Caring for your dentures is very different from caring for your natural teeth. It’s important to know what not to do so your dentures stay looking good and serving you well. The most affordable dentures are dentures that are well cared for!
Don’t Drop Them!
Dropping your dentures is a surprisingly easy (and common) way to damage them. When you’re handling your dentures for cleaning, try thinking of them like a delicate china teacup. We suggest standing over a water-filled sink or lining your countertop with a hand towel. That way, if you do get butterfingers, there will be cushion for your dentures when they fall.
Don’t Use Toothpaste
Your dentures are made out of softer stuff than teeth (a.k.a. the hardest substance in the human body), so the products intended for teeth are too harsh for dentures. Toothpaste contains abrasives that can create micro-scratches in dentures where bacteria can hide and grow. Instead, you can use a dental cleanser or even a mild dish soap to clean your dentures.
You should also avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes (which should be banished from the Earth as far as we’re concerned). Only use a soft-bristle brush to clean your dentures, ideally a denture brush made for that purpose, but in a pinch you can use any soft-bristle or “baby” toothbrush.
Don’t Let Them Dry Out
Sleeping in your dentures is not recommended because it doesn’t give your gums a chance to rest. You should remove and clean your dentures before bed. Be sure to place them in a denture soaking solution or water. Dentures that dry out can crack or warp, so be sure they’re always moist. You should never put your dentures in hot water because this can cause them to warp.
Don’t Stop Caring for the Rest of Your Mouth
Even if you have a full set of dentures, you still have to care for the rest of your mouth. Be sure to brush your gums, tongue and palate (roof of your mouth) with a soft bristle brush to remove any debris or bacteria. This will freshen breath and stimulate circulation. If you have partial dentures, remove them before brushing your natural teeth with fluoride toothpaste, paying special attention to where any metal clasps attach to your teeth.
Don’t Ignore a Bad Fit
If your dentures don’t feel like they fit right and are creating significant discomfort, don’t just ignore it or stop wearing them. Even though they’re custom-made, new dentures often require a few adjustments to get the fit just right. Going back to the dentist one or twice is normal. Your dentures will also need adjustments over the years as your mouth gets used to them and as you age. Be sure to let the dentist know at your regular checkup whether there have been any changes in how your dentures fit or feel. The dentist may re-adjust, re-line, or re-make them, depending on your situation.