If you’re new to wearing dentures, although they are beautiful, wearing and caring for them takes some effort. There is a learning curve to adjusting to denture wear. After all, you’re getting used to doing what seems like everything oral – all over again. Eating, speaking, smiling, cleaning your teeth. At The Dental Implant Center, we want to make sure you are not only comfortable with your new custom dentures. We also want you to know what to do and what not to do after getting them. We think it’s important for you to not only know how to take care of your new teeth, but also to avoid these things that can ruin dentures.
Here are some good things to AVOID:
Cleaning Your Dentures with Regular Toothpaste
Over time, the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste cause micro abrasions that will make it harder to keep your dentures clean. These abrasions create a rough surface that quickly acquires plaque, tartar, and stains, making it much more difficult to keep them clean. It’s best to use a cleanser that’s intended specifically for cleaning dentures.
You can use regular toothpaste to clean your tongue and the inside of your mouth, just not on the dentures themselves.
Using Household Cleaners to Clean Them
It may not happen the very first time you use it, but over time, bleach WILL discolor the pink portion of the dentures, making them white. This is not something that can be corrected by a lab. If this happens, you’ll be stuck with two options: (a) white teeth and gums or (b) the necessity of needing to have a new denture made. Other household cleaners can also damage your dentures with abrasive or damaging chemicals.
However, if you run out of denture cleaner, mild dish soap can clean well when used with a soft toothbrush or denture cleaning brush. Rinsing your dentures out with water after every meal can also help in keeping your mouth clean and fresh.
Dropping Your Dentures
When it comes to handling dentures, always take extra precautions, as they can be damaged more easily than you might think. When taking them in or out of your mouth, place a towel on the bathroom counter or over the sink to cushion the fall if you accidentally drop them. Dentures are sturdy but dropping them can result in cracks and chips in the teeth. Repairs can be costly so it’s best to take the necessary measures to protect them. (Which brings us to…)
Repairing Dentures Yourself
Trying to adjust your own dentures is a tricky and risky thing. We’ve seen nightmare results of this over the years that resulted in the patient having to start over with a new set of dentures. Also, attempting to repair chips or cracks using a Do-It-Yourself Denture repair kit may require you replace your dentures sooner rather than later. It may save you money in the short term but will cost more in the long run. If you need a denture adjustment or repair, let a professional handle it. They can make sure all adjustments and repairs are done with the right materials and processes.
Not Wearing Them Regularly
You might be surprised by how often people forget (or choose not to) to wear their dentures. Some people who get dentures only wear them when they’re out in public, or around other people. One of the biggest problems with treating your dentures this way is that if you only wear them from time to time, like for social gatherings, you will very likely find they won’t fit anymore. Why is that? Once your teeth are lost, the bone that supported them slowly resorbs from our body. This process can be accelerated if you aren’t wearing your dentures.
Part of the trick of wearing dentures is becoming accustomed to them. It’s very hard to do that when you’re not wearing them. If your gums don’t experience the pressure from dentures daily, they’re more likely to be sore when you do put them in. And that can make for a very uncomfortable evening out. Dentures are designed to be worn, so make sure you wear them regularly.
(Important reminder: Although you should wear your dentures regularly, you also shouldn’t wear your dentures all the time, 24/7. See below.)
Forgetting to Take Dentures Out at Night
Your gums need a break from dentures at night and your dentures need time soak in a denture cleaning solution. Soaking them overnight helps remove plaque and stains and remove bacteria.
Leaving Them Out to Dry
What happens if you don’t soak your dentures? Whenever you are not wearing your partial or full dentures, it is important to always keep them submerged in water or denture solution. Otherwise, the acrylic can dry out over time and lose its shape, causing the dentures to become brittle and not fit as well. Keeping dentures moist helps to keep them in prime condition.
Soaking them in really hot water
When cleaning or soaking your dentures, avoid using hot water as it can actually cause your dentures to warp and become misshapen which can change their fit in your mouth. When cleaning and soaking, use cold water to protect your dentures and keep them comfortable.
Not Seeing Your Dentist
Even though you now have beautiful teeth that you can take out and clean yourself, you still need to see your dentist occasionally to be sure your mouth stays healthy. When you come in for checkups, we will be able to notice changes in your mouth that could impact how your dentures fit and whether they’re functioning as well as possible. We also check for oral cancer and any soft tissue related problems.
We typically see denture patients once or sometimes even twice a year. The recommended frequency depends on whether they are able to keep the dentures clean enough on their own or not. Another factor is whether or not their dentures have attachments that need to be replaced from time to time.
Now that you are aware of some of the things that can ruin dentures, you can avoid many of the problems mentioned above. Regardless of the type of dentures you have, we are committed to making sure they stay comfortable, functional and are everything you need in a smile.
Explore what The Dental Implant Center can do for you.
Are you missing teeth? Do you have worn down or broken teeth or restoration in need of repair? Are you in need of dental implants? Do you want a new smile you can feel proud of? Then let us help. Dr. McFadden and Dr. Tan are experts in the field of Prosthodontics. They are sure to be able to design a treatment plan that can fit your lifestyle, schedule, and budget. Contact us today to learn more about our services!