When some—or all—of your teeth have been lost, one option is to have a set of false teeth. These are also known as plates, dentures or a removable prosthesis. Aside from retaining chewing function they can also act to restore speech, aesthetics, and even act as support for the lips and cheeks.
But just like the teeth they can accumulate soft and hard build-up, so proper care and hygiene is essential. Build-up that gets trapped around the dentures and is not properly cleaned can cause fungal infections in the mouth, gum disease, or decay on adjacent teeth.
So how should you be looking after your dentures?
- You should always remove your dentures before going to bed each night. This gives your mouth and gums a chance to rest, and minimise the likelihood of fungal infection.
- After removing, clean your dentures with soap and a soft toothbrush each night and leave them to dry to help avoid bacteria/germs growing on them.
- Toothpaste is not recommended for cleaning as it is too abrasive for the plastic components of your denture.
- Also try cleaning your dentures over a sink half-filled with water to prevent breakage if dropped. They can be surprisingly slippery when wet!
- Keep your dentures dry and in a safe place overnight. Ideally, keep them in a sealed container away from pets who will chew through them if they get the chance.
- On a daily basis, follow cleaning as above when you take your dentures out at night.
- Brush any remaining teeth, your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth every morning and night with a soft toothbrush before you insert your dentures. This helps prevent fungal infections and helps remove build up that can grow there.
- In the case of your denture breaking or becoming damaged, stop wearing it straight away. Do not try to repair it, bend it or modify it. Bring it to the dentist for inspection and repair or replacement.
- If you find that your denture has a hard build-up that cannot be brushed off, try soaking it in 1-part white vinegar and 4-parts tepid water for a few hours, then clean as normal with soap and a soft toothbrush.
- Alternatively for difficult build up, call your dental clinic and make an appointment for inspection and repair, cleaning or replacement.
If you still have any questions or concerns please contact us for a check of how things are going. Regular check-ups are still required to ensure that your gums, bone, any remaining teeth, and dentures are in good condition.