Denture hygiene instructions: Will dentures increase my risk for oral health problems?

Dentures are one of the treatments used to replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. But even if you don’t have your natural teeth anymore, denture wearers should practice good dental hygiene to reduce the risk for oral health problems.

How to clean dentures naturally

Dentures are worn to correct existing dental problems, and do not usually cause any more harm than was already done. That said, denture wearers are still at risk of oral health problems if they fail to take proper care of their dentures, and their oral health in general.

Partial denture care instructions

Dentures are easy to care for, sort of like your natural teeth, only that you should never use toothpaste because of its abrasive properties. It is easy to maintain your oral health with dentures. Here is why:

  • You can use any soap to clean your dentures, provided you do it every day, with a soft-bristle brush and some water, possibly over a towel or sink full of water so they won’t be damaged when they fall.
  • You get to rest your mouth tissues for 8 hours of every 24 hours when you remove your dentures, possibly at night.
  • When they are out, you simply soak them in powdered cleaners to remove stains and odours, which is a fairly effortless way of caring for your teeth. You can even add an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for professional quality cleaning without spending too much.
  • You give special attention to the rest of your mouth – gums, tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth – when you remove your dentures. This is beneficial to reduce the risk for oral irritation and bad breath.

If you take proper care of your dentures, like you would your natural teeth, you should not experience any oral health problems. Instead of brushing after meals, simply rinse your mouth and dentures after every meal. That is good oral care.  

Caring for dentures advice

Proper denture care is an important part of oral hygiene that helps to ensure good health of your mouth, and also prevent unnecessary and costly denture repairs. The bacterial film (plaque) that collects on natural teeth is also found on dentures, and failure to remove it on a regular basis can negatively impact the health of denture wearers.

Common issues resulting from poor denture hygiene may include:

  • Mouth sores
  • Bad breath
  • Candidiasis – an oral fungus called ‘thrush’ or denture stomatitis
  • Angular Cheilitis – sores forming at the corners of your mouth
  • Leukoplakia – thick, hard, white patches in the mouth – considered an oral cancer precursor

Should you keep dentures in water overnight?

To have a healthful mouth and avoid these issues, you should follow these simple suggestions:

  1. Leave your dentures out for 5-8 of every 24 hours, usually at night, to allow saliva to clean around the gums thoroughly without any obstructions.

Denture soaking solution

  1. Soak your dentures overnight with a denture approved soaking solution to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria that collects all day. While some denture cleansers offer 3-5 minutes of soaking, they cannot offer the same level of disinfection. However, they can help to reduce the amount of bacteria, and freshen your dentures to reduce bad breath, like when attending an event. Just follow the manufacturer’s direction for the type of cleanser you’re using to achieve the best results.

Best toothpaste for dentures?

  1. Use a soft brush to clean your dentures after soaking them. Use an approved denture paste, liquid detergent, or foam, but avoid abrasive materials, including regular toothpastes for natural teeth. Abrasive materials can scratch and wear your dentures causing aesthetic and fit issues.
  2. Rinse your dentures after meals, but never use hot water or bleach because they can damage your dentures or even cause injury to you.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly for examinations of your mouth – while the denture does not change, your mouth does. So, the health of your mouth, including the condition of the supporting bone and tissues should be checked annually.

When your dentures get damaged, you should get them checked and repaired by your dentist, instead of using DIY repair kits that may cause irreparable damage. You dentist will also help to diagnose the cause of the damage and rectify it.

Calcium buildup on dentures

Maintaining a simple, daily care routine and regularly visiting your dentist or other oral health care professional are all you need to wear your dentures with confidence as you perform your daily activities. But like original teeth, dentures can also accumulate plaque. Additionally, dentures can cause the plaque to settle underneath the gum line, making cleaning harder and increasing the risk for cavities, especially if you have exposed root surfaces.

How harmful is bacteria build up on your dentures?

Plaque refers to the film of bacteria and saliva that collects on hard surfaces inside your mouth. So, it collects on both natural teeth and dentures. Plaque appears as a colourless or whitish coating either over the surface of dentures, or as a deposit on natural teeth where they meet the gums.

While plaque is a mixture of saliva and bacteria, it contains a huge amount of the latter. Proper cleaning of your dentures on a daily basis typically helps to keep the harmful effects of these bacteria at bay. But once the plaque is left in place for more than 24 hours, it releases toxic substances that can result in gum inflammation.

  • If you have natural teeth, the toxic substances will cause gums around each tooth to become red and inflamed, and start to bleed when you brush. For those who wear dentures, plaque buildup on the denture will cause the whole area of your mouth covered by the denture to be at risk of inflammation.
  • In severe cases, the inflammation may advance to a chronic form of thrush or denture stomatitis.
  • The buildup of plaque can also cause bad breath, due to the smelly gases released by the bacteria. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, you can suffer from persistent bad breath due to the combined action of bacteria and rotting of bits of food caught between the teeth.

With regular check-ups, your dental team will be able to detect any problems early and manage them effectively before they escalate into more serious problems.

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