Dentures are teeth replacements for individuals that have missing teeth or none at all. Sometimes poor oral health, accidents, or disease can cause tooth loss, so your dentist may recommend dentures to replace the missing teeth. Without dentures or other tooth replacements, if you have remaining teeth, they may shift out of line.
What Are Dentures Made Of?
Dentures in the past have been made out of porcelain or plastic, but in recent years have been commonly made out of hard resin. Artificial teeth are usually more fragile and easily worn down than natural teeth and should be replaced every 5 or so years. The pink or gum-coloured material that holds the dentures together is usually also made of resin or a flexible polymer material.
Types of Dentures
Partial dentures are removable options for individuals that still have natural teeth to attach something to. They are sometimes referred to as “partials”, and are a good option to consider if your teeth are not strong enough to hold a bridge or more than a few teeth are missing. They are one or more artificial teeth that fit into place alongside your remaining natural teeth.
Complete dentures are required when all of your natural teeth are missing. They are removable and held in place by suction, or in some cases, dental adhesive. Full dentures come in 2 different types; immediate dentures and conventional dentures.
Immediate dentures are made before your teeth are extracted. Your dentist or denturist will make a model of your jaw so the dentures can be prepared. At the time of your extraction, your dentures will be fitted immediately after, so you will not go without teeth for the entirety of the healing period.
Conventional dentures are made and inserted after extraction once the gums and any surrounding tissues have healed.
If you find that traditional dentures are uncomfortable or only have a few natural teeth left, overdentures can be an option. They are fitted over the roots of natural teeth or implants. Some individuals find these dentures to be more comfortable than traditional dentures while still being easily removable.
The Proper Way to Clean Your Dentures
Dentures, just like natural teeth, need to be cleaned daily to stop the buildup of plaque. Plaque and tartar buildup on teeth can cause bad breath and stains and may spread to natural teeth and gums, which can lead to disease and/or cavities.
Dentures are easy to care for as long as you ensure to clean them daily as a part of your normal oral hygiene routine.
Remove them from your mouth and run under water to remove any food particles that may have gotten stuck to them. Then, use a very soft bristle toothbrush or specialized denture brush alongside denture cleaner or mild soap to gently brush all surfaces of the dentures, including clasps. Rinse your dentures well before replacing them in your mouth, and be gentle, as dentures can snap or break with too much force.
You should also remove dentures while you sleep to give your mouth time to rest. Overnight, soak your dentures in warm water. You may also mix in some denture cleaner with the water overnight if you wish if your dentures do not have metal clasps or attachments. Using cleaner on metal parts may cause them to tarnish.
Things to Avoid With Your Dentures
Regular toothpaste or other household cleaners can be too rough or abrasive on dentures and may damage them. Your denturist will be able to provide you with suggestions on the best cleaners to use on your dentures.
Your dentures may be fragile and can easily break or snap if dropped. When removing and cleaning your dentures, it is important to do so over a towel or sink of water to minimize the risk of them falling onto a hard surface. Additionally, always handle them gently as they can crack if squeezed or handled roughly.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
As it is important to take care of your dentures and remaining natural teeth, you should also ensure to take proper care of your gums. After you remove your dentures, use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a clean, damp cloth to clean and massage your gums. If you have natural teeth, brush and floss them as you would normally. Be sure to never flush floss down the toilet.
If your gums are overly sensitive or hurt to touch, contact your denturist for an exam to see what may be causing you pain. Additionally, always check your dentures for signs of wear or cracks so you can have them repaired.
Visit MyBite for a complimentary consultation if you are interested in getting fitted for dentures.