Caring for your Dentures

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Caring for your Dentures

Like so many things in life the regularity and method in which we care for, service and maintain something, will make all the difference in how long a product lasts and how well it functions during that time.  Your dentures are no different and certainly require regular intervals of care, maintenance, and cleaning.

Just like natural teeth your dentures need to be brushed daily.  This should be done after every meal but at least morning and nighttime as a minimum.  Brushing should be done with a brush designed for dentures. This brush will have stiffer bristles than a regular toothbrush and be more effective for scrubbing out areas between teeth.  Denture brushes should be discarded and replaced at regular intervals and certainly every six months as bristle tips become soft, worn and less functional.  Brushing should be done in random patterns: circular, vertically and horizontally, not just back and forth in the same directions.  If you simply scrub back and forth you will often find small grooves begin to form in the denture bases as the stiff bristles running over the same pattern begin to carve troughs. When brushing one can use toothpaste or denture paste, the latter being more abrasive and designed for dentures exclusively, not for use in the mouth.

Some patients prefer soaking their dentures in products like Polident or Efferedent.  Unlike what the commercials would have you believe these solutions alone are not sufficient for good denture hygiene. You must still brush your appliance after removing it from the solution.  It is important to make a good effort to rinse this solution off completely as some are of stronger concentrate than others and may cause reactions such as burning tissues if left on the denture.  If you are one of those that use denture adhesive these must be thoroughly cleansed from both denture and mouth daily.  Any small amount left become host sights for bacterium that can cause bad breath and tissue irritation.  If you have area with tartar build up on your denture try soaking it in a solution of half white vinegar and water for about fifteen minutes before brushing.  Vinegar has a property that softens these deposits and makes them easier to scrub away.

While your dentures are out the tissues that cover your ridges and tongue will also need attention.  In nature where no denture is placed the tongue would normally rasp and palpate these tissues promoting circulation and helping shed dead tissue cells.  However once we cover these areas with a denture this process can no longer occur so we must make effort to do with a brush what can no longer happen naturally.  Ensure the brush used is the softest toothbrush available not a denture brush.  If you have not brushed these tissues in the past go gently to begin with as they may be very sensitive and brushing may even produce bleeding on the less healthy tissue.
Once done brushing a good rinse should follow, ideally with a low level antibacterial mouthwash.