Did you know over 33.6 million people were wearing full dentures in the 1990’s? Since that time, advancement in dentistry has allowed many people to be able to keep their existing teeth thanks to root canals, dental implants, and partial dentures. However, with all the advancements, there are still quite a few people that need dentures. In fact, by the year 2020 the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry estimates that 37.5 million Americans will be wearing full dentures. If you are in the category of someone who needs dentures, or you currently have them, learning to maintain them correctly is critical to their success rate.
Tooth Loss Can Occur At Any Age!
No one ever plans on losing their teeth, but the reality is that you will likely need to replace one or multiple teeth by the age of 70. There are several reasons why tooth loss occurs, including:
- Tooth and gum disease
- Overall health
It is common to see a breakdown in the way the body reacts to infections as we get older, but in the senior years, it is more common to see dental health issues. Gum disease increases often with age, even with a good oral hygiene routine. One of the best things you can do is to visit the dentist twice a year. During these routine examinations we will check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, and more. The goal is always prevention, and we want to do all that we can to help prevent these painful and often times, expensive dental procedures from happening in the future.
For those that already have dentures, there are some things you can do that will help you to care for your dentures effectively. Keeping your gums as healthy as possible can prevent additional problems that could still occur like bone loss and gingivitis.
Daily Denture Cleaning Tips
- Fill the sink with water and lay a soft towel next to the sink. You don’t want to have your dentures on a hard surface as they could possibly fall and break.
- Rinse off the dentures with warm water to remove any loose food or debris. Do not use HOT water or boiling water as too hot of water could end up warping the dentures.
- Use a soft toothbrush or a denture brush to gently scrub the dentures.
- Denture paste is preferable as it does allow you to gently clean the dentures without causing damage to the acrylic.
- Soak your dentures overnight in cleaning tablets designed to remove stains and loosen any plaque buildup.
- Thoroughly rinse your dentures before re-inserting them into the mouth. You must brush your gums prior to placing the dentures back into the mouth to give you a fresh taste, and removing any bacteria from the mouth.
How to Care for Your Mouth with Dentures
When you have dentures, you may find yourself struggling to understand how you can care for the rest of your teeth and gums. What happens if you notice your teeth are starting to shift position? How can you find ways to prevent additional bacterial growth and decay from occurring? Here are some tips to help you care for your mouth and gum tissue:
- Keep your dentures in water or a denture solution when you are not wearing them. Keeping them in the solution will prevent them from drying out over time, and keeps the dentures from becoming brittle.
- Remove your dentures at night to give your mouth and gum tissue a chance to breathe. When you take them out and allow the gums time to rest, it reduces the risk of having infection of soft tissue.
- Gently clean your other teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush and ADA approved toothpaste. If you do notice some sore spots on your gums, rinse it with warm saltwater to help heal the gums.
- Use a different toothbrush for your dentures than for your teeth. A soft toothbrush limits the abrasiveness on the surface of the teeth, which reduces the risk of gum recession.
We recommend visiting our office for routine dental cleanings and examinations to ensure your oral health is in order. Gum tissue is always in a state of change, so it is normal for dentures to need adjustment from time to time. You need to visit Oral Health Center for any issues with your dentures feeling loose fitting, or having issues with the dentures causing sores.