How to Properly Take Care of Your Dentures

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“I had very good dentures once. Some magnificent gold work. Its the only form of jewelry a man can wear that women fully appreciate.”
- Graham Greene (1904-1991), famous English author, playwright and literary critic.

Although gold was a major denture-making material in the early 20th century, dentures nowadays are built of synthetic materials that simulate the appearance and texture of natural teeth. Modern dentures are a gift today’s dentures are as dentures are a gift of todays science, and in many ways, can compensate for the loss of your teeth. However, like natural teeth, they do require regular cleaning and proper care to ensure they continue to brighten your smile for many days to come.

Cleaning tips:

Dentures, fixed and removable, need to be cleaned daily . They should be brushed daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush so as to remove food and plaque and prevent stains. For removable dentures, a denture cleaner or mild hand soap can be used, but toothpaste or any household cleaner is not recommended. For fixed dentures, any toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) may be used. Removable dentures should be handled with care as they are prone to breakage. While cleaning, they should be held over a soft towel or a sink filled with water. The ADA also recommends the use of a ultrasonic cleaner on removable dentures at least once a week. Use of mouthwash is also recommended to keep dentures clean.

Note: Ultrasonic cleaners are small bathtub-like devices containing dental solution . The denture is immersed in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion in the solution that dislodges the accumulated food particles.

Storing tips:

Fixed dentures, as their name suggests, remain fixed inside the mouth. However, removable dentures, when not in use, should be removed and stored properly in cold water or dental solution . That is because dentures lose their shape if not kept moist. Hot water warps dentures and should be avoided. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution. You should consult your dentist in such a situation . Also, dentures should be kept out of the reach of small children and pets. Never wrap them in paper or cloth where they can be easily mislaid or thrown away. On the contrary , keep dentures in transparent containers.

Miscellaneous tips:

You should visit the dentist regularly to have the fit of your dentures checked or for any adjustments or repairs. Never attempt to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Never bend any part of the clasp or metal attachments; doing so can weaken the metal structure . Avoid do-it-yourself kits that promise the moon. Avoid hard food items.

You can expect to have your dentures completely overhauled every five years. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation and sores in the mouth. Immediately contact your dentist if your denture breaks, cracks, chips or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Although most repairs can be performed within a day, more serious cases may require the denture to be sent to a dental laboratory.

Above all, take proper care of your remaining natural teeth.

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