, but the human body is always changing, so they will not fit forever.
As some point, you will need to arrange repairs for your denture. Fortunately, less-expensive, short-term use, duplicate dentures are available during the repair or replacement of your regular denture. It is a good idea to have that emergency denture made before your regular denture breaks so that you will be ready to handle its absence.
While it is tempting to try to do it yourself, it is not a good idea to make your own repairs to your dentures, as this can simply lead to more damage and potential health problems. Dentures that don’t fit right can cause gum irritation and mouth sores. A trained specialist knows how to make the right measurements, and has all the right repair and replacement materials on hand.
With time, dentures show normal wear and tear. They may need to be relined, rebased or remade. This is normal and expected. To reline or rebase the denture, the existing teeth are placed into a new or refitted denture base. If the teeth are showing signs of wear or become loose, the denturist will replace them.
Dentures can become loose as we get older. The shape of your mouth will change and shrink over time. This causes your jaws to align differently, and thus, your dentures will not fit the same. These structural changes in facial features affect the way the denture fits in your mouth. If your dentures are too loose, chewing is more difficult, and your face will not look the same. This kind of change requires the attention of a professional denturist so that the repairs are done right. You have such an investment in the denture it is important to keep them looking good with proper cleaning and maintenance.
Denture care isn’t very difficult, but like most things, there is a right and wrong way to go about keeping them fresh, clean and looking great.
First of all, it is important to realize that dentures are very delicate. Dropping them, even a short distance, can cause breakage. It is a good idea to work over a bowl of water or over a soft towel to provide a cushion in case they slip from your hands. Putting them in, taking them out, cleaning and soaking are simple movements that should not damage the dentures as long as it is done carefully.
Like natural teeth, dentures need daily brushing to keep them clean. When caring for dentures, always use a denture brush designed especially for them, as the brush will be very soft and will not scratch the surface. There are special cleansers and toothpastes made just for dentures. They are mild and nonabrasive. Never use regular toothpaste or harsh cleansers. It is a good idea to choose products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, as they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
Your gum tissue and jawbone will shrink and recede over time, but this will be minimized if you are sure to wear your dentures everyday. The shrinkage will cause the space between the jaws to change and adjustments will need to be made to your denture to keep them fitting properly. With good care, a set of dentures will last from 5 to 7 years before needing to be replaced.
Part of denture care involves caring for your mouth and gums. A soft toothbrush can be used to brush your gums and tongue twice a day. It not only removes plaque, but stimulates circulation to keep your gums healthy. Other things you can do to help keep your mouth and gums healthy include rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water or mouthwash daily, and giving them a rest from the dentures at night.
When dentures that used to fit are now loose and beginning to cause sore spots on the gums it’s time to have them religned. Religning is a process applied to the acrylic base of the denture that helps restore a proper fit and adds comfort for the denture wearer. There are three main types of religns, and the type used will depend on the condition of the gums.
People who wear standard removable dentures will find that as time goes by their gums change. This is caused by resorption of the bone beneath, resulting in a change to the shape and size of the gums and ruining the once great fit of the denture. This leads to dentures rubbing the gums and leaving sore spots. Some people will immediately seek help from their denturist, while others will choose to try to live with the discomfort, and this usually leads to a worse condition of the gums. Let’s discuss three types of religns.
Hard religns should actually be performed on dentures every two to three years in order to make adjustments for changes in the bone and gums. Your denturist will check the fit of your dentures, and if needed he will scrape a small portion of the acrylic away from the underside of the denture and add a soft putty-like material. The denture will then be reinserted into your mouth, where the material will harden to the consistency of rubber, giving an accurate impression of your current bone and gum structure. Your denture will then be sent to the lab and the putty area will be replaced with new acrylic in the exact shape of the impression. When your dentures come back they should again have a snug comfortable fit.
Soft religns are called for when denture wearers find they simply can’t tolerate the normal acrylic denture plate. In cases like these the under portion of the denture can be lined with a cushioning material, typically a flexible resin, that not only makes the denture more comfortable, but also adds a little more grip to the fit.
Frequently, some people wait until the situation has become quite grave. Their gums are so swollen, sore and misshapen that it is impossible to get an accurate impression of the dental ridge. This type of case calls for a temporary relign. Temporary realigns use a soft material to cushion the inside of the denture base and improve the fit of the denture. The patient is then able to tolerate the denture while the gums are allowed to heal. The material used is only designed to last a few months at best. Once healed, the denture wearer is ready for either a proper hard realign, or possibly an entirely new denture.
The moral of this story is don’t wait to see your denturist if you are having problems. Suffering with denture discomfort isn’t necessary, and will only lead to bigger problems.