The purpose of dentures is twofold: to restore functionality and improve aesthetics. Dentures allow individuals who have lost their teeth to eat without restriction, speak freely, and smile without being self-conscious.
But this is only possible over the long term if the dentures are maintained properly.
While you may have heard lots of tips on how to maintain your dentures, one of the tougher tasks is keeping bacteria buildup at bay.
Here’s how it happens:
- Food gets trapped underneath your denture.
- Food is more prone to stick to rough plastic surfaces of dentures as opposed to living oral tissues. Even the slightest food deposits may lead to bacterial buildup over time.
- Hairline cracks or scratches in the denture can easily accumulate bacteria.
Problems That Result
One of the primary complaints that occur as a result of bacteria buildup is bad breath. In fact, over 87% of denture wearers experience bad breath since food left behind in the mouth can get rancid within a few hours. If you feel that your dentures might be the reason behind bad breath, try placing them in a sealed bag. After a few minutes, open the bag and see if it emits an odor. If so, then your dentures are the culprit.
Inflammation of the oral tissue is another complication that may arise from bacteria. When tough-to-remove food particles are deposited on the dentures, bacteria starts building up. These bacteria can gradually move to your gums and develop into gum disease or other issues like stomatitis. What’s worse is that many research studies have shown a link between poor oral health and chronic illnesses like diabetes.
Cleaning Dentures of Bacteria Build-Up
First, you should never neglect daily brushing to remove surface food particles that may facilitate bacterial growth. However, never use bleaching toothpastes since they might damage the dentures.
You should also consider letting your dentures sit in a deep cleaning solution overnight, which helps to remove more miniscule food particles. These rinsing solutions are specifically designed for dentures and should never contain chlorine, which can tarnish the metal parts of the denture. Use the solutions with warm water; never use hot or boiling water to clean your dentures as they could cause them to warp and lead to an improper fit.
Once you’ve soaked your dentures, inspect them to see if there are any food particles remaining. You can remove all remaining particles with a soft bristled tooth brush.
Rinse them well once you’re done.
Regular cleaning and care can make your dentures last for years, allowing you to enjoy the confidence of a better smile.