Many of the problems that denture wearers experience can be avoided with the proper care and cleaning. This article will explain three simple steps that are necessary in order to take proper care of your dentures.
Step 1: Give your gums a rest
When asked whether dentures need to be taken out at night, some dentists will answer: “Do you normally sleep with your shoes on?” The two might not seem related, but actually your feet and your gums have this one thing in common: They need air and rest. The environment created between your gums and your dentures is warm and humid, creating the ideal environment for fungus growth. Exposing the gums to your own saliva, however, will keep them healthy. The first step in proper denture care is therefore to care for yourself by taking the dentures out at night and giving your gums some air. Rinsing and brushing your gums and tongue with a soft-bristled brush after meals, before bedtime and before putting them back on in the morning will also help prevent problems such as bad odor and itching.
Step 2: Brushing your dentures
The dentures themselves need to be brushed and kept clean just like natural teeth. For cleaning your dentures make sure to choose a brush that is soft-bristled enough to avoid scratching the dentures. When brushing, be careful not to drop the dentures on the floor or in the zink, at this might break them. Some choose to brush over a soft surface or over a zink filled with water to avoid breakage if dropped. Your dentures not only need to be cleaned on the outside, but also on the sides facing the gums. Actually, this is the most important part as germs and debris on the inside of dentures might cause fungus infection and other irritation.
Step 3: Soaking your dentures
Most dentists advise patients to soak their dentures in water during the night as this prevents the dentures from drying out or warping. If your dentures are properly brushed and cleaned daily, it should not be necessary to spend money on denture cleaning solutions. If there are stains or calculus on the dentures, you can make your own solution of half-and-half water and vinegar. After soaking dentures in vinegar, remember to brush and rinse them before putting them back in the mouth. The solution in itself will not remove stains and calculus but will soften them, making them easier to remove with a toothbrush. For partial dentures, be aware that some solutions will damage the clasps. To be on the safe side, soak partial dentures for no more than 15 minutes or use only water for soaking.
With these simple steps it should be possible to keep your gums healthy and your dentures clean. If you in spite of good hygiene habits start to experience problems with your gums or dentures, make an appointment to have your dentist take a look at it. The problem will probably be easily solved and you can continue living happily with your dentures!