Proper cleaning and care are required to keep dentures looking and fitting their best. It is recommended by the American Dental Association to brush dentures at least once a day using a denture cleanser. This method is recommended since some ingredients in toothpaste can be too abrasive and damage your dentures. The steps in cleaning dentures are: dissolve one denture-cleaning tablet into warm water, fully submerge dentures in the solution and soak for three to five minutes, brush dentures with the solution, and rinse dentures in cool/warm water. Always rinse and dry off dentures before putting them back into your mouth. When not wearing dentures for extended periods or overnight, store them in water to make sure their shape does not become distorted.
There are four main food categories of what you should not eat with dentures: tough meats, sticky foods, hard foods, and foods that break into small pieces. Tough meat, like steak and pork chops, need a lot of chewing to be able to swallow them. All of that chewing will irritate gums, making them sore and destabilizing dentures. Try cutting tough meat into small pieces, if it needs to be eaten, to reduce chewing. Sticky foods, such as toffee, peanut butter, and gummy candy, can get under dentures and move them out of place. Hard foods, like popcorn, apples, carrots, and nuts, require chewing evenly on both sides of the mouth to not dislodge dentures. Chewing evenly on both sides of the mouth at the same time is extremely difficult. Finally, food with small pieces, such as seeds and nuts, often get stuck in dentures and can damage them. It is also important to note that coffee will stain dentures quicker than natural teeth, so keep this in mind when trying to maintain their white color.
As time with your dentures goes on, bone structures, gum ridges, and tissues often change and diminish. These changes can result in dentures starting to fit less securely in the mouth. Ill-fitting dentures can cause sores and irritation that can lead to infection. The easiest way to make dentures fit better is to use an adhesive. Dental adhesives are powders, pastes, or pads that help stick dentures to the gum to keep them in place. The adhesive is not a permanent fix for dentures that no longer fit. After a while, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or replaced. Relining is a quick fix that can be completed in a single day at the dentist— it is adding more material to the inner plate of the denture to mold to any changes in gums and tissue. It can also include fixing any broken parts of the denture. Rebasing dentures is the procedure of replacing the base of the denture (pink, gum portion) while keeping the same teeth. This modification is usually needed when the base has worn out much more than the teeth, which are still in good enough condition to use. If adhesives, relining, or rebasing does not help dentures fit better; it is time to discuss replacing them with your Community Smiles Dentist.
There are three main types of dentures: complete/full dentures, partial dentures, and immediate dentures. Complete or full dentures are when dentures completely replace all upper and lower teeth. The dentures are customized to fit each individual and look like natural teeth. They get placed on gums to cover jawbones and are removable. Their stability can be improved with adhesives or by attaching them to dental implants. Partial dentures are dentures that replace some teeth, but some natural teeth are still present in the mouth. The dentures cover where teeth are missing on either the upper or lower gums. Partial dentures secure to the mouth by being clipped and unclipped when needed. The third style of denture is an immediate denture. When preparing for full or partial dentures, teeth are extracted, and gums usually take six to eight weeks to heal. In order to not be without teeth for multiple weeks, immediate dentures can be used. Immediate dentures are removable, can be used right after a tooth extraction, and help you live a normal life while waiting for permanent dentures. The one challenge of immediate dentures is that they are not molded to the patient's gums, unlike full and partial dentures.
Dentures typically have a lifespan of five to seven years. They stain and wear down over time like natural teeth. Bone structure and gums are also constantly changing, which can result in different jaw alignment. If gum ridges become smaller, dentures will start to fit less securely. Improperly fitting dentures can lead to sores, infection, difficulty chewing, and changes in facial features. During their lifespan dentures, may need to be remade, relined, and rebased from regular wear. We suggest visiting Community Smiles Dental for annual denture check-ups.