Dentures can be a great way to replace multiple missing teeth. Modern technology has made them better fitting, easier to wear, and more natural looking than ever before. If you are considering getting dentures, though, it is likely that you have some questions about how to care for your dentures. Keep reading to learn more about dentures and a few things you should know about them.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that sit inside the mouth, and can also be removed. Depending on the number of teeth you are missing and their health, your dentist will recommend full or partial dentures. Full dentures replace all the teeth, while partial dentures are used to replace just some of your teeth, while the rest of your natural teeth remain.
Why would someone get dentures?
The simple answer is: to replace missing teeth. As we age, we often lose natural teeth to cavities, disease, and injury. When multiple teeth need to be replaced, dentures can be a good solution. Many people find that with dentures, they can speak more clearly and easily.
People also decide to get dentures for cosmetic reasons. People who are self-conscious about the look of their natural teeth or missing teeth, may prefer the look of dentures.
5 Things You Should Know About Dentures
1. Dentures need to be cleaned at least twice a day.
Bacteria and plaque build up on dentures the same way they build up on real teeth. This means it is important to clean your dentures as regularly as you would real teeth, which means cleaning them at least twice a day! Keeping up a strict routine will help to ensure your dentures are always properly cleaned, and will decrease your chance of developing oral infections or inflamed gums. If you have partial dentures, keeping your dentures as clean as your real teeth helps you combat decay and therefore reduces your chances of losing more teeth.
2. There is a proper way of cleaning your dentures.
Equally as important as making sure you clean your dentures often, is making sure you clean your dentures properly. First, you should brush your dentures with a denture cleaning paste. Next, soak them in a dissolvable denture cleaner (make sure you are not using hot water, as this could warp the dentures). After soaking the dentures, brush them with the denture cleaning paste one more time.
Each time you brush your dentures, make sure you brush firmly enough that you remove bacteria, but gently enough that you don’t create dents of scratches. Use a soft bristle brush or a special denture cleaning brush to ensure you avoid scratches or dents.
3. Some products can damage your dentures.
Certain products will cause damage to your dentures! Toothpaste, for example, contains abrasives that can scratch dentures, leaving behind microscopic crevices where bacteria can grow. Bleaching products will typically weaken dentures, and can cause permanent damage. If you find your dentures are stained or discoloured, talk to your dentist about professional denture cleaning to have those stains removed!
When choosing denture care products, keep in mind that there are different types of dentures, which require different types of products. Talk to your dentist to find out which products will be best for you and your dentures.
4. You can avoid staining your dentures through lifestyle or diet changes.
Just like natural teeth, dentures may become stained over time. To reduce discolouration and stains, avoid things like coffee, tea, and red wine, which are known to stain teeth. If you do notice that your dentures are becoming stained, you can talk to your dentist about professional denture cleaning. This usually removes the majority of stains from dentures, and leaves them beautiful and white again!
5. A night care routine is necessary.
You should not wear your dentures 24 hours a day, but should actually take them out for 6-8 hours a day to give your mouth and gums a break. For most people, this means taking them out while they sleep. Keeping your dentures in overnight or wearing them for too long can result in gum irritation, oral thrush, and other issues.
When you remove your dentures for the night, leave them soaking in a cleaner or in water to prevent them from drying out, warping, or cracking.
If you have any more questions about whether dentures could be an option for you, or about how to care for your dentures, contact your dentist!