- NEVER LEAVE YOUR DENTURE OR PARTIAL IN YOUR MOUTH OVERNIGHT! Take them out before going to bed. Let your gums and palate “breathe.” Leaving your denture or partial in overnight can cause serious bacterial and/or fungal infections.
- When taking your denture or partial in and out of your mouth or while you are cleaning them, do so with great care. Accidentally dropping them can cause them to break. To avoid this, place a towel over your sink. If you drop your denture or partial, the towel will hopefully buffer the fall, potentially protecting it from hitting a hard porcelain or stainless-steel sink.
- Brush and clean your dentures. Like natural teeth, they must be brushed daily. This removes food and plaque, and it prevents the development of permanent stains on your denture or partial. Use a brush that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Gently brush all surfaces, being careful not to damage the plastic or accidentally bend the attachments. After meals, take your dentures out and rinse them. Rinse your mouth thoroughly before putting your dentures back in.
- Clean your denture or partial only with an approved cleaner. These can be found at almost any pharmacy or grocery store. Do not use household cleansers or even toothpaste. They are too abrasive and can damage your denture or partial. Never use bleach, which will discolor the pink portion of your denture.
- When you are not wearing your dentures, they must be kept in a container of water or an approved cleaning solution. This prevents them from drying out, cracking, or losing their shape. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, as this may cause them to warp and not fit properly.
- Be mindful of where you place your dentures. Many dentures and partials have been destroyed by man’s best friend. Yes, dogs love the smell and taste of dentures and partials! They will readily make them into a chew toy. This is not good for the dog and it is a very costly mistake.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade. This is due to normal wear and tear. Also, as we age, our jawbones lose some of their size. This may cause your denture or partial to fit improperly and feel loose. Sometimes, a reline or rebase can be done instead of making a new denture. During a reline or rebase, the dentist remakes the base (the pink part that sits on your gums) so that it fits better. In general, dentures and partials may be used for five to ten years before they need to be completely replaced.
How should I care for my mouth and gums if I have dentures?
Even with full dentures, it is important to brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before you put your denture or partial in. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Be sure to remove your partial before brushing your teeth. Pay special attention to cleaning the teeth that hold the partial’s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps of partials will increase the risk decay in those teeth. Clean and massage your gums regularly. Rinsing your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water will help keep your mouth clean and your gums healthy. Be sure to eat a balanced diet so that you are getting proper nutrition.
How often should I see the dentist if I have dentures?
If you have dentures, you need to visit your dentist every six months. Regular dental visits are important so that your dentist can inspect your dentures and mouth. A dentist will make sure that the dentures are in good working order and fit properly. The dentist will also look for signs of oral disease, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, or cancer. It is very important to have a bi-yearly checkup, even if you do not have any teeth.