caring for dentures

Caring for Dentures: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that approximately 26% of adults in the US over 65 have fewer than eight teeth? An unhealthy diet, untreated cavities, and poor oral hygiene can all lead to tooth loss, and as a result, many people turn to dentures.

However, poor oral habits can still affect you when you have dentures and can significantly impact your overall health. It’s essential to understand everything that goes into caring for dentures so that you can keep your dentures and dental health in great shape.

Keep reading this guide to denture care to learn everything you need to know about caring for your dentures!

Caring for Dentures

It’s important to understand that food and plaque can stick to your dentures just like your natural teeth. Food and plaque can build up if you don’t clean your dentures well. This leads to an increase of bacteria in your mouth, which increases your risks of bad breath and gum disease.

Gum disease can increase your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections, and cancer. So, you’ll need to ensure you understand how to clean your dentures at home. This starts with having the proper tools in place, such as:

  • Water
  • A towel
  • Mild soap or a denture cleansing solution
  • A soft-bristled toothbrush designed for dentures

Cleaning Instructions for Denture Care

You’ll need to place a towel on the counter before removing your dentures. Using a soft towel provides a cushion that protects your dentures if you happen to drop them while taking them out.

Cleaning Dentures

Next, remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly with warm water. You’ll then need to use the soft-bristled toothbrush to loosen any food particles to remove bacteria buildup. Make sure you thoroughly clean all areas of the denture using either dish soap or denture cleanser.

Clean Your Gums and Mouth

You can use toothpaste to brush any remaining teeth and then clean your gums and tongue. It’s also a good idea to use mouthwash to prevent bad breath.

Remove Denture Adhesive

You’ll also need to get any adhesive residue out of your mouth. A good way to do this is to gargle with warm salt water. You should also use a toothbrush with warm water to gently brush the roof of your mouth.

Overnight Denture Care

Before you go to bed at night, you can soak your dentures in a denture-soaking solution or warm water overnight. It’s important not to let your dentures dry out. Otherwise, they can become brittle and lose their shape.

Denture Tips

When cleaning your dentures, it’s important to be aware of specific care tips to keep them in good condition so you’ll keep your mouth healthier too. These tips include:

Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Products

First, don’t use products that contain bleach, such as teeth whitening products. These products tend to weaken your dentures and cause them to change color. Avoid using stiff-bristled toothbrushes since they can cause damage to your dentures over time.

You’ll also need to ensure not to use toothpaste on your dentures as this can damage the surface by leaving small cracks or scratches.

Handle Your Dentures With Care

Remember, dentures can break easily, so you’ll need to make sure you handle them carefully and take your time with cleaning. If your dentures break, call your dentist immediately, and don’t try fixing them yourself.

Don’t Sleep in Your Dentures

You also need to avoid sleeping in your dentures at night. Leaving your dentures in overnight can cause bacteria to accumulate and lead to gum inflammation.

It can also lead to mouth sores and bad breath. All in all, it’s better to give your mouth a break at night.

Avoid Hot Water

Make sure you don’t soak your dentures in hot water. Exposing your dentures to high temperatures can cause them to lose shape, and you’ll need to replace them sooner.

Follow Instructions for Denture Adhesive

If you’re using a denture adhesive, be sure to follow the instructions carefully, so you use the right amount. If the adhesive oozes from your dentures, then you’re using too much.

Some denture adhesives use zinc, and too much zinc in your body can lead to health complications. Therefore, it’s important to start with a small amount of adhesive and be aware of the ingredients.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Dentures?

Most dentists will recommend you clean your dentures at least once a day. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice daily, in the morning and evening.

So, cleaning your dentures twice daily, in the morning and evening, to prevent food buildup and gum disease is even better.

You should always rinse your dentures after eating, so it’s also a good idea to clean them after breakfast in the morning.

When Should You See Your Dentist?

Regardless if you have full or partial dentures, you should still see a general dentist at least twice a year. Regular visits to a dentist will allow you to maintain good dental hygiene and adequately care for your dentures. Your dentist will also be able to detect oral health problems early, such as gum disease.

As you age, the tissues in your mouth change, which affects your dentures, so a dentist will need to adjust the fit during your visits. Additionally, some dentists will recommend denture adjustments every 3 to 4 months.

Poor-fitting dentures can also lead to mouth sores, poor nutrition, gum disease, and jaw problems like TMJ. So, you’ll need to make an appointment right away if you have issues like:

  • Your dentures feel uncomfortable
  • Your dentures often slip and don’t fit properly
  • You notice they make noise when you eat or talk
  • They’re broken or worn down
  • You develop mouth sores or bleeding gums

Make an Appointment to See a Dentist Today

Remember, caring for dentures properly is critical to your overall health. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, then it’s time to schedule a checkup.

If you’re looking for a dentist, you can turn to Justice Dental for all your dental needs. We offer general and preventative dentistry services, including dental bonds, crowns, and sealants. We also provide cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers, dentures, teeth whitening, and dental surgeries like implants.

Make sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can help you improve your dental health!