Caring for Your DenturesIt is important to clean your mouth and denture daily so your mouth will stay healthy. Soaking dentures in water or a denture cleaner is not enough. They must be brushed with a soft toothbrush or with a toothbrush made especially for dentures. Having dentures does not mean that you can ignore your oral health and hygiene. It is still important to seek dental services regularly for evaluating the soft tissues and to examine the denture for proper fit, comfort, and function. The following information is provided to educate you regarding the care of your mouth and dentures so that you will gain the maximum benefit from them.
Why should I clean my denture daily?
Daily cleaning of your denture is necessary to prevent build-up of plaque, food, calculus (tartar), and stain which can cause:
Even with full dentures, it is important to brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before you put in your dentures. The tongue can be cleaned with a tongue scraper sometimes beter than a brush. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture's metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay. If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before you brush your natural teeth. Clean, rest, and massage the gums regularly. Rinsing your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water will help clean your gums. Eat a balanced diet so that proper nutrition and a healthy mouth can be maintained.
How do I keep my dentures clean?
Some people have very sensitive gums and may need a softer lining made for their dentures. If you have one of these special linings, it is important to check with your dentist before using any cleaning products or fixatives as some products can damage the lining.
What should I do if I have a temporary soft lining in my denture?
Tissue conditioning materials are indicated for very short time periods or 1 to 2 weeks. Follow the directions you are given when you receive these liners. Usually cold water rinses ONLY are indicated for these liners. The rest of the hard denture can be cleaned with a brush. If these have been in for more than 2 weeks call and make an appointment to have them removed and replaced.
Can I Microwave my dentures?
There are reports that microwaving complete dentures is effective for cleaning and disinfecting. Great care must be given for the using this technique for cleaning a denture.
Not only do your dentures need maintenance, but care also needs to be given to the tissues under your denture.
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed soon after you receive your denture so that your oral health care provider can make any necessary adjustments. Never attempt to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Never bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments yourself; doing so can weaken the metal structure. "Do-it-yourself" repair kits can permanently damage your dentures and over-the-counter glues may contain harmful chemicals.
Dentures that don't fit properly can cause irritation and sores in your mouth and on your gums. Be sure to contact our office if your denture breaks, cracks, chips or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Many times we can make the necessary adjustment or repair on the same day. For some complicated repairs, your denture may have to be sent to a special dental laboratory for repair.
With age, the jaw bones slowly change. With time the pressure on the underlying gums and bone causes them to resorb, leaving space where there was once tissue, as the dentures stay the same. Therefore, dentures that once fit no longer do. You may need to have your dentures re-fit by relining or you may need to have a new denture made.
Come to see me for the following:
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased or remade due to normal wear, natural age-related changes to your face, jaw bones and gums, or if the dentures become loose. To reline or rebase a denture, the prosthodontist refits the denture base or makes a new denture base and reuses the existing teeth. Generally, complete dentures should be used for 5 to 7 years before a replacement is necessary.
How Often Should I See the Dentist?
A healthy mouth has clean, stable teeth. You should have an even bite, secure dentures and be free of pain. Your mouth should be comfortable when you chew and your breath should be fresh. See your dentist if you have:
Other Final Denture Information
Dr. James L. Johnson