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Dental Health: Caring for Your Dentures
Proper denture care is important for both the health of your dentures and
mouth. Here are some tips.
Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally
dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling
Brush and rinse your dentures daily. Like natural teeth,
dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps
prevent the development of permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with
soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using
a hard-bristled brush; it can damage dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the
denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In
between brushings, rinse your dentures after every meal.
Clean with a denture cleanser. Hand soap or mild
dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and
many toothpastes may be too abrasive for your dentures and should not be used.
Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture.
Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These cleaners are small
bathtub-like devices that contain a cleaning solution. The denture is immersed
in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the
undesirable deposits. Use of an ultrasonic cleaner, however, does not replace a
thorough daily brushing. Products with the American Dental Association Seal of
Acceptance are recommended since they have been evaluated for safety and
Denture care when not being worn. Dentures need to be kept
moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not
worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in
water. However, if your denture has metal attachments, the attachments could
tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best
methods for caring for your particular denture. Dentures should never be placed
in hot water, as it can cause them to warp.
Can I Make Adjustments or Repairs to My Dentures?
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed soon after you
receive your denture so that your oral health care provider can make any
necessary adjustments. Never attempt to adjust or repair your dentures
yourself. Never bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments yourself; doing
so can weaken the metal structure. "Do-it-yourself" repair kits can
permanently damage your dentures and over-the-counter glues may contain harmful
Dentures that don't fit properly can cause irritation and sores in your
mouth and on your gums. Be sure to contact your oral health care provider if
your denture breaks, cracks, chips or if one of the teeth becomes loose.
Oftentimes, he or she can make the necessary adjustment or repair on the same
day. For some complicated repairs, your denture may have to be sent to a
special dental laboratory.
Will My Dentures Need to Be Replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased or remade due to normal
wear, natural age-related changes to your face, jaw bones and gums, or if the
dentures become loose. To reline or rebase a denture, the dentist or
prosthodontist refits the denture base or makes a new denture base and reuses
the existing teeth. Generally, complete dentures should be used for 5 to 7
years before a replacement is necessary.
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