So you’ve decided to invest in restoring your smile with dentures—congratulations! These reliable restorations are better than ever before, but it’s important to remember that improper care of your dentures can make them lose their shape, warp, or stain. If you want to prolong the life of your dentures for years to come, there are some things you should know about how to care for them. Here are 5 harmful habits you need to quit to prolong the life of your dentures.
It’s understandable to wear your dentures every day, but you shouldn’t be wearing them 24/7. This is for several reasons. Firstly, many people clench or grind their teeth as they sleep, which can wear dentures out if you wear them to bed. Secondly, your gums need a break from your dentures for proper circulation. Make sure that when you take your dentures out at night, you put them in water or a denture-cleaning solution so they don’t dry out.
2. Not Cleaning Your Dentures & Mouth Properly
Brush your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze at least twice a day, preferably after eating. This will help remove food particles and bacteria before they cause problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues. Do not use abrasive toothpaste on your dentures to avoid scratching.
As usual, you should be brushing and flossing your remaining natural teeth (if you have them) at least twice a day. It’s essential you keep your teeth clean to avoid plaque and tartar buildup being trapped beneath your dentures and causing you future oral health issues.
3. Biting Your Nails
Even if you don’t have dentures, biting your nails is bad for your smile. The acrylic materials your dentures are made of aren’t as strong as enamel. Therefore, if you continue biting your nails with your dentures in, you risk chipping and cracking. This applies to both partial and complete dentures.
4. Chewing Gum
Gum can stick to and dislodge your dentures while you’re speaking, whether or not it’s sugar-free. There are certain chewing gums that are labeled as “safe for dentures”, but it’s best to stick to other breath fresheners instead. Consider swapping your favorite gum with sugar-free soft mints or some mouthwash.
5. Not Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Although dentures are not your natural teeth, you still need to visit your dentist at least every six months. Your oral health is more than your teeth and includes your gums, cheeks, tongue, and mouth. Seeing your dentist frequently allows them to catch early signs of anything that could damage your dentures or smile. Additionally, sometimes you might need to have your dentures relined or replaced if they aren’t fitting correctly. They’ll also be able to monitor if you’re taking care of your dentures properly or if they’ve sustained some damage.
Dr. Charles A. Parker is a Wylie native who has practiced general dentistry in Marshall since 1981! He provides an extensive range of dental services personalized to meet your smile goals. If you’re missing teeth, you’re likely a good candidate for dentures. Dr. Parker offers custom prosthetics that replace a few or all of your teeth depending on your needs. If you want to learn more about how partial, full, or implant dentures can help you, contact Dr. Parker through his website or by phone at (903) 935-6351.