FALLBROOK – Proper dental care and oral hygiene is essential at all stages in life, even for people who have dentures, partials or implants. People with dentures must recognize that oral hygiene protects their dentures as well as their mouths.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, while 11 percent of the population requires the use of a complete denture. In addition, 5 percent of the U.S. population wears a partial denture.
Removable dentures require care to keep them clean and in good repair. Servicing dentures also helps ensure wearers’ mouths stay healthy. Follow these guidelines to keep dentures clean.
- Handle with care. Dentures are strong, but they are not impervious to damage. Treat them with care while handling, being sure not to bend or damage any clasps when cleaning, and try not to drop the dentures. When handling dentures, Colgate recommends standing over a folded towel or basin of water for added protection.
- Brush daily. False teeth need to be brushed, so don’t trade in your toothbrush just yet. Brushing will help remove food deposits and prevent staining.
- Take a break. Remove dentures before going to bed and soak the dentures in warm water or special denture cleansers. Removing dentures for six to eight hours allows tissue inside the mouth to recover. Soaking helps to remove stains, bacteria and tartar. The Mayo Clinic notes that most dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape, so do not allow them to dry out.
- Clean your mouth. While dentures are removed, use gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean the tongue, palate and cheeks. If you still have any natural teeth, use a soft-bristled brush to cleanse. Always rinse dentures before returning them to your mouth.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Dentists can advise how frequently to have dentures checked for fit and professional cleaning. Loose dentures can cause sores and infection, so it’s best to address any issues regarding fitting promptly. Dentists also will inspect the inside of the mouth for signs of disease or irritation.
- Eat healthy foods. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet to keep the body and mouth healthy. Cut up hard foods like fresh fruits and vegetables if dentures are impacting your ability to eat these foods.
People of all ages rely on partial or complete dentures to maintain their smiles. Routine care is necessary to keep the dentures intact and mouths healthy.