Oral Care for Patients with Dentures
If you have full or partial dentures, you have to learn how to take care of them. Caring for dentures tends to be a little bit different than what you are accustomed to. Failure to look after your dentures properly can lead to infections and poor oral health. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about caring for your dentures.
Related Reading: Dental Dentures Treatment in Malta (Options & Prices)
What is the best way to care for dentures?
Always handle your dentures with care
Cleaning your dentures is quite a technical process. As much as they are strong and resilient, you should handle them with the utmost care. Otherwise, you might damage them by bending or breaking the clasps or plastic material, especially if they fall out of your hands onto a hard surface such as the floor or bathroom sink. If this happens, they will probably not feel as comfortable as you expect when you wear them and will also require repairing.
Remove and rinse dentures after eating
Like your natural teeth, food particles remain on your dentures after eating. Therefore, you need to remove and rinse them. Look for food particles and other debris as you clean them and rinse them properly. You can clean your dentures with a denture brush or toothbrush using soap and water. Many toothpastes can be abrasive to the denture surfaces, resulting in small, invisible scratches that will accumulate food particles and bacteria and can result in foul odours and infections.
Ensure you place a towel or there is water in the sink to protect your dentures from breaking in case you accidentally drop them when rinsing.
Clean your mouth after removing your dentures
Oral hygiene for people who wear dentures does not revolve around cleaning your dentures only. When you remove your dentures, clean your mouth using a soft toothbrush. This includes your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth as well as your tongue. Patients who still have some of their natural teeth left should remove the dentures before brushing their own teeth well with a medium toothbrush as well as the other oral surfaces mentioned previously. Brushing your teeth with dentures still in the mouth means that you will not be brushing tooth surfaces covered by the denture and this will lead to decay.
Soak them in a denture-cleansing solution overnight
Invest in a quality denture-soaking solution or use water to soak them overnight or for the amount of time stipulated by the manufacturer’s instructions. A dentist’s recommended solution will kill bacteria and germs on your dentures without causing any damage.
It is prudent to keep them moist so that the acrylic (plastic) material does not dry out as this can result in microcracks, thus making your denture more prone to fracture. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for storing and soaking your dentures. Also, you need to rinse your dentures before wearing them again. This ensures that you wash away any residue of the soaking solution.
Things that you must avoid
Sleeping with your dentures
Do not sleep with your dentures in place. Repeatedly doing so will not allow the oral mucosa (tissues) beneath the dentures to breathe and this allows potential fungal infections (also known as Candida infections or oral thrush) to develop. Although these are usually not serious infections, they take several weeks/months to heal and may cause soreness when wearing the denture, thus making them uncomfortable to wear.
Avoid putting your dentures in hot water as it warps or ruins their shape. Since they are made from acrylic plastic, soaking them in hot water can cause some damage. Dentists recommend room temperature water when soaking or cleaning dentures.
Products that contain bleaching agents
To maintain the colour of your dentures, avoid cleaning them with products that contain bleaching agents. These agents may also weaken your dentures and make them susceptible to other hostile elements.
Teeth whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste has hydrogen peroxide. And even though it whitens the natural enamel, it won’t do much for your dentures except causing damage.
Abrasive cleaning materials
Unlike natural teeth, dentures are susceptible to brushes with stiff and rough bristles, harsh toothpaste, and strong cleansers. These could damage your dentures, so you should avoid them.
Schedule a maintenance program with your dentist
If you want to take the best care for your dentures, schedule a maintenance plan with your dentist. Adhere to it, and your dentures will last longer.
Why regular dental visits for patients with dentures is important
You are most likely going to have questions about taking care of dentures. Such questions are best answered by professionals. A dentist can examine your dentures and notify you of anything that you might be doing wrong.
Your dentist will teach you on how to take care of your dentures
Professional dentists have experience with dentures. Therefore, they can provide you with invaluable tips on the right way to take care of your dentures.
They will help you keep your gums free of infections and irritations
When using dentures, some practices can lead to gum infection as well as irritation. You want to steer clear away from these practices.
However, you may not know what triggers them. A dentist is equipped with the right knowledge to treat and also help you keep your gums healthy. If you have been experiencing irritation, a dentist can identify the underlying problem and correct it.
Aside from that, dentures need other minor adjustments, especially if they are new. Any discomfort emanating from your dentures needs to be addressed accordingly. Otherwise, it may cause trauma to your gums. The bottom line is that any problems arising from your dentures are best resolved by your dentist.
Recommendation of the best products to use to disinfect dentures
People try different kinds of cleansers when disinfecting dentures. Unfortunately, some of them don’t work and others can damage your dentures.
It is essential to use the dentist’s recommended disinfectants when sterilising dentures. Usually, your dentist will recommend some high-quality products. This could include readily available cleansers in your local chemistry or homemade remedies.
Ensuring your dentures are well fitted for your comfort
If it is your first time using dentures, you are likely going to experience some discomfort. And while it takes time to get used to them, persistent discomfort could mean that something is wrong. In such cases, only a dentist can identify and fix the problem.
Replacing or fixing dentures if they crack, chip, break or become loose
Over time, your dentures can become loose, mainly due to constant changes in your gum tissues. When this happens, your dentures may need refitting, rebasing, or relining. Visiting your dentist regularly will help identify and resolve such issues.
Additionally, your dentist will inspect your dentures for chipping or cracks. The best part is that in case of any damage, the dentist can fix it. This includes repairing your dentures as well as ensuring they are comfortable. If they need a replacement for any reason whatsoever, your dentist will advise you accordingly.
Although tempting, if your denture breaks, never glue it together yourself. This will make a proper repair job by the dental technician more difficult and may sometimes result in the denture failing to fit well again. Take the denture to your dentist who will determine whether a mould needs to be taken for the denture to be repaired or not.
Ensuring that the tissue underneath your dentures is healthy
Unlike natural teeth, dentures may feel foreign to your gums. It takes time for these surfaces to get used to the dentures. The tissues underneath your dentures should always be clean and healthy. Regular visits to the dentist is important as it helps catch infections early.
Professionals have the know-how to inspect your gums for possible trauma and recommend the best solution.
With the guidelines that we have provided above, oral care for patients with dentures should be easy. Follow these tips to take care of your dentures as well as maintain good oral health.
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