Modern denture appliances are carefully manufactured and designed to last for many years. However, if you have dentures or are considering getting them, there are a few things to bear in mind about the care of dentures, and what to do if they require adjustment, or if they break.
First, just as your natural teeth required daily care, so do your dentures. You should remove them each night and brush them thoroughly, as you have been instructed to do by your dentist. Remove the dentures only over a sink of water or a soft towel, to avoid the chance of damage if you drop them. Once your dentures have been cleaned, you should soak them overnight in a dentist-approved cleansing solution or in water to keep them from warping or drying out. Avoid wearing your dentures at night, and don’t clean them with any abrasive toothpaste or cleanser.
You should also avoid eating hard foods like ice or candy, and avoid drinks like coffee, tea, cigarettes, and colas; just as they can stain natural teeth, they can stain dentures.
Most important, don’t stop seeing your dentist. Follow his or her recommendations for regular appointments, at least once a year. Your mouth continues to change, and occasionally adjustments must be made to dentures to insure a proper fit.
What should I do if my dentures feel uncomfortable, or break?
If you feel any discomfort when wearing your dentures, or if you find that your gums are often sore after wearing them, definitely consult your dentist. Inspect the dentures themselves often, looking for small cracks, individual teeth that are loose, or signs of wear.
If you notice cracks in the dental plate, or loose teeth, or if the dental plate actually breaks, see your dentist. Although there are many “denture repair kits” sold over the counter at drugstores or over the Internet, all of them assume that you – the “do it yourselfer” – have the necessary training to repair them properly. A replacement tooth that is installed in too high or low a position, or misaligned, can affect your bite and your ability to eat. A broken dental plate glued together improperly can result in an improper fit and cause serious jaw problems or periodontal disease.
Clinical Dental Technicians in your dentist’s office can often perform minor repairs themselves, or recommend a laboratory that specializes in denture repair, at very reasonable prices and with fast turnaround. Your dentures are a major investment, and you should take care of them appropriately.