Missing teeth are a significant health problem. Aside from their value for appearance, they may also cause eating or chewing problems, which increases the risk of poor nutrition. Luckily, advances in dental medicine provided a solution to this problem with the development of artificial teeth, or dentures!
However, new wearers know that denture care can be challenging at times. Chewing, speech, bad breath, dry mouth, and even infections may become an issue. Reports say that over half of denture wearers suffer from a fungal infection known as oral stomatitis.
Knowing how to take care of dentures is going to help you keep yours in tip-top shape for as long as entirely possible. Here are some of the most important tips you should follow, especially if this is your first time wearing them.
Brush Your Dentures Regularly
You have to clean your dentures daily. Like regular teeth, they may have stains, tartar, and bacteria. To help keep your prosthetic clean, brush it gently using a dampened soft bristle brush and a good denture cleaner. There are tubes of toothpaste meant for dentures. Others use mild hand soaps or dish washing agents with warm water.
Dentists do not recommend the use of bleaching agents to avoid damages. If you are using denture adhesive, make sure to clean the grooves that fit against your gums to remove any residue.
Follow Good Hygiene Habits
Dentures are a common source of fungal infections in the mouth. Some evidence links oral bacteria with certain respiratory problems. That is why it is very important to clean your dentures and mouth regularly. Always brush your gums, cheeks, and tongue before wearing dentures. This will help remove bacteria that could contribute to gum irritation.
Soak Dentures Daily
After brushing your dentures, experts recommend denture rinse. Soak your prosthetic with a nonabrasive denture cleaner to remove excess food and stains. You can choose between an effervescent, gel, or cream. This process will also help kill germs that cause bad breath. Check the manufacturer’s suggestion on how long you should soak your dentures.
Never use denture rinse products inside your mouth. Be sure to rinse your dental appliances well before wearing them.
Give Your Mouth a Break
Dentists recommend removing your dentures for at least 6 to 8 hours daily to allow the tissues in your mouth to heal from any irritation or soreness. Sleeping without dentures is an excellent way to give your gums and mouth its much-needed rest.
Keep your dentures in warm water. This will help keep their shape and prevent them from drying out. When handling your prosthetic, place a towel underneath them to prevent breakage in case they fall.
Use Adhesives If Necessary
Make sure that your dentures fit properly in your mouth to prevent pain and inflammation. Some wearers are advised to use a dental adhesive. This can help secure your dentures in place while you eat and speak. It will also prevent food particles from lodging between gums and dentures.
Check the label for instructions on how to use it. Some contain zinc, which when used for prolonged periods may cause other health issues. Consult your dentist to see if a denture adhesive is appropriate for you to use.
Slice Your Food in Small Pieces
It may take some time to get used to eating with dentures. This may affect your overall health if you are not able to eat a well-balanced diet. Experts recommend slicing your food into smaller pieces to allow easy chewing and adding a pat of butter to soften some foods. Also, practice chewing on both sides of your mouth to avoid dislodging your prosthetic while eating.
Evidence suggests that dry mouth may cause gum and mouth irritation, thus increasing one’s risk of bacterial decay. Denture wearers, especially beginners, often complain of dry mouth. It is important to keep yourself hydrated so you can easily replenish body fluids like saliva. Drink at least 8 ounces of fluids daily!
Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods
Sticky foods can easily stick to dentures. This may cause discoloration, discomfort, and tooth decay. Try not to eat chewy types of food like caramel or hard products like nuts. This may cause loosening of your dentures. Choose soft snacks instead, such as smoothies and air-puffed crisps.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Go for regular dental visits to check on the quality and fit of your dentures. Your dentist will also examine your mouth for any infection or irritation. Professional cleaning is also recommended at least twice yearly.
Whether you are just getting ready to get new dentures or have been wearing a set for several years, we at Sunrise Dentistry welcome any denture questions you have! We offer holistic dentistry in Durango, CO, and our caring dentists will be more than happy to discuss your denture needs in-depth. Just give us a call at (970) 247-3303 at your most convenient time.