If decay or damage have made false teeth a part of your life, there are some new things to learn about caring for these new teeth. It might seem like pulling them out and dropping them in a cup of fizzing water is about all you have to do, but there are a few more steps you can, and should, take to keep your whole mouth happy and healthy.
Perhaps you think brushing is behind you with the introduction of false teeth.
If you have a mixture of false teeth and real teeth, those real teeth need to be brushed twice a day, like always. Choose a good toothpaste and toothbrush and thoroughly scrub. An electric toothbrush might be a good investment to get all those nooks and crannies. The spots where your false teeth settle in beside your real teeth are an especially important set of nooks and crannies.
Pay attention to your gums and tongue as well. The fit of your dentures is affected by the health of your gums and they need a good scrubbing twice a day. It might be tempting to just take care of the dentures, but your whole mouth deserves some care.
As for brushing your dentures, yep, that’s a thing. But, no toothpaste is required. Sure, dentures aren’t made of wood anymore (poor George Washington), but they still aren’t as tough as your real teeth. Toothpaste can be too abrasive and leave permanent scratches.
Use an extra-soft toothbrush or one specifically designed for dentures. You can also get a denture cleaner that works. Gently brush the dentures all over, on all sides, and into as many crevices as you can reach. Then, rinse gently with warm water.
That brings us to our next tip:
Keep it Cool
You might think hot water cleans better, but that rule applies best in your washing machine, not your denture care. Hot water can soften and reshape your dentures, which can lead to a poor fit and discomfort. Rinse with mild warm water and soak in room temperature water. It will get the job done and protect the shape of your dentures.
Don’t Dry Out
When you finish brushing and rinsing your dentures, set them to soak right away, and avoid leaving them out on the counter to dry. Dry dentures are not happy dentures. It can cause cracking, which will affect both fit and comfort.
Yep, You Still Need to See a Dentist
Come on, you know you want that sticker and free toothbrush, anyway, right? Seeing a dentist regularly is still a very good idea, even if some of your teeth were purchased instead of grown. This is especially true if you have partial dentures. A dentist can keep an eye on the complete health of your mouth, spotting any trouble with gums or problems with natural teeth. It’s also good for them to take a look at the fit of your dentures.
Sometimes, change is so gradual that you don’t notice it right away, but a dentist can spot issues with gaps or rubbing and stay on top of any problems that could become bigger down the road.
Mouthwash is still a good idea with dentures, and you can find products that are specially designed for false teeth, which will protect their surfaces.
Water is still one of your mouth’s best friends. It rinses away debris and food that can cause decay. It is a great idea to rinse your mouth after eating, just to keep things clear and clean.
How to Spot Trouble
Even if we are doing our best to take good care of our mouths, there can be some trouble from time to time. It helps to be aware of things that mean getting emergency dental services might be a good idea.
Sure, it’s normal for our teeth to chatter in a blizzard. But, if they start making noise at other times, your fit might be off. If you feel them slipping and sliding as you talk or eat, make an appointment with your dentist or find a same-day dentist to take a look right away. You might not feel it, but you could hear it. A bad fit makes noise as you talk and eat, so pay attention.
Morning breath is standard, but if you notice that your bad breath persists throughout the day, it might be a good idea to call the dentist. Bad breath can be attributed to bacteria in the mouth and perhaps your dentures need attention. Also take note of sores, swelling, or bleeding gums. If you are brushing your dentures and mouth every day, it will be easier to stay on top of these things and catch them before they become real problems.
Our mouths work hard for us. Our teeth, whether natural or false, deserve our care and attention. It’s worth the extra time and care to avoid pain and expenses down the road. It might mean more than just plopping them in a cup at the end of the day, but the attention you give them today will keep you laughing, chewing, and talking without pain tomorrow. That’s worth a little more time each day, right?