Whether you use partial dentures or a complete set, dentures require the proper maintenance to keep them effective. Proper denture care is not just essential to extending the life of your dentures – it’s vital to your overall oral health. Here are some of the best practices for denture care from Rutgers Health University Dental Associates.
Clean Dentures and Gums Daily
Proper denture care begins with regular cleaning – at least once per day. Just like regular teeth, dentures are subject to staining and the build-up of tartar and bacteria. Plaque can lead to irritation and infection of the gums and tissues underneath the dentures, so it’s essential to stay on top of your denture cleaning routine. Follow these steps while being careful to not damage or bend any part of your dentures:
- Remove them from your mouth over a folded towel or bowl of cold water in case they drop.
- Gently brush them with a soft-bristled brush specifically designed for dentures.
- Clean them with regular hand soap, a mild dishwashing detergent or store-bought denture solution.
- Floss in between the teeth of your dentures.
- Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water.
- Massage your gums with a washcloth or soft toothbrush.
- Brush and floss your regular teeth if you are a partial denture user.
In addition, be sure to rinse your dentures after every meal if you do not have the opportunity to brush them. Though they are not an alternative to manually cleaning your dentures, you can also consider ultrasonic cleaning devices, which utilize sound waves to dislodge food particles.
Remove Dentures before Bed
As a part of your denture care routine, it is highly recommended that you remove them before going to sleep every night. This is because the tissues in your mouth that support the dentures need time to recover from a day of chewing and drinking. If taking out your dentures before bed isn’t feasible, make sure you give your mouth time to breathe for six to eight hours at another point in the day.
Even when you’re not wearing them, you still need to ensure proper denture care. Keeping them moist when they’re not in your mouth will help prevent dentures from losing their shape and fitting incorrectly. Soaking will also aid in removing bacteria, tartar, plaque and stains. All dentures can be placed in water when not being worn, and if yours have metal clasps, make sure the water is warm. For dentures without metal, you can alternatively soak them in a half-vinegar, half-water solution or purchase a denture cleanser.
Monitor Changes in Fit
Since the bones and gums of our mouths change over time, dentures may begin to feel loose, tight or like they’re not aligned properly. If this is the case, you may develop sores, pain or burning in certain areas. Ill-fitting dentures may also be an indicator of periodontal disease, the result of plaque collecting in the gaps between your dentures and gums. Therefore, it is important to monitor the fit of your dentures as a part of your denture care routine and visit your dentist if you notice any issues.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Both partial and complete dentures need to be regularly examined by your dentist, as well as the rest of your mouth. This will ensure your dentures maintain the proper fit and will allow your dentist to monitor your overall oral health. You should schedule a follow-up appointment every six months, unless your dentist recommends otherwise. In addition to assisting you with proper denture care, Rutgers Health University Dental Associates provide expert care for a full range of dental needs. For more information, contact our Newark or New Brunswick offices today.