by Charlotte Wood
(last updated April 3, 2009)
It's not uncommon to have some form of dentures when you get older. As you age, your teeth age with you, and sometimes those teeth aren't useful to you anymore, making dentures necessary. If you have dentures, chances are, you've been briefed and taught how to take care of them. However, it's easy to forget the proper procedures for caring for dentures, and you may need a reminder. If you have to wear dentures, you should always be keeping them clean; otherwise, you may end up with infection in your mouth and gums, which is something that you definitely don't want.
When you're handling your dentures, be sure to handle them with care. They are fragile, and so make sure that you don't drop them and that you have a soft towel on the surface. It also wouldn't hurt to have the sink full of water when you're cleaning your dentures, because if they drop, the water will help prevent against them getting damaged. To keep your dentures in the best shape, you should clean and care for them daily. If your dentures start getting grimy and otherwise disgusting, then you definitely need to up the level of your denture care. When you clean your dentures, start by brushing them like you normally would brush your teeth. Even though they're dentures, you need to brush them with regular toothpaste to remove food and plaque. Be sure to rinse your dentures after every meal.
You also should clean your dentures with a denture cleaner. You can use mild household cleaners like hand soap or dishwasher fluid, but if possible, avoid those because they can be abrasive to the dentures. You also don't want to use any cleaners that have bleach in them because the bleach could whiten the pink part of the denture. You can also use ultrasonic cleaners to clean your dentures. The ultrasonic cleaner is a tub of water in which you place your dentures. The tub emits a wave motion that rids the dentures of unwanted particles. You still need to brush daily, however.
When you're not wearing your dentures, make sure that you keep them moist; if they are not kept moist, then they might dry out or lose their shape. They should also be kept in a denture solution when you're not wearing them. For the specific care associated with your dentures, talk to your dentist for further instructions.
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