If you have recently lost some or all of your teeth, you may choose dentures as a restorative option. Dentures are a quick, affordable replacement for your missing teeth. Rather than suffer gaps in your smile, dentures can restore the function of your teeth. Also, dentures can help you avoid long-term problems from missing teeth, such as bone loss.
An important thing to remember about dentures is that they have specific care instructions. If you want your dentures to last a long time, you have to care for them properly. Unlike natural teeth, dentures cannot be cleaned with abrasives. While dentures restore the function of your teeth, they cannot be worn 24/7. Additionally, dentures need to remain in a moist environment when they are not in your mouth.
Soaking Your Dentures
Your dentist will recommend soaking your dentures in water or a soaking solution. This is because dentures will lose their shape or become brittle if not kept moist. Typically, dentures are made from plastic, specifically an acrylic resin. Without proper moisture, their shape will permanently alter.
Once you take your dentures out at night (or for long periods of time), you should place them in a liquid. Tap water or distilled water will suffice for soaking your dentures. However, your dentist may recommend that you use an actual soaking solution. In a pinch, you can use water with a little bit of mild dish soap. It is okay to use mild, approved chemicals because you should always rinse your dentures before putting them back in your mouth.
Other Important Tips
For the sake of your mouth and dentures, you should never sleep with your dentures. Keeping your dentures in too long doesn’t allow your jaw to take a break. Dentures are necessary to help maintain the bone structure of your mouth. However, if you don’t allow your jaw to rest, you could risk accelerating bone loss.
Additionally, wearing your dentures for extended periods of time limits your ability to produce saliva. Saliva is important for maintaining a healthy oral environment. The bacteria that naturally live in your mouth will multiply in a dry environment, creating more dental issues. While bacteria normally reside in your mouth, an increase in bacteria can cause numerous problems for your health. In fact, you can breathe in this bacteria, which can cause pneumonia.
Cleaning your dentures regularly is essential to your oral and overall health. After you eat, you should rinse off your dentures as well as rinse out your mouth. This will reduce the number of food particles that can turn into plaque. In addition, you should gently brush your dentures with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and food particles. To keep a healthy oral environment, you need to brush your mouth and remaining natural teeth with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Even if you don’t have any natural teeth, you can still develop plaque in your mouth.