Oral care is a multi-billion dollar industry. If you expect your dentures to serve you well, they must receive proper care. But there are all sorts of products and gimmicks available to supposedly help with any cleaning or whitening issue you may have. You could spend a small fortune over your lifetime on denture care products alone. How do you choose the most effective way to care for your dentures and improve oral health?
Let’s discuss some effective methods for maintaining good denture hygiene.
Proper Oral Hygiene Instructions
Not only is it important to clean your dentures daily, oral hygiene also includes caring for your oral tissues, gums, plus any teeth that remain. Without observing proper oral hygiene instructions, your teeth and dentures can become a petri dish for bacterial and viral overgrowth that can lead to respiratory illnesses and contribute to the production of odors that cause bad breath. Poor oral hygiene can also increase the symptoms of gum disease, periodontal disease, and general tooth decay.
In addition, dentures that are not well cared for and are allowed to dry out will become brittle, making them prone to breakage.
Brush Dentures Daily
Effervescent denture cleaners are a great way to quickly freshen dentures and maintain a good oral hygiene routine. But relying on them to clean your dentures isn’t sufficient. There is no substitute for the mechanical agitation provided by a denture brush to remove plaque and debris from your dentures. Without removing the film that forms on dentures every day, dentures begin to look dingy and yellowed.
As plaque hardens, tartar forms that is difficult to remove without the aid of professional cleaning. Tartar that is allowed to form on dentures provides a scaffolding for more layers of tartar and toxic bacteria, leading to a smile that detracts from, rather than enhances, your appearance. Brushing your dentures with soap and water disrupts plaque formation and prevents tartar from forming.
Brush Teeth and Other Structures
Equally important is caring for any teeth or dental implants that support your dentures. If you don’t have implants or remaining teeth, it is still important to clean your tongue and gum tissues to stimulate blood flow and eliminate the sources of bad breath. This can be accomplished with a soft bristle toothbrush or a washcloth.
If you have dental implants or natural teeth that support your denture, always remove the denture, if possible, prior to brushing your teeth. Remember to use toothpaste on a soft bristle toothbrush to clean natural teeth, paying particular attention to the area that surrounds the gumline where plaque forms most.
You’ve invested money into your dentures. It would be a shame to allow the teeth and gums that support them to fail, rendering your denture and your investment useless. Take time for quality tooth brushing and invest in needed oral hygiene products.
Change Your Dental Habits
While avoiding certain foods, beverages, and habits is a great idea in theory, most people are not going to follow through and make permanent, lasting changes. Just because you have new dentures, you’re probably not going to stop smoking or drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, all of which can stain teeth and dentures. Let’s be realistic.
So, what can you do to keep up good oral hygiene? Daily home care and periodic professional cleanings can go a long way toward maintaining a beautiful smile and healthy teeth. Budget for regular dental visits that allow the denturist to clean and evaluate your dentures. Often, broken dentures and sore gums can be avoided if an issue is identified and addressed early.
Drink a Lot of Water
Not only is water important for hydration and helps to maintain the balance of body fluids that are vital for sustaining life, water aids in proper digestion and is essential for denture comfort and stability. Without adequate moisture, upper dentures often lack the suction that helps keep them secure and in place.
Dry oral tissues can easily become sore and irritated from friction when there is a lack of moisture to allow sensitive tissues to glide over the surface of dentures. If you take medicines, such as blood pressure medicines, that contribute to dry mouth, it is critical to maintaining mouth moisture. Additionally, drinking water helps to flush away plaque and debris that collects on and around dentures after eating. When it is not possible to brush, flushing them with water can keep them fresh.
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
While healthy eating habits are beneficial to your overall wellness, it is only possible if you are able to chew nutritious foods that promote health. Many nutritious foods are fibrous or contain seeds that are more difficult to chew and digest when compared to foods that provide little nutritional benefits.
If you are a denture wearer, all the more reason to maintain high-quality dentures in top condition by following oral hygiene instructions that enable you to eat the foods that enhance and improve nutrient and vitamin consumption.
Treat Dentures with Care
Some denture wearers can take cleanliness to an extreme. There is a difference between doing an adequate job while following oral hygiene instructions and going overboard. Cleaning dentures with hot water and household cleaners will actually damage the surface of dentures, causing debris to collect more abundantly. Harsh cleaning also shortens the life of dentures by causing the resin to become porous and more prone to breakage.
In addition, the abrasives present in toothpaste formulated for use on natural teeth will scratch denture acrylic and wear away denture teeth over time. The goal is to sanitize, not sterilize. When you clean your dentures, treat them as if they were an eating utensil – if soap and water are good enough for the silverware that goes in your mouth, soap, and water are the best method to clean your dentures.
See Denturist for Potential Oral Hygiene Issues
Part of any denture care routine involves oral hygiene that allows you to keep your dentures looking new. The denturists at European Denture Center will take the time to work with you by individualizing oral hygiene instructions to help you succeed in maintaining good denture hygiene.
Contact us with any denture care questions or concerns. We want your denture-wearing experience to be successful!