When teeth are compromised and need to be removed, dentists may recommend the use of artificial replacements, such as dentures. These prosthetic devices come in two forms: partial and complete. Partial dentures replace only a portion of the teeth, while complete dentures are substituted for one entire set.
Dentures help maintain your beautiful smile, so it’s only right that you take proper care of them. Regardless of which type you are currently using, here are five tips you should follow to make sure your dentures last a long time.
1. Remove Them Regularly
Removing dentures serves two purposes: It helps your mouth relax for a while, and it gives the dentures a break. Make sure to remove your dentures frequently. There are two instances when you can do this: after eating and before going to bed.
Dentures need to be removed and rinsed after eating. You can do this by taking the prosthetic device from your mouth and placing it under running water. This should be enough to remove loose food debris and other particles from the device.
Before Going to Bed
Taking your dentures out before bedtime allows your mouth tissues to recover from wearing them all day. It is also a great time to soak them in warm water or a special solution composed of equal parts vinegar and water to remove plaque, tartar, bacteria, and stains.
If you cannot remove your dentures during the evening, you can do this routine at any other time of day. Just make sure that you soak the prosthetic device in a gentle cleaning solution for about six to eight hours. Remember to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for maintaining your dentures.
2. Handle Dentures with Care
Dentures are very fragile. Because of this, it is imperative that you handle them with extra care.
Aside from being extra careful when removing and replacing them into your mouth, you must also make sure that you don’t drop them. When washing, be mindful of placing a towel over the sink or filling it up with water to keep the dentures from breaking should they slip from your hands.
It is also important that you avoid bending the plastic or metal clasps during cleaning. Never use toothpicks while wearing them, and keep these prosthetic devices out of reach of pets and children.
3. Use the Right Cleaning Tools
Brushing dentures every day is necessary to remove food debris and prevent plaque buildup. Doing so also helps prevent staining, which can be challenging to remove from these prosthetic devices.
However, you must make sure that you use the correct set of tools and cleaning substances for dentures. Never use the same toothpaste used for your natural teeth when cleaning your dentures. Hand soap and mild dishwashing liquids should do the trick.
If you have access to an ultrasonic cleaner, then it is highly recommended that you use it. This tiny tub-like device contains a cleaning solution that cleans the dental prosthetics. Using a sound-triggered waving motion, ultrasonic cleaners are able to dislodge debris and particles from it.
You must also remember to avoid using certain chemicals and cleaning materials, including:
- Abrasive cleaning materials – This includes brushes with stiff bristles, harsh toothpaste, and strong cleaners.
- Whitening toothpaste – Awhitening toothpaste may be able to bring back your teeth’s original color, but it can’t do the same for dentures. In fact, it can even be too abrasive for your prosthetic teeth because most whitening toothpastes contain peroxide.
- Products with bleach – Cleaning products that contain bleach may cause the pink portion of the dentures to whiten and, ultimately, its structure to weaken. The metal attachments shouldn’t be soaked in chlorine-containing mixtures as this could cause tarnishing and corrosion.
- Hot water – Hot or boiling water may warm the plastic materials used for your dentures.
4. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Another effective way of ensuring that your dentures last longer is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Make sure to clean the remaining teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth thoroughly when removing your prosthetic device.
Undergoing professional teeth cleaning would also help, especially if you only have partial dentures. If you have complete dentures, you must take care of your gums by massaging them with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth.
5. Never Try to Repair Damaged Dentures Yourself
If your dentures get damaged, never attempt to repair them yourself, even if there is just a slight dent or chip. This is because bending any component of the prosthetic device could compromise its fit and weaken the metal attachments. Over-the-counter glues and repair kits should be avoided as well as they can damage the dentures permanently.
Leave the repair to your dentist. A prosthodontist – someone who specializes in restoring or replacing teeth – may also be able to help. If you think your case is urgent, you can see the dental expert earlier than your post-denture appointment.
A Final Word
Maintaining dentures is as crucial as taking care of your teeth. Make sure you do it right by following the tips listed in this article and following manufacturer recommendations and instructions. Talking to your dentist is also recommended.