Caring for Your Dentures
Maintaining Oral Health with Dentures
Once you obtain your partial or full dentures, it is vital to maintain your positive oral flora and ensure that these appliances provide proper function and aesthetics originally anticipated. This goal can be reached with the help of your dentist who will monitor and help you maintain good oral health. Several steps are recommended for denture wearers.
Fitting – Correct fit of the dentures greatly depends on the skills of the dentist, the lab technician who has fabricated the appliance, the type of the materials used and the patient's diligence with oral care at home. When the dentures are delivered to the patient, every effort is made to adjust them to the specific anatomy of the mouth. Along with fitting along the soft tissues of the oral cavity, the occlusal plain is verified for proper alignment and function. It is important to understand that the color of the teeth cannot be changed once the dentures are fabricated.
Adhesives – As the patient becomes accustomed to wearing a denture, a natural process of bone and tissue resorption may occur. Periodic adjustments may be needed including re-lining of the palate or the ridge segments of the appliance. In many cases, as an additional comfort measure, the adhesives are used for patients who require the extra feeling of stability and strength when wearing the prosthesis. The adhesives act as temporary glue tightly sealing the soft tissues of the mouth to the acrylic of the appliance. They can be obtained over the counter and do not require special prescriptions.
Brushing – The dentures should be brushed after each meal to remove any food debris and prevent plaque and tartar colonies from forming. Special toothpastes with non-abrasive compounds can be purchased at any pharmacy along with ergonomically designed toothbrushes for patient's comfort and ease of use. Brushing is especially important at night before retiring. The gums, tongue and cheeks should also be softly brushed with appropriate toothpastes. In addition, oral anti-microbial rinses can be applied to halt the growth of bacteria while sleeping.
Soaking and Cleaning – Soaking the dentures overnight in a denture cleaning solution will help to dislodge any adhered microbes and debris. It will also allow the mucosa to rest during sleep in a clean environment. In the morning, the dentures should be rinsed and brushed again before placing them back in the mouth. Daily soaking and proper care of dentures will ensure the longevity and beautiful aesthetics of the appliances.