Close-up of a demonstration on how to brush teeth using model teeth and toothbrush for denture cleaning care. Dentist on Main Cape Town Rondebosch Observatory

Caring for your Dentures

Why should I care for my dentures?

Proper care can keep both your dentures and your mouth in good shape. These tips will help you learn the correct way to clean, handle and store your dentures.

Cleaning

You should brush your dentures every day with a soft bristled toothbrush to remove food and plaque. The same goes for your gums and tongue.

Handling

Dentures are very delicate and can break easily if they are dropped. When handling your dentures, always hold them over a soft towel or fill your sink up with water.

Storage

Dentures can become warped if they dry out or are placed in hot water. When you are not wearing them, your dentures should always be kept in water (not hot) or in a denture solution recommended by your dentist.

Tips

•   You should never wrap your dentures in a paper towel because they could easily get thrown away.
•   Never use household products to clean dentures other than mild dish soap or liquid hand soap.
•   Always keep your dentures out of reach from children and pets; kids love to play with them and dogs love to chew them up.

Effects of Poor Fitting Dentures

As people age, their dentures don’t change, but their mouths do. If you have false teeth, they should fit and you should be wearing them. Proper care and regular dental visits are important factors for keeping your mouth healthy and your dentures in good shape.

Problems casued by poorly fitting Dentures

With age, the gum ridges in our mouths can shrink, causing dentures to become loose. Bone can also shrink, causing jaws not to line up properly. Loose dentures can cause sore spots in your mouth as well as stomach problems from not being able to chew food properly. A loose denture could also cause changes in your facial features.

When do Dentures need to be replaced?

If your dentures are in a drawer because they just “don’t feel right”, they are loose or make sore spots in your mouth, you should see a dentist to have them evaluated and possibly adjusted, relined or remade. If the teeth in your dentures are considerably worn out, talk to your dentist about having some new ones made. It is also important to continue with regular dental visits to make sure your teeth are fitting properly as well as to be examined for any signs of oral cancer. Your dentist can tell you how often you need to come in for checkups.

Caring for your Dentures

Proper care can keep your dentures and your mouth in good shape. You should brush your dentures every day with a soft bristled toothbrush to remove food and plaque. The same goes for your gums and tongue. When you are not wearing your dentures, they should always be kept in water (not hot) or in a denture solution recommended by your dentist.

Why you Shouldn’t Repair Dentures Yourself

When a dentist repairs or adjusts dentures, he uses dental materials that are made specifically for dentures and only available to dentists. Over-the-counter products usually contain chemicals that will actually harm your dentures and cause greater damage. Only your dentist should adjust or repair your dentures.

Don’t forget to Smile!

With proper care and regular dental visits, your dentures should fit well and stay in good shape for a long time. Your dentist will let you know when they need to be replaced. In the meantime, take care of your dentures, visit your dentist regularly and get out there and smile.