Full dentures are great at what they do — provide an affordable restorative dentistry treatment to replace a full arch of teeth. With full dentures, you can have an easier time eating and talking, nevermind just looking normal. To help your dentures last for many years, here are six tips for taking care of your full dentures.
1. Do not wear your dentures overnight. Full dentures are removable. That means they rest on your gums when you have them in your mouth. They use an adhesive, and with the shape of the gum-colored base, they hold onto your gums. That puts some pressure on your gum tissue. But just using your denture puts extra pressure on those gums. Every time you eat, you are mashing up and crushing your food. Natural teeth have roots, so some of that pressure reaches your jawbone. With full dentures, it all goes to your gums.
That’s OK. Your gums can handle that. However, they do need time to rest and recuperate. If you leave your dentures in overnight, you don’t give your gums the rest they need. This can lead to soreness in your gums. In order to keep this from happening, make sure you take your dentures out each night before bed.
2. Clean them thoroughly with denture cleaner or denture toothpaste. No, your dentures are not going to get cavities. You don’t need to brush and floss unless you have partial dentures or natural teeth on the top or bottom of your mouth. However, food can still get stuck in your dentures. This will start to rot, and you’ll have horrible breath. Dentures can also get stained. Keeping them clean can help keep them looking great and feeling good on your gums.
There are many denture cleaners on the market, and any of them should work fine. There’s also a specific toothpaste you can buy for use with dentures. Both need to be used when you’ve taken your dentures out — do not try to clean them while they’re still in your mouth. Also, don’t use regular toothpaste. The ingredients there are designed for enamel and can scratch up your dentures.
3. Only use cold water with your dentures. Many people think hot water is great for their dentures. After all, hot water helps get things like dishes and clothes more clean. Why not dip your dentures in boiling water and get rid of any germs? Because this will damage your dentures, that’s why.
Your mouth doesn’t get that hot. Sure, you may drink hot coffee, but that stuff is swallowed pretty quickly. All of that heat can easily change the shape of your denture’s base. This is carefully shaped at our Nashua, NH dental office to fit your gums in particular. Even small changes can make them fit poorly and even fall out. Always use cold water with your dentures to help make sure they fit well for a long time to come.
4. Visit our Nashua, NH every six months like normal. Again, your dentures won’t have problems with cavities. For some, that means they think regular visits to the dentist’s office is unnecessary. When you come to our office, checking for cavities is only one part of the treatment process. You will also get checked for gum disease and oral cancer, which can happen whether you have dentures or not. In addition, our dentists can check to make sure your dentures still fit securely but comfortably and help correct any minor problems since the last visit.
5. Be gentle when handling your dentures. Your dentures are designed to withstand certain pressure and situations. In other words, they’re supposed to help you chew your food. They are able to do that over and over again for years. However, that doesn’t mean your dentures are indestructible. In fact, they can easily get bent or damaged by handling them roughly. Many times, we’ve heard of people who dropped their dentures. They got damaged by hitting a hard floor.
When you take your dentures out and clean them, make sure that you are very careful. They’re tough, but they’re not that tough. Be gentle and careful with them so they’ll continue to do their jobs for years.
6. Soak them in water when you’re not using them. Along the same lines, your dentures are designed to stay in your mouth for hours. That’s a very wet and humid environment. In order to stay intact and working, dentures are supposed to be wet. When you take them out, they can warp a bit if they dry out.
To prevent this from happening, always keep your dentures submerged in cold water when not in use. Sure, you can let them get a little dry. It’s not like things go bad the moment they are taken out. But by keeping them soaking in cold water, you can help your dentures keep their shape and feel good for a long time.
Full dentures work great at replacing teeth and giving you back a working, good-looking smile. With a little care described above, you can be sure your dentures will work well for many years. If you are ready to learn more about dentures, call us today at 603-546-7460.