Dentures are customized prosthetics that are made to fit the unique anatomy, budget, and aesthetic choices of individual patients. Although a full “plate” can be made from a variety of different materials, they are quite similar when it comes to long term care and maintenance.
Do Let Your Dentist Know if Your Dentures Don’t Fit Well
It’s natural for the bone underneath a denture to gradually change shape, altering how well the prosthesis sets in place. Over time, the denture may need to be adjusted or relined to accommodate these anatomical changes. A loose or ill-fitting denture does not necessarily mean that it will need to be replaced.
Don’t Rely on Adhesive to Keep Dentures in Place
There’s a place for denture adhesives and pastes, but they’re not necessary for everyone. Rather, an adhesive is best used during the initial adjustment to wearing a denture or if it’s becoming slightly too loose and an appointment with the dentist has already been set.
Do Practice Talking and Eating Before Going Out in Public
The first several days after getting dentures are usually the most challenging. It’s best to make plans to avoid going out into public for at least a day or so, so that it’s possible to acclimate to wearing the prosthesis. Consider practicing talking in the mirror and cutting food up into small pieces to ease back into a normal routine. Don’t be surprised if you’re not entirely comfortable with your dentures for two weeks to a month after getting them.
Don’t Give Up
Wearing dentures can take some getting used to, but even if the first few days are difficult it’s important to not give up. The more practice a person has, the easier it gets. Often times individuals don’t wear their denture because they feel it’s uncomfortable, when the best thing to do would be to wear it more so that they can become accustomed to it.
Do Soak Your Dentures Overnight
Remove full or partial dentures every night and soak them in water or a denture-specific cleansing solution. This loosens debris that has accumulated during the day. In the morning, brush the prosthesis clean with a soft bristled denture brush.
Don’t Sleep in Your Dentures
Although it may take some getting used to, it’s vital that denture wearers take their prosthesis out at night. Sleeping in it can cause added pressure on the gums and bone, causing changes in bone structure to occur. Not only will this cause the dentures to not fit adequately, it can cause premature aging and a “sunken in” appearance along the jaws.
Do Use Products to Keep Your Dentures Clean
Your dentist will recommend specific types of products that are safe to clean your dentures. In most cases you will want to purchase a different denture brush to use than a traditional toothbrush, as it’s gentler and larger (making it safer and easier to use.) For most patients, a denture cleansing tab is adequate for placing inside of the water that the dentures are soaked in each night. Take note that the prosthesis should be brushed and rinsed clean the next morning, before putting it back in the mouth.
Don’t Use Harsh or Abrasive Products and Tools
As tempting as it may be to choose abrasive toothpastes or baking soda to buff away surface stains, they can cause more harm than good. Gritty products may actually scratch the surface of the prosthetic teeth, causing more stain accumulation to develop. In a matter of a few months, the denture may start to look dull, dark, and discolored.
Do Continue to See Your Dentist Regularly
A dentist does more than treat teeth or adjust dentures, they also monitor the health status of oral tissues and screen for pathology and cancer. There are a number of medical condition that are evident inside of the mouth before symptoms occur elsewhere. Seeing a dentist will ensure that a holistic approach to overall wellness is taking place, as well as monitoring orofacial changes over the years that can affect the way a set of dentures works. If denture coverage is no longer an option, it’s worth considering a dental savings plan such as the ones at Aetna Dental Offers, which include discounts of 15-50% on routine dental and denture services.
Don’t Assume That Since You “Don’t Have Teeth” You Can Skip Your Next Exam
Denture wearers are prone to specific types of issues such as oral infections (due to improper wear,) sore spots, and the need for frequent adjustments. Routine dental appointments ensure that dentures do what they’re designed to do: make it possible to go about a normal day without the embarrassment or health challenges caused by missing teeth.