Whether you’ve just gotten your first set of dentures or you’re a seasoned pro at wearing them, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you have dentures you no longer need to care for your oral health. In fact, improperly cleaned or poorly fitting dentures can be just as dangerous to the mouth as failing to care for natural teeth.
Clean Your Dentures Daily
To help you remember to care for your dentures, don’t think of them as "false teeth," just think of them as teeth. Just like real teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily, even though they can’t get cavities. To clean your dentures, remove them from your mouth and brush them gently to remove food debris. This will prevent staining and eliminate food odor - and make your dentures less attractive to oral bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection of the gums. Just be careful when you take them out, as they have been known to break when dropped in the sink. We recommend you put a towel underneath them during cleaning - just in case!
Soak It In
Brushing your dentures is not enough to keep them clean and in good working order. Each night when you go to bed, you should soak your dentures in a denture soak such as Efferdent. This will help clean and deodorize your dentures, but it will also keep them hydrated while they’re not in your mouth. Your dentures need constant moisture or they can dry out and become warped or misshapen. This can affect how they fit your mouth and can cause many problems. Make sure you rinse your dentures before you put them back in your mouth!
Don’t Skip Your Dental Exam
Just because you don’t have any teeth to clean doesn’t mean you can skip your dental exam. Your dentist still needs to check the fit of your dentures and make sure all the crowns are secure and in good condition. Your dentist will also check your tongue and gums to make sure there are no signs of infection or wear due to improper denture fit. You may also get an oral cancer screening at this time, as well as a TMJ disorder check.
Use your Dentures Wisely
Use your dentures just as you would your natural teeth. They are not meant to cut tape or bite fingernails - they are meant to chew food and help you speak clearly. If you are struggling to chew certain foods like apples or carrots, try cutting the food into smaller pieces.
In the Meantime ...
If you notice that your dentures do not fit right, are uncomfortable, have loose crowns or are causing abrasions or sores in your mouth, contact Dr. Lederman’s office immediately. Improperly fitting dentures can leave your mouth susceptible to infection.
For any other denture or oral health-related questions or concerns, give Dr. Lederman’s office a call at 516-882-1764.