Teeth are undoubtedly one of the essential parts of the human body. They help cut and chew food and make it suitable for swallowing and digestion. Humans are blessed with two sets of teeth, and the set that erupts at a later stage, known as permanent teeth, is supposed to be present throughout the lifetime. However, that seldom happens as almost everyone faces some problem or other, especially with old age. Unfortunately, it is quite common to lose a tooth or teeth prematurely. Also leaving the teeth area unattended can result in the formation of gaps.
The normal physiology is such that the teeth present beside the gap try to occupy the space by drifting. This can be avoided by putting something artificial in the gap while keeping it as close to natural as possible. Dentures are less expensive alternatives to dental implants and the most common replacement in this particular scenario. They are also known as artificial teeth and serve the function of the original tooth/teeth as much as possible. There is no denying the fact though that maintaining a denture can become quite cumbersome, especially when old age creeps in. Here are some great tips to help better take care of dentures.
How to Clean Dentures
Since dentures are supposed to substitute, or replace, missing teeth, they mimic real teeth anatomically and physiologically. Just as you should keep your teeth clean all the time, the same applies to your denture as well. Here are a few methods for doing so.
Brush your dentures daily
Like your teeth, dentures are prone to collecting food debris and bacteria in the nooks and corners as they mimic the contours of natural teeth. Therefore, you should brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled brush and warm water.
Ensure that you reach every nook and corner. It is relatively easier than brushing natural teeth as you will have a more convenient access to all the surfaces. You should not be too vigorous, though, as it may cause some damage, leading to further inconvenience.
Soak dentures daily in a denture cleanser
Sometimes, just brushing may not help remove all the debris and food that gets accumulated on the denture’s external surface. A cleanser can do the work here as it can penetrate everywhere and deal with the most tenacious stains.
Use the cleanser as per the instructions of the manufacturer. It should be conducive to the material of the denture so that no damage takes place.
How to Maintain Dentures
Sometimes, dentures become an absolute necessity. If you are someone who is not used to wearing and maintaining dentures, things can get a little difficult. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that the dentures are in proper condition even after a long time.
Brush your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth before you put in your dentures and before bed
The areas mentioned above are crucial areas as they are also the place where dentures generally contact the oral cavity. Therefore, keeping that area clean is very important. In case it is not done, these areas are susceptible to problems with bad breath and fungal growths which are most prominent due to lack of cleaning.
If you notice any redness or swelling during brushing, it indicates that the denture is causing an impingement and is not in harmony with the oral structures. If this happens you need to make some changes immediately.
Take your dentures out at bedtime
According to scientists, your muscles and mucosa need some time to rest and should not always be subjected to physical stress. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not wear dentures for 6-8 hours a day.
This corresponds to the sleeping cycle for some. It is better not to wear dentures during bedtime. It also provides a soothing effect on the remaining mucosa at night when forces are not radiated from the denture onto it.
Maintain good oral health
One of the basic and most important methods of maintaining a denture for a longer period of time is by complementing it with good oral hygiene. This can prevent the discoloration of the denture, help avoid the collection of bacteria on the denture, which can otherwise lead to decay of the remaining teeth and bad breath, and keep the mucosa healthy for as long as possible.
Managing with Your New Dentures
It is a well-known fact that things might get a little difficult when you get a new denture. However, with adequate practice, you can get used to it in your mouth and can progress towards maintaining the denture better.
Practice speaking with your dentures
It is important to understand that the role that the teeth had in speech has to be fulfilled by your denture now. Speaking is an important daily activity therefore, you should practice speaking with the denture inside your mouth. This also helps in keeping the muscles taut and training muscle memory.
Go for regularly scheduled dental checkups
Your dentist will be most qualified with any problems that may be associated with your denture. If you are new to this, then scheduled dental checkups becomes even more crucial.
Avoid sticky food
Sticky food has a lot of decay potential and contributes to poor oral hygiene as it sticks to the dentures and causes problems. It acts as a nidus for bacterial nutrition, and all the fermentation starts from there as well. Therefore, eat food rich in fibers for assistance in cleaning and avoid soft and sticky food.
When to Visit a Dentist?
There are certain times when you should definitely visit a dentist with your denture. In case you notice any breakage or crown, it is best to go to a dentist immediately. They may repair it or change it for you. Secondly, if the denture has some sharp points that irritate the mucosa, go to a dentist. He or she will smoothe any irregularities. Moreover, if you feel that the denture is not a good fit even after a week of wearing, a consultation will do you no harm.
Wearing a denture is not ideal but is sometimes the only thing possible. Dentures have their own advantages and disadvantages, but if you have to wear them, read the article above and gain insight into how to do so properly.