Denture is a popular solution for those who have lost their natural teeth. They are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth and can improve the appearance of your smile. In addition to cosmetic benefits, dentures also help with chewing, speaking, and maintaining the structure of your mouth. However, like any other dental appliance, proper care and attention are crucial to keep them looking great and functioning well.
In this blog post, we’ll cover some dos and don’ts of denture care, expert advice on fitting and maintaining them, and tips for maintaining healthy smiles. So let’s dive right in!
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are custom-made dental appliances designed to replace missing teeth, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits. They can be complete (replacing all teeth) or partial (replacing just a few), depending on your needs. With proper care and attention, dentures can last for several years and significantly improve your quality of life. Proper fitting and maintenance ensure that your dentures not only look great but also perform as they should.
The use of dentures has been around for centuries, but modern advancements in dental technology have made them more comfortable and natural-looking than ever before. By replacing missing teeth, dentures help restore your ability to chew and speak properly and help maintain the structure of your mouth by preventing bone loss and gum shrinkage. With the right care and know-how, those who wear dentures can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for years to come.
Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to keeping your dentures looking great and functioning well. It is recommended that you clean your dentures daily, using a soft toothbrush or a brush specifically designed for dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of your dentures, including the clasps, using a denture cleaner or mild soap rather than toothpaste. Toothpaste can be too abrasive and damage your dentures. Additionally, always rinse your dentures thoroughly with water after cleaning.
Eating a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining strong, healthy gums and jaws that support your dentures. Be mindful of your food choices and ensure that you’re getting adequate nutrition. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, are especially important for good oral health. It’s also a good idea to avoid very hot or very cold foods, as this can cause discomfort or damage to your dentures.
Just because you have dentures doesn’t mean you can skip regular dental check-ups. It’s vital to visit your dentist at least once a year, or more frequently if recommended by your dentist, for professional cleanings and exams. During these visits, your dentist can check the fit of your dentures, ensure that your gums are healthy, and address any issues before they become bigger problems.
- Avoiding Certain Foods and Beverages. Denture wearers should avoid sticky, hard, or abrasive foods that can damage or dislodge their dentures. Examples include nuts, popcorn kernels, and hard candies. Additionally, be mindful of staining beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine as they can eventually discolor your dentures.
- Avoiding Bad Habits. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your oral health and the longevity of your dentures. Smoking can cause staining, bad breath, and increase your risk of gum disease, while excessive alcohol can dry out your mouth and lead to a higher risk of oral infections.
- Neglecting Oral Care. Even though dentures replace your natural teeth, you still need to take care of your gums, tongue, and remaining teeth (if any). Brush your gums and tongue gently with a soft toothbrush, and floss any remaining teeth daily. This will help prevent gum disease and keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
How to Properly Fit A Denture
Fit and Comfort
Properly fitting dentures are key to comfort, function, and appearance. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to create custom dentures that fit your unique jaw and gum structure. You may experience some initial discomfort and an adjustment period as you get used to wearing your new dentures. This is completely normal. However, if you experience ongoing pain, difficulty eating, or speech problems, consult your dentist, as your dentures may require adjustments.
Longevity and Adjustments
Over time, your dentures may need adjustments due to changes in the shape of your gums and jaw. Weight loss, aging, and gum shrinkage can all contribute to a looser fit. Your dentist can make adjustments or refine your dentures to ensure a continued snug and comfortable fit. Remember that regular dental check-ups are crucial for monitoring the fit and function of your dentures.
Caring for Your Dentures Overnight
Taking out your dentures at night is important to give your gums and jaw a break and allow them to rest and recover. This also helps maintain the health of your oral tissues and reduces your risk of infection. Before going to bed, remove your dentures and clean them thoroughly using the methods mentioned earlier.
Dentures should be soaked overnight in a denture-cleaning solution or water to prevent them from drying out and warping. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your dentist or on the cleaning solution packaging. Always rinse your dentures thoroughly with water before putting them back in your mouth to remove any cleaning solution residue.
Cost of Dentures
- Type of Dentures. The cost of dentures varies based on the type you choose. Complete dentures tend to be more expensive than partial dentures, and materials like porcelain or flexible acrylic can add to the cost.
- Dentist Fees. The fees charged by your dentist for denture-related services, such as fittings, adjustments, and relines, will impact the overall cost of dentures.
- Additional Treatments. If you require extractions, dental implants, or other treatments before getting dentures, these will add to the cost.
|Type of Denture||Average Cost Range (USD)|
|Complete (Full) Dentures||$600 – $3,000|
|Partial Dentures||$300 – $2,500|
|Implant-Supported||$3,500 – $30,000|
Note: These figures are approximate and can vary based on your geographic location and specific needs.
Maintaining a healthy smile while wearing dentures is achievable with proper care and attention. Remember to brush your gums, tongue, and any remaining teeth daily. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated and avoid bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Lastly, follow a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to support your oral health.
Seeking Professional Advice
Your dentist is your partner in maintaining your oral health and ensuring that your dentures continue to serve you well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you have any concerns or questions about your dentures. Regular dental check-ups and open communication with your dental health provider will keep your smile looking and feeling great for years to come.