It is often a fact of growing older that people tend to lose their natural teeth. As seniors age, years of dental work and poor dental hygiene can catch up to them. Some seniors only need a partial so that they can continue to eat properly and speak normally. Others, however, may need a full set of dentures in order to continue their healthy lifestyles. Getting dentures can be scary and a little uncomfortable at first, but they allow seniors to eat properly, speak properly and continue to work towards a healthy life so that they can enjoy their lives. Dentures do come with a large learning curve though. People must learn how to clean them and care for them; otherwise they can degrade and cause widespread health issues. If you or someone you care for has dentures, then keep reading to find tips on how to keep dentures clean.
Handle Dentures with Care
The easiest way to keep your dentures intact and healthy is to handle them with care. Do not drop them, leave them sitting on the counter, squeeze them or not clean them. Dentures should be handled similarly to your own teeth. To prevent having an accident and dropping them, always make sure to place them in a cup or in a denture holder whenever you are not wearing them. Plus, be very careful when you clean them.
Brush Dentures on a Daily Basis
Just like regular teeth, dentures need to be brushed every day. You do not have to brush them every time you eat, or even two to three times per day. However, brushing them once per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water will help prevent plaque build-up, will remove any stains, and will keep food from getting trapped in your dentures. Never use toothpaste on your dentures because many types of toothpaste are too abrasive for the dentures and will cause them to degrade. Instead, brush them with water or with denture cleaner.
Clean Dentures with Denture Cleaner
Denture cleaner is perfect for getting all of the bacteria, debris and plaque off of your dentures. It is often used in denture cups or holders overnight while you sleep. Most denture cleaners allow you to simply place an effervescent capsule in your denture holder each night and by the morning; your dentures will be clean and refreshed. If you do not want to buy denture cleaner, then hand soap or very mild dish soap can be utilized instead. Also, never use a denture cleaner that contains bleach. The bleach can discolor the pink, gum portion of your dentures and break down the material.
Keep Dentures Moist When They Are Not Being Worn
When you are not wearing your dentures, it is essential that you keep them in a moist environment. If you do not keep them moist, then they will dry out and they can become deformed or even cracked. You can easily clean your dentures and keep them in a moist environment at the same time. Simply place your dentures in a cup or a denture holder each night while you sleep and fill the cup with denture cleaner. You can also keep your dentures in water. However, some dentures have metal portions on them and the metal could rust or tarnish if the dentures are consistently kept in water. Talk with your dentist about what would be the most appropriate moist environment for your dentures. As a rule of thumb though, never place your dentures in hot water. The warmth could degrade the denture material and cause them to warp.
Talk with Your Dentist if Your Dentures Rub or Hurt
If your dentures hurt or if they rub your gums, then talk with your dentist. Dentures are created to be comfortable and easy to use. If they hurt then they do not fit very well, and could damage your gums or any of the permanent teeth you still have. The dentures could also become damaged if you consistently try to fit them into your mouth. Call your dentist immediately and be fit for a new pair.
Replace Your Dentures if They Are Old
Dentures are made to last. On average they should last for five to seven years. After this time period, dentures could become brittle and even break. Talk with your dentist about the appropriate time frame for replacing your dentures. If you wear your old dentures often, then they could break in your mouth or could damage your gums.
Remove Your Dentures Each Night
It is important to give your mouth a break. Whether you wear a full set of dentures or a partial, you must take them out each night. This allows your gums and mouth to rest, and to stay healthy. Without healthy gums, it is difficult to even wear a full set of dentures or a partial, so it is crucial to keep your gums in tip top shape. Removing your dentures each night can keep your gums healthy, and it can also give your dentures time to sit in denture cleaner or water in order to become cleaned and refreshed.
Proper denture care is essential to keep your mouth and your dentures clean and healthy. If you do not take care of your new dentures, then infection can set in in your mouth and you could lose other teeth. Mouth infections can also spread, and wreak havoc on your overall health. Keeping your dentures clean can be very simple and easy. Always think of your dentures as if they are your own teeth. This will help you be diligent in cleaning them and keeping them healthy. Plus, remember that you still need to keep your mouth healthy. You should still brush your gums and mouth every day to keep your gums soft, bacteria free and clean. If you brush your gums daily, and follow all of the tips for keeping your dentures clean above, then you should be able to keep your dentures for a very long time. Plus, always remember to call your dentist if anything feels off. Dentures need to be fitted and cared for by a dentist in order to ensure they stay healthy, comfortable and easy to use.
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