Oral care doesn’t stop just because you have lost some or all of your teeth. Maintaining clean and well cared for dentures is a very important part of keeping your mouth, gums, and throat healthy also. Most dentures are made out of a plastic called polymethyl methacrylate acrylic, or PMMA, and need to be taken care of in a much different manner than teeth. Always make sure that you check with your dentist, but there are some general tips that everyone should be aware of for proper denture care.
Dentures are fragile and can be easily damaged if dropped on the sink, floor or other hard surfaces. Try to stand over a rug or a towel if you are taking out your dentures in the bathroom. If you take them out elsewhere, make sure you are sitting down or not at risk of slipping or tripping.
When you are not wearing your dentures, it is important to keep them moist so that they retain their shape and color. Always make sure that you keep your dentures in a case or other safe place where you can soak them in water. Some people soak them in a cleaning solution when not being worn; however, if your dentures have any metal pieces, soaking should be avoided. Your dentist can work with you to create the optimal, safe storage plan.
Never, ever try to adjust your dentures yourself. There are several do-it-yourself kits on the market and different types of glue that claim to make it easy to repair your dentures yourself. Improper adjustment or repair of dentures can lead to your set not fitting properly and causing pain and sores in your mouth. Furthermore, this can lead to mouth and gum infections.
Typically, it will take a few follow up visits before your dentures achieve the perfect fit. Always make sure to bring up any concerns about your dentures with your oral health professional. If the dentures break, many times your provider may be able to get you in the same day to offer a fix. Sometimes, dentures do have to be sent away to be repaired.
Dentures need to be brushed and cleaned every day, just as if they were real teeth. Do not use toothpaste though! The abrasiveness of toothpaste can scratch or roughen the surface of your dentures which trap more bacteria. Make sure that you pick out a toothbrush that specifies that it has soft bristles. Your dentist can recommend specific brands or maybe even give you a sample.
The cleaner that you will use to brush your dentures once a day can be a mild dishwasher liquid or hand soap. Bleach should always be avoided because it can discolor the non-white portions of your dentures. Most dentists will recommend using an ultrasonic cleanser that works by places the dentures in a tub of the solution and sound vibrations cause particles of debris to call off of the dentures. This method does not negate or replace brushing however. Many people use the ultrasonic solution first, and brush right after to make sure that all the particles are off the dentures.