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Alabama Family Dentistry | How to Care for Your Dentures
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How to Care for Your Dentures

photo of a set of dentures on a shiny gray background

How to Care for Your Dentures

Posted by Alabama Family Dentistry in Dental Tips 31 Aug 2017

What benefits have you enjoyed since wearing dentures? In addition to your lovely smile, it’s likely you can bite and chew with greater ease. As a result, your digestion may be better. Your speech may also be clearer.

To ensure a long life for your new teeth, they require diligent care. Proper handling will also help protect your oral health. Here’s how to maintain your dentures.

Handling

After each meal, rinse out the appliance with water. For safe denture removal, stand over a sink full of water, lined with a towel. Should you accidentally drop your appliance, it’s less likely to break upon landing.

Then, moisten your appliance by rinsing with warm water or alcohol-free mouthwash. Before touching your teeth, wash your hands well, to prevent germs from entering your mouth, increasing the risk for illness.

Take out an upper appliance by first pressing your thumb against the inside front teeth. Next, press upward and outward, toward your nose. To remove a lower appliance, employ a gentle rocking motion, and slowly pull it out. Never use an object other than your fingers to force out a denture, as this can damage both it and your mouth.

Brushing

Each night before bedtime, take out your dentures, to give your gum tissue a break from pressure. Then, clean the appliance with a denture brush. This type of soft toothbrush has separate large and small heads, and possibly a rubber pick, to extract food particles.

Daily brushing is vital, to eliminate plaque, food, and stain. Moisten the denture brush, and gently scrub the surfaces of the appliance. Be careful not to bend any attachments. Do not apply toothpaste to your dentures since it’s too abrasive and will scratch the acrylic surface. Then, bacteria will cling to the scrapes, producing a foul odor.

Soaking

After brushing, soak the appliance overnight in denture cleanser. The lengthy soaking will kill bacteria. Never use hot water, which can warp denture material. If your appliance has attachments, speak to your dentist about the best soaking solution that won’t tarnish the hardware. Solutions with chlorine will corrode metal. If your appliance doesn’t have clasps, follow the package instructions for the denture cleanser.

Be sure not to soak your appliance in bleach or vinegar. Doing so will weaken the acrylic and whiten the pink areas of the denture.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

You can also supplement brushing and soaking with ultrasonic cleaning. A device that emits sound waves will polish your denture at a microscopic level, helping to remove stain, plaque, and tartar. If you purchase a unit with a germicidal UV light, it will also kill bacteria. Buy a machine that bears the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, assuring effectiveness and safety.

To use an ultrasonic cleaner, you submerge the denture in a basket containing water or cleaning solution. Turn on the device, and sound waves will generate microscopic bubbles, polishing all the pores and crevices in your appliance. The cleaning process takes about five minutes.

Before using an ultrasonic cleaner, you still need to brush your denture. Bristle friction dislodges particles, making it easier for the machine to work.

Morning Care

Before inserting dentures, brush your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush. Doing so eliminates plaque while stimulating circulation in mouth tissues. Alternatively, if you have full dentures, you can use gauze to clean your mouth, rather than a toothbrush.

If you have natural teeth remaining in your mouth, brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Then, rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash.

After cleaning your mouth, rinse your dentures thoroughly. Otherwise, you risk swallowing harsh chemicals from the soaking solution that can cause burns and vomiting.

If your dentures require adhesive for a secure fit, your dentist can recommend an appropriate type. Adhesives are available as pads, powders, creams, liquids, and strips. Buy a product showing the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Important!

When not wearing your appliance, prevent it from drying out and losing shape by keeping it submerged in water or denture soaking solution.

Dental Visits

If you’ve just received dentures, you’ll need at least one follow-up appointment to assess their comfort and fit. Never try to self-adjust or repair your appliance. Bending the metal attachments can damage them. So can do-it-yourself repair kits.

If you have any gum irritation or mouth sores, make an appointment with us, to correct the fit of your dentures. Likewise, see us if the appliance breaks, chips, cracks, or becomes loose. Our Warrior office has a denture lab, where our appliances are custom-made and repaired.

At least every six months, return to our practice for re-evaluation. Over time, your denture may need to be re-lined, re-based, or re-made, to accommodate age-related changes in your face, gums, or jaw. Generally, with proper care, your dentures should last five to seven years, at which point we will replace them.

Gentle Dental Care

Alabama Family Dentistry has four offices, in Warrior, Fultondale, Sumiton, and Birmingham. As a full-service practice, we offer comprehensive dental care for people of all ages. If you dread dental visits, put your worries to rest. Our offices are designed for the utmost comfort, and our staff is friendly, patient, and understanding.

Here are the hours and phone numbers for all our locations. We look forward to seeing you!

Note: This article can not be a substitute for professional dental advice. Alabama Family Dentistry is here to provide you with trustworthy dental care.

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