After caring for your natural teeth for so many years, you might be confused about how to approach denture care. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone, and caring for dentures isn’t all that difficult either.
Whether you have partial dentures or full dentures, your oral care routine needs to change in order to ensure the health of your entire mouth. So check out the tips below if you’re interested in learning more about oral care for those with dentures.
Partial Dentures: You Still Have Some of Your Natural Teeth
Do you have partial dentures? Then you need to care for both your natural teeth and your dentures.
You can continue brushing and flossing your natural teeth as you have always done. Before you do that, however, remove your partial dentures to thoroughly clean them separately.
Removing your partial dentures once a day, prior to heading off to bed, is necessary to keep your gums healthy. Think: let those gums breathe!
Full Dentures: No More Natural Teeth
Like partial dentures, your full dentures should be removed every night before you go to bed. But because you don’t have any natural teeth to take care of, you can skip the usual brushing and flossing routine.
After removing your dentures, you can clean them to get rid of debris and bacteria. Soak them overnight and they’ll be ready for use the next day. Simple!
A Step-by-Step Guide to Denture Cleaning
Caring for your dentures isn’t complicated. Here’s a basic breakdown of the steps involved in keeping those dentures clean and as natural looking as possible:
- Remove your dentures and rinse them in some cool water. Why should you bother taking them out of your mouth, and why can’t you just keep them in your mouth all the time? Well, in addition to being able to clean them more effectively, taking your dentures out is a necessary step in preventing irritated, sore, and red gums.
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for dentures, gently and carefully clean them to remove food particles and plaque (yes, plaque can form on dentures too!). Brushing your dentures will even help keep stains away so you can have a white smile.
- Place your dentures into a cleaning solution that’s suitable for the type of dentures that you wear, as some solutions could actually cause metal to tarnish. These solutions are specifically designed to cleanse your dentures overnight and keep them moist while you sleep so that they’ll be ready to go in the morning.
- Gently brush your gums, palate, and tongue if you have full dentures. If you have partial dentures, brush your gums, palate, tongue, and natural teeth as well. This brushing routine can be done both in the morning and before bed, as it will help to stimulate circulation to the tissues and also keep your mouth clean and fresh.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or some salt water. Doing so could help kill bacteria while freshening your breath.
- In the morning, after brushing your gums, palate, tongue, and natural teeth, rinse your dentures prior to inserting them again for the day.
Pretty easy, right? But here are a couple of important things to keep in mind: it isn’t a good idea to use a household cleaner or even a standard toothpaste to clean your dentures, as these products will be too abrasive and damaging to the surface of your dentures. Also, you should stick with cool water rather than hot water, which could end up warping the shape of your dentures.
Experts also recommend cleaning your dentures over a sink filled with water. As an alternative, you could fold a towel and place it in the sink. In this way, if you accidentally drop your dentures, they’ll have a soft landing.
Your Dentist Can Help You Care for Your Dentures!
Keeping your dentures clean at home is part of the equation. The other half of your denture care involves seeing your dentist regularly. After all, if you have any questions regarding how to keep your dentures clean and how to keep your mouth healthy, it’s best to talk to a professional who can steer you in the right direction. Your dentist can teach you how to keep your gums free of infection and irritation, and he or she could also tell you about the best products to use to disinfect dentures.
In addition to checking the overall health of your mouth, including your gums, your dentist will also check on how your dentures are fitting so that they’ll always be comfortable. And if your dentures crack, chip, become loose, or break, your dentist will be able to repair or replace them so you can have a perfect fit—and a perfect smile—again.
Modern dentures that are comfortable and look like real teeth are a wonderful choice for anyone who has lost their natural teeth for any reason. Once you get into the groove of caring for your dentures, you can head out with a confident smile every day!