As soon as dentures, or “false teeth”, are in your mouth, they become an important part of the microbial life in your mouth, and so must become an important part of your dental hygiene program as well. You may be surprised by some of the ways that your dentures interact with your mouth, teeth, and gums.
In the same way that tartar and plaque build up on teeth and gums, they also build up on dentures, and so your dentures must be cleaned as regularly as natural teeth (daily). Plaque and tartar on dentures can cause gum disease and cavities in any natural teeth in your mouth.
Dentures, however, are not made of the same materials as natural teeth and gums, and so it is important to avoid the use of toothpaste or any other abrasive, which can damage the finish and luster of your false teeth. Once damaged, dentures can be easily stained.
To clean dentures, soak them in a 50:50 (half and half) solution of warm water and vinegar, or with a denture cleaner. Dishwashing soap can also be used to clean dentures, and it helps to preserve the appearance and brilliance of the dentures.
Another important aspect of caring for your dentures is to remove them for some part of every day (overnight, or at some other time). Wearing dentures contributes to the jaw receding. Removing the denture serves to slow the progress of the recession. While the dentures are out of your mouth, brush your remaining teeth and your gums. If the toothbrush irritates your gums, try using moistened gauze. This daily routine not only keeps your breath fresh and pleasant, but it also contributes to healthy gums.
Dentures should never be allowed to dry. While out of your mouth, keep them wet (soaking in water is the most common method).
It may seem unnecessary to visit the dentist if you have no teeth, but this is not so. Your regular dental visits allow us to check and adjust your dentures, inspect your gums, and to determine whether dentures are due to be relined or replaced (normally, about every 5 years). Ignoring dental hygiene, even without teeth, can affect the bone in your mouth and jaw (in particular, in the lower jaw). Between dental appointments, check regularly for swelling of the gums and for patches of white or red. Any sore that does not heal within a few days should be examined by Dr. Berbari. At the very least, call us if you notice anything unusual in your mouth.
In the event of damage to your dentures, please call us immediately, and under no circumstances attempt to repair them yourself. Especially, avoid attempting to repair them with Krazy Glue, which is toxic, or any other substance that is not specifically approved for internal use! We know dentures and we know how best to deal with the damage.