If you wear dentures, you’re far from alone. A study looking at denture wearing in 19 countries found that 19% of the population – nearly 1 in 5 people – wear some form of denture.
Most of us can expect to lose some of our teeth at some point in our lives. If you have serious tooth loss, dentures can open up a wide range of foods to you and allow you to eat a varied, healthy diet. It’s important to take good care of them to avoid the risks associated with bacteria building up in your dentures.
We’ve created the ultimate guide to dentures so you can confidently care for your new teeth.
Understanding Your Dentures
There are two main types of dentures – fixed and removable.
If you just have one missing tooth, your dentist in Wellington will probably recommend getting a bridge. Bridges are permanently fixed to the teeth at either side of the gap. These teeth are like anchors that hold the bridge – a small denture – in place.
Another type of denture is a dental implant. The implant is placed in the jawbone and makes a super-strong root for the tooth. A post is inserted into the implant, and a denture (crown) is attached.
But when most of us think of dentures, we think of removable dentures.
Complete dentures replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures can replace one, a few, or many of the teeth missing on a single arch.
What Are Dentures Made Of?
Fixed dentures are usually made of resin or porcelain. These materials mimic the appearance of natural teeth to give you the best look possible.
Removable dentures are usually made out of acrylic, certain types of metal, or nylon. They’re designed to fit snugly on your gums to feel as natural and comfortable as possible. Your Lexington dentist will talk you through the various options so that you can find the best fit for your needs and budget.
Dentures are designed to be worn in the warm and moist environment of your mouth. It’s important to keep them in water when you’re not wearing them so that they stay supple and don’t dry out and become hard and brittle.
How to Care for Your Dentures
Caring for fixed dentures is easy. They are already permanently in place in your mouth, so you do not need to remove them and treat them separately.
They’re designed to be kept clean with regular brushing with normal toothpaste. In the case of crowns and dental implants, regular flossing will also help to stop plaque from developing around the tooth.
Caring for Removable Dentures
You have three goals when caring for dentures. They are:
- Keep them clean
- Keep them stain free
- Keep them in good working order
To do this, it’s good to get into the habit of practicing a little denture care every time you eat. Remove your dentures and give them a thorough rinse. Take care not to drop them during this procedure as you could damage them.
Remember that dentures are quite delicate pieces of equipment. Always handle them gently, being careful not to bend them out of shape.
End of Day Routine
Cleaning your dentures at the end of the day is simple, but you’ll need a few items. They are:
- Denture cleaner
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Gauze (not always required)
Remove your dentures and let them soak. Now’s the time to give your mouth some attention. Thoroughly clean and floss any remaining teeth with regular toothpaste.
Make sure you remove any denture adhesive that has gotten stuck on your gums. Then clean the roof of your mouth, tongue and cheeks with the soft-bristled toothbrush. If you find this too abrasive, use gauze instead.
Now you need the denture cleaner and a toothbrush to clean your dentures. Never clean the dentures while they’re still in your mouth. Denture cleaner is not for internal use.
Start with the grooves and remove any adhesive. Then clean them out.
Now gently brush the dentures, removing any food that has become stuck. Doing this at least once a day will prevent plaque and stains from developing.
To Soak, or Not to Soak?
Here’s a point to check with your dentist in Lexington. Most types of dentures are designed to be soaked overnight. You can usually use a gentle cleansing tablet or solution to clean them further while you sleep.
However, not all dentures are the same. Check with your dentist first about how to care for the particular type of dentures you have.
If you do soak them, make sure that you rinse them thoroughly before you put them back on.
Bad Denture Care Habits to Avoid
It’s easy to get into bad habits, but when it comes to our dentures, they can be very bad for our health. If our dentures are not clean, they become breeding grounds for bacteria.
One bad habit to avoid is sleeping with your dentures in. Sure, it’s a hassle at the end of the day to remove them, but that’s the only way to keep them properly clean. This will also give your gums a rest overnight.
On the flipside, do make sure that you wear your denture every day! Dentures are designed to be worn. If you don’t wear them enough, they may lose their shape and not be comfortable when you put them in.
Finally, don’t put up with loose-fitting dentures. Your dentures should feel secure and you should have the confidence to eat a wide range of foods. If they don’t fit correctly, your Wellington dentist is here to help.
Get Comfortable Dentures from Wellington Dentistry
Whether you need fixed or removable dentures, the team at Wellington Dentistry is here to help.
Our doctors have over 45 years of combined experience. They’ll help you find dentures that look great, fit well, and help you to enjoy food to the full.
Schedule an appointment with them for a consultation on dentures today!