In order to get the maximum benefit from your dentures, you need to look after them. Check out our guide on how best to take care of your mouth.
When you’ve lost your natural teeth, dentures are a great solution that helps restore your smile. But like our teeth, dentures can accumulate plaque, and so it’s important to treat them with proper care and attention.
How Can Dentures Help?
It’s easy to underestimate how big a role our teeth play in our lives. Not only do they make it easier to eat and speak, but they also support our facial muscles. When we lose our teeth, it can cause our muscles to sag. Dentures can help restore the shape of our face and the appearance of our smile, which can give a great confidence boost. Gaps left by missing teeth can also cause your existing teeth to grow at an angle. This is not only a cosmetic issue, but it can lead to additional problems, such as difficulty cleaning your teeth or gum disease due to bacteria forming in the areas between your gums and teeth.
What Types of Dentures Are There?
There are several types of dentures, and the type you’ll need will depend on the condition of your existing teeth. You may need complete dentures, which is a full set that replaces your upper and lower teeth, or partial dentures, which replace just a few missing teeth.
Conventional: Conventional dentures are fitted when your remaining teeth have been removed and the tissues have all healed. This is ideal as it reduces the likelihood that your dentures will need to be realigned, but it means you’ll be without teeth during the healing process.
Immediate: A removable denture is fitted the same day that your existing teeth are removed. Your teeth will be measured on a previous visit so that you can be sure the denture will fit completely over your gums. However, the jawbone will alter and you may need your dentures realigning after a few months.
Partial: A partial denture will fill the gaps left by any natural teeth that can be preserved. These are typically clip on dentures that attach to your existing teeth via metal clasps to hold them securely in place.
Getting used to your dentures
Your new dentures will feel strange until you become accustomed to wearing them. During the initial settling in period, you may need to wear them all the time, including while sleeping. Your dentist will advise you whether you will need to do this. You will also likely need to attend a follow-up appointment with your dentist to check on your dentures and adjust them if needed.
Looking After Your Dentures
What Do I Do When I Sleep?
It’s generally advisable to remove your dentures when you sleep, as it will allow your gums to rest. It’s important to keep your dentures moist when you’re not wearing them by keeping them in a water bag with damp cotton wool in it or by keeping them in denture-cleaning solution. This will stop them from changing shape overnight.
Your Oral Hygiene
Looking after your dental hygiene is just as important when you have dentures. You should maintain a good routine, by brushing your dentures, gums, and tongue twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to prevent other dental problems. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the surface to avoid scratches. Brushing before inserting your dentures will also stimulate circulation in the tissues of your teeth and help remove plaque. It’s vital that you regularly rinse and clean your dentures and remove any loose food as unclean dentures can lead to bad breath and gum disease.
When you first have your dentures fitted, you may experience some looseness while your cheek and tongue muscles adapt to keeping them in place. These problems should go away over time, but if they don’t, you could have an issue with denture stabilisation. Even people who have worn dentures for a long time might still experience discomfort and slipping. It’s a result of the jawbone receding due to the missing teeth. If you experience any of these problems, you should visit your dentist for denture repair. Our York-based dentists can adjust your dentures to ensure maximum comfort.
Having dentures fitted can be the ideal solution if you have missing teeth. The benefits you will gain are well worth the upkeep they require. If you maintain a good oral health routine, you’ll have no problem making your dentures last. If ever your dentures stop fitting well or start causing you pain, you shouldn’t hesitate to visit your dentist, who will advise you on what you can do.