Caring For Your Dentures

Millions of people wear dentures. Most people who have dentures wear an upper denture though some people have a lower denture, partial, or some combination of the two. By taking care of your dentures they can last for a really long time. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize how much damage they are inadvertently doing to their dentures.

The number one mistake that most people make is using toothpaste to clean their dentures. On your teeth, toothpaste is great. On the synthetic material which comprises your denture, not so much. Toothpaste is naturally abrasive. It needs to be in order to get all the stuff off of your teeth. But when you scrub it onto dentures it creates abrasions which hide bacteria (http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/prosthodontics/dentures/).

You can use a soft-bristled “denture brush” to remove food and rinse them with water between meals. In lieu of paste on your brush, use a mild hand soap or dishwashing soap to remove particle. At night, you should use a denture tablet to deep clean your dentures.

An ultrasonic cleaner (preferably with an ADA rating) is also a great way to keep them clean without doing damage. If you brush them on a counter, lay down a towel to act as a buffer. Dentures are delicate so if they hit a hard surface they can easily break or bend.
You should never sleep with your dentures in. There are several reasons for this. Dentures, especially full ones, cover many of the ducts which encourage salivating. If these ducts are covered, your mouth can not clean itself and bacteria begin to take over.

Sleeping with your dentures in can damage them or your mouth. This is especially true if you grind your teeth at night. Most of the injuries are minor scratches and abrasions, but they are preventable. If you have weird hours or can’t take them out at night, pick 6-8 hours during the day to take them out and let them soak. If you ever run out of denture tablets, a 50/50 vinegar/water mix works wonders.

Dentures need to be kept in water when they are not in your mouth. Leaving them out leaves them prone to damage and more likely to crack. When your dentures come out for their nightly soak, never use hot or boiling water. Instead use cool or lukewarm water. This will keep them from warping from the heat.

Dentures do need to be periodically realigned, readjusted, and sometimes remade. Only a dentist should do this. There are DIY denture shaping kits, but these are unreliable and some contain toxic chemicals. You may think your saving money, but if you damage your dentures it will be far more costly in the long run.

Always remember that having a denture does not give you an excuse to neglect the rest of your mouth. Upon waking and before bed, be sure to brush your gums, tongue, any remaining teeth, and the roof of your mouth. Bacteria can still build up on all of these areas. And, without the visible evidence of plaque and cavities, it may be harder to tell when you have an infection in your mouth (http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/).

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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